Season 24 of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" winds down this month, a season that has featured former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross, former New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Of course, former Baltimore Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones finished third in the show's 16th season.
For The 15 this month, I thought about which other Baltimore sports figures I'd like to see battle for the Mirrorball Trophy. In alphabetical order, here's who I came up with.
1. Ravens QB Joe Flacco
Obviously, this seems insane considering Flacco's own father, Steve, once famously told
The New York Times that "Joe is dull. As dull as he is portrayed in the media, he's that dull. He is dull." Of course, that's the point to this. The former Super Bowl MVP is far more athletic than he's given credit for, but his chances of winning aren't why I'd want to see him on the show. I'd want to see him there because it would just be nice to see him do ... something. Anything. This would be so bizarre it would be must watch.
2. Orioles OF Hyun Soo Kim
If you've never seen it, search "Hyun Soo Kim music video" on your preferred Google vehicle. The second-year MLB player once filmed a video for his KBO theme song that heavily features him dancing. Or, doing something that is a distant cousin of "dancing" at least. There's some arm flailing, hip shaking and leg kicking, which is about as much as "Saturday Night Live" alum Chris Kattan had to offer during his brief stint on the show this season.
3. Former Ravens LB Ray Lewis
This is one of the more obvious suggestions on the list. In pop culture, Lewis was nearly as well known for his pre-game ritual as his on-field brilliance. But do we know if Lewis has the full repertoire of moves necessary to win over judge Len Goodman? And do we know if there's another FieldTurf in Southern California for Lewis to make weekly entrances?
4. Orioles 3B Manny Machado and 2B Jonathan Schoop
It's a bold concept, but is there any reason why the star duo couldn't just forgo having a pro dancing partner in favor of working with each other? With no disrespect to dancing pros Lindsay Arnold or Julianne Hough, these two simply don't need the help. Have you considered the incredible choreography necessary just for their handshake? Imagine what might be possible if they put their choreography skills to the test on the ballroom floor instead.
5. Harford County native/former Olympic figure skater Kimmie Meissner
Much like Kerrigan this season, the former World and U.S. champion seems like sort of a no-brainer. If you can land a triple axel in competition, you can probably handle an Argentine tango. Meissner is also one of the most likable human beings in the history of human beings, which should make her an immediate favorite of judge Bruno Tonioli.
6. Former Ravens DT Haloti Ngata
You've seen him dancing Risky Business-style in a Royal Farms commercial. If you haven't, you owe it to yourself to see him perform a shirtless Tongan war dance (again, a simple Google search should suffice here) at his former annual charity luau here in Baltimore. We all know how much fun it is to watch a big man dance, and at 6-foot-4 and 345 pounds, Ngata is pure monster.
7. Maryland G/F Jared Nickens
If his former teammate Jalen Brantley hadn't decided to skip town in favor of UMass, I might suggest they consider a Machado/Schoop-like pairing. But even without his #RunningManChallenge partner, Nickens has proven to have the type of moves that can succeed on DWTS. I'm just not sure ABC would allow him to use the song "My Boo" for every performance.
8. Former Ravens OT Jonathan Ogden
Again, I remind you it's always better when the big man dances. This 6-foot-9, 345-pound Hall of Famer first showed us his skills in the cringe-worthiest of mid-2000s GEBCO insurance commercials. We deserve the opportunity to see more. It's just a shame he never joined the likes of Lewis and former Ravens running back Willis McGahee to offer painful head bopping in an Eastern Motors commercial as well.
9. Orioles manager Buck Showalter
This probably makes no sense at all, but it's similar to the Flacco factor. The Orioles skipper famously carries a bit of a permanent poker face. Any time he emotes in a manner similar to a typical human being, fans of the team scamper to make GIFs of the rare sight. The idea of him paso doble-ing with professional dancer Witney Carson is just simply delightful. We can only hope if he makes the finals he doesn't choose to pull himself and go with Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez instead.
10. Former Ravens DT Tony Siragusa
Have I mentioned I want to see big men dancing? Because I vastly prefer seeing big men dancing. The Super Bowl XXXV champion didn't have as much of a sack dance as he did a sack "flap your arms like a bird" movement, but I'm sure he could cook something up for the DWTS stage. The good news is he won't have to worry about any leaking during a performance. (If you don't know the reference, don't bother searching. You're better off.)
11. Ravens K Justin Tucker
In the past, we've seen Tucker turn to Terio's "OOH KILL 'EM" and Drake's "Hotline Bling" dances (among others) after huge kicks. That doesn't guarantee the two-time All-Pro can nail a Viennese Waltz, but given his seemingly never-ending list of skills, I wouldn't doubt his ability to pull it off.
12. Former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez
Not being an avid viewer of the show, I can't say whether the "Shimmy" has ever made the cut as a competitive dance on DWTS. If called upon to perform one, the native Venezuelan would receive all 10s before he even took the floor. Vasquez shimmied even more often than he knocked down clutch jumpers during his career in College Park, Md. He probably shimmied about as much as he breathed, really.
13. Former Ravens WR Kelley Washington
This would be a tough sell from the "Stars" perspective of "Dancing With The Stars," but then again, I had never heard of Bonner Bolton before he sauntered his way onto the stage this season. While Lewis may have had the Ravens' most iconic version of "The Squirrel," Washington's was even more absurd and featured even more impressive hip fluidity. He would easily turn heads.
14. Ravens DT Brandon Williams
Once more, a chance to see a big man get down on the DWTS stage. We know Williams' go-to is "The Carlton" of "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" fame, but Alfonso Ribeiro himself already did it during the show's 19th season. Williams' incredible athleticism for his 6-foot-1, 340-pound frame makes his moves all the more enjoyable every time he posts them to Instagram.
15. Former Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams
Much like Flacco or Showalter, who wouldn't want to see the angriest man in local sports history take on the challenge of the Charleston? Of course, ABC would probably have to extend their seven-second delay if the Hall of Famer were to come on the show.
Issue 233: May 2017