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Each morning, Monday through Friday, I'll hook you up with some reading material to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday -- that way I'll have an excuse to do the same at the start of mine.

Running it back:

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The Ravens are enjoying the bye week with a sense of accomplishment. ... The Maryland men's basketball team landed a big recruit: City guard Nick Faust. ... The Giants pulled away from the Rangers late to win Game 2 of the World Series. They have a 2-0 lead in the series.

Hitting the links:

1. Mike Preston: Rex Ryan makes up with Ray Lewis and challenges the Ravens [Baltimore Sun]

2. Jamison Hensley hands out his first-half awards [Baltimore Sun]

3. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. remains high on former Ravens QB Troy Smith [ESPN]

4. The Ravens cheerleader wearing a hot-dog costume Sunday gets her moment in the sun [SI]

5. Anquan Boldin is fitting in nicely with the Ravens [Ravens Insider]

6. Ray Lewis is the 18th best player in NFL history, according to the NFL Network [Purple Chaos]

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7. Holy crap, this guy hates Pittsburgh and the Steelers [Baltimore Birds' Nest]

8. Interesting post from Dan Connolly, who gives his take on Buck Showalter's staff [Orioles Insider]

9. Kevin Millwood and Koji Uehara are Type B free agents [Orioles Insider]

10. Quick thoughts on Nick Faust committing to Maryland [Baltimore Sports and Life]

11. Utah's Shaky Smithson, a Douglass grad, is also his brother's keeper [Baltimore Sun]

12. Mike Green says he's nearly back to normal [Capitals Insider]

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You said it:

"There is only ONE Ironman. Ripken be thy name." -- Chris in Hawaii takes Ripken over Favre

Today's water cooler question (your response could be published in b):

Who is your first-half MVP for the Ravens? What about LVP (least valuable player)?

Video of the morning:

Check out this epic rant from a Florida Atlantic broadcaster (and I thought the press-box battles between Jerry Coleman from FOX1370 and the guys from WNST were interesting...)

Send me your funny and/or interesting links, photos, YouTube videos, blogs, Tweets, comments, emails, ideas, leads, etc. If I deem them to be worthy for the blog, I'll give you a plug. You can reach me at matt@bthesite.com, twitter.com/mattvensel and facebook.com/VirtualVensanity.

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