Ravens Continue on Road to Redemption
Next: knocking off Tom Brady and the Patriots.
The Baltimore Ravens’ stunning victory in Denver on Saturday may go down in Baltimore history as the second greatest game ever played and will live on in the annals of NFL postseason lore. Whether history remembers Joe Flacco’s 70-yard touchdown bomb to Jacoby Jones as the Mile High Heave, the Flacco Fling, or the Raven Rainbow won’t matter nearly as much as the final score. The victory over Peyton Manning and the big bad Broncos has propelled the Ravens right back to the same spot they ended last season. Baltimore’s return trip to New England to tussle with the Patriots once again is the ultimate do-over.
The final seconds of last season’s AFC Championship game left Baltimore with an everlasting disdain for Billy Cundiff and Lee Evans, and the Ravens with an enormous chip on their shoulder. General Manager Ozzie Newsome scored big points with the fan base when he replaced Evans and Cundiff during the offseason with free agent WR Jacoby Jones and undrafted rookie kicker Justin Tucker. The performances of Jones (game-tying TD) and Tucker (game-winning overtime field goal) must’ve been very gratifying for Newsome and his front office. The win also gave Newsome a victory over long-time nemesis John Elway, who broke the hearts of Newsome and the Cleveland Browns in consecutive AFC title games in the late 1980s. There’s no love lost in Baltimore for Elway, the Colts first selection in the 1983 draft who refused to sign and forced a trade to Denver.Pin It Tweet
Random Observations from Super Bowl XLVII
What a difference a decade makes. When the Ravens won their first Super Bowl following the 2000 season I was a listless twentysomething reveling in the post-game aftermath with a bunch of other half-in-the-tank ne’er-do-wells on the city streets of Baltimore. I watched that game at a friend’s apartment in Bolton Hill. As the final seconds ticked off the clock we took to the streets. We were hugged and high-fived by random people as we made our way down Charles St. The purple-clad throng grew as we approached the Inner Harbor. It was full-scale mayhem. I’ve never been slapped on the back, high-fived, and hugged so many times in my life. We finished the night in Fells Point as a group of a few hundred fans chanted “Fuck New York!” in the middle of Broadway.
Sunday night we watched the game at a friend’s house, with a total of eight kids in attendance. The kids mostly played in the basement and stuffed themselves full of purple cupcakes while the parents watched the game. My son would occasionally run upstairs to ask how many more points the Ravens needed to win. I had neither the time nor inclination to explain the intricacies of NFL scoring at that moment so I just told him, “One buddy. One more point.”
Congratulations Ravens, You’re the Subject of Cockamamie Rumors
The Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl victory was accompanied by the typical round of festivities: late night television appearances, magazine covers, and a little extra love from the national media. Unfortunately, the media attention’s been short on glowing accolades and high on cockamamie rumors of impending salary cap doom.
Don’t get sucked into the vortex Ravens fans.
Peter King, a normally reputable NFL writer for SI.com, stirred the pot earlier this week with the ridiculous notion that Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco could go to the Cleveland Browns as a free agent. King laid out a flawed, though factually plausible, scenario in which the Browns could exact the ultimate revenge on the Ravens and steal the Super Bowl MVP quarterback. Yes, Flacco is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, but the Ravens have publicly stated numerous times over the past few weeks that Flacco isn’t going anywhere.Pin It Tweet
Ravens Ask Fans to Trust the Process
Baltimore has lost players, but will still field a playoff-caliber team.
Baltimore Ravens fans still reveling in a post-Super Bowl high were hit with a gut punch on Monday afternoon when fan favorite WR Anquan Boldin was shockingly traded to the recently vanquished San Francisco 49ers. The deal gives the 49ers a sure handed replacement for Randy Moss and leaves Baltimore with a gaping hole on its depth chart. Ravens’ GM Ozzie Newsome’s experience with expertly guiding the franchise through salary cap issues and roster construction in the past is of little consolation to the average fan.
In the annual state of the Ravens press conference last month, with the Lombardi Trophy prominently displayed, Newsome spoke openly of the mistakes his front office learned after its first Super Bowl win. After the 2000 Ravens captured the city’s first NFL championship in 30 years Newsome brought back several aging starters and signed free agent QB Elvis Grbac in an attempt to repeat. The 2001 Ravens went 11-5 but flamed out in a disastrous 27-10 loss to the Steelers in the Divisional playoffs. Grbac surprisingly retired after the game and Newsome was forced to jettison veterans in an effort to get under the salary cap. The Ravens went through several rebuilding years, and the Kyle Boller experience, before emerging as Super Bowl contenders in 2006. Last month, Newsome vowed not to make the same mistakes again. He plainly stated the organization’s goal to compete for titles on an annual basis. Newsome specifically said that the team would not restructure the contracts of current players solely in an effort to gain cap space.Pin It Tweet