New Digs For Ravens Rap Show’s 13th Season

New Digs For Ravens Rap Show’s 13th Season
New Digs

OCEAN CITY — With a flashy new set and the usual cast of interesting and informative panelists, the locally produced Ravens Rap television and radio show is just as ready as the team it features for a brand new season.
The Ravens Rap show, which appears weekly on Comcast’s Beach TV cable station and on the radio on various stations locally and throughout the region, is taking on the new season with a brand new look at the host Blue Ox restaurant and bar, but viewers and listeners should not expect a big departure from the format that has made the program so successful for well over a decade.
Led by host Mike Bradley, the panel also features Baltimore area sports journalist Tony Lombardi, local website company owner and sports enthusiast John Gehrig, local television personality Bobby Vermillion and former Baltimore Colts standout and legend Bruce Laird.
From modest beginnings 12 years ago, when the show began as a radio-only program in the original Greene Turtle with Laird and Baltimore Colts legend Tom Matte, the Ravens Rap has evolved into a slick, well-produced program with its well-known panelists occasionally joined by big-time guests including Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti and former Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams, for example.
“We might be in a small market, but this definitely isn’t a small market show,” said Bradley. “We’re bringing a very good, professionally done show to our viewers and listeners. I am confident our show could stand up to any of the similar shows about the Ravens or sports in general in any of the big markets.”
Ravens Rap started as a live radio show at the Greene Turtle shortly after the team won its first Super Bowl in 2001. In 2008, the Ravens organization signed the program on as an official affiliate and it started to be also aired on local cable television. In 2011, due largely to popular demand and the need for more space, the show was moved to the Blue Ox. This year, with the help of Donaway Furniture, the show’s set was upgraded and the panelists now appear as if they were sitting around a table in a living room.
Ravens Rap is shot each Wednesday during the season, with a few exceptions, and airs on Comcast and the various radio stations that carry it throughout the weekend and on Sunday prior to the Ravens’ games. The 48-minute show is shot in four, 12-minute segments, each one of which is a little different. Typically, the first segment is dedicated to recapping the prior week’s game, while the second segment is open to questions from the audience.
On most Wednesday nights at the Blue Ox, a large crowd of Ravens fans gather in the restaurants big back room dedicated to the reigning Super Bowl champs and the atmosphere is lively. Ravens Roost 44 calls the Blue Ox home and its members make up a large segment of the audience, but the show has broad appeal for Ravens fans all over the resort area. The show is largely interactive with the crowd very much a part of the program.
Another segment is typically devoted to updates on player injuries, team transactions and other news and notes from around the NFL. The final segment is usually reserved for breaking down the team’s upcoming opponent. The various panelists each bring their own insights to the program and the banter is often boisterous, but Bradley as host is adept at holding it all together.
“All of the guys really know what they’re talking about and the show is very professional and very informative, but Mike really makes the show as good as it is,” said Original Greene Turtle and Blue Ox owner Steve Pappas. “He really makes it work and kind of connects the whole show.”
Ravens Rap is Ocean City’s only sports show taped in front of a live audience and the results are often unpredictable. While Bradley prepares a basic outline for each show, the finished product is often unpredictable and largely driven by the big personalities on the panel.
“It’s not scripted, but I do have an outline I try to follow,” said Bradley. “Sometimes, it doesn’t go the way we planned it, but we do our best. You have to have an idea in your mind, but you also have to be flexible. I try to tailor the questions to the person best able to answer it.”
Pappas said there has been some cursory discussions about expanding the program year-round with information regarding the Ravens and the draft and free agency and the various mini-camps, but also about the Orioles, Washington Capitals and the Terps, for example.
“That has been broached and it’s really in its infancy, but that’s something I’d love to do,” said Bradley. “We’re a Ravens show first and foremost, obviously, but there is a lot more going on in sports we could talk about and delve into.”
Raven Rap has a lot of sponsors that help make the show possible including Bud Light,, Geico, Donoway Furniture, Ocean City Golf Club, the Russell Street Report, Comfort Inn-Gold Coast, the Holiday Inn Express and of course, the Greene Turtle and host Blue Ox. The first show of the season was recorded last week on the new set and is currently airing on Beach TV and the various radio stations that carry it. The next show will be shot next Wednesday, September 11, at the Blue Ox.