Monday, September 10, 2007


Save me a seat on the bandwagon of fans who hate their team playing on Monday Night Football. Nothing against the staple of Americana but for me Sunday is for football. I prefer old school 1:00PM starts (some really old school may remember the 2:00PM starts in Baltimore due to an obsolete blue law). Let’s take care of business early!

The only redeeming quality of my team playing on MNF is that I can without a doubt enjoy all of the other games scheduled on Sunday. You see if the Ravens lay an egg early on Sunday, I’m just not feeling the rest of the league. I don’t care who plays, when they play and how they play. I want to kick the TV in during ESPN’s highlights when the Ravens hang one in the “L” column. Watching NFL games after a Ravens loss is the equivalent of taking on atomic Buffalo wings while suffering from acid indigestion.

Please pass the Pepto.

Watching games on TV is an altogether different experience than taking them in at The Vault. For some unexplained reason, I morph into some altered life form when watching the Ravens on TV. I’m not sure if the peer pressure of thousands around me influences better behavior at the stadium or perhaps it’s the threat of being ejected by Safe Management if I become intolerable when sitting in my comfy purple seat.

But put me in front of a TV at a pub, a friend’s house or at home and I become a raving lunatic.

Don’t touch the remote; don’t move from that lucky spot; move from that unlucky spot; did I wear pink the last time the Ravens lost; where’s my lucky underwear; those chips have bad mojo; for crying out loud can they just open up the offense and can someone please hand me my straightjacket?

Is it just me?

I know many of you are worried about this game tonight and I can’t really blame you. The Ravens have done little to dispel the notion that they will once again have to ride the backs of their defense. The preseason did little to quiet this song in my head that keeps playing whenever I hear Ravens fans complaining about their team:

It’s the same old song and, same old song and dance…

I’ve had the luxury of watching the Ravens practice every day during summer camp. I’ve had the privilege of talking to various players and coaches. And I can tell you that they haven’t stuck their collective head in the sand. They know that to advance beyond a first round exit in the playoffs that the offense must step up.

And I think they will.

Against the Steelers in ’06 the Ravens attacked. They took shots down the field, opened up their playbook and pummeled their bitter rivals to the tune of 51-7 over the course of two games. They took the lead and forced their opponent into being one dimensional. If the Ravens’ defense knows that the opposing offense has to pass, watch out. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger.

You know the coaches know this. You know that they are tired of hearing about the ineptitude of their offense. You know they want to shut us all up.

And you know what? I think they will.

Some might say that the preseason gave us no hints that anything will change. Others will argue that the Ravens can’t just flip a switch and all the sloppy play will go away and that they’ll suddenly start executing efficiently.

The thing you need to keep in mind is that the Ravens won’t just be flipping a switch. They’ve practiced efficiently and effectively in the privacy of One Winning Drive when they weren’t committing false starts and illegal formations during preseason games. To them, it isn’t about flipping a switch. It’s about carrying over their success from the practice field on to the turf at Paul Brown Stadium tonight.

I’m not expecting a masterpiece. I’m expecting the Ravens to win a Ravens kind of game.

Just remember that the preseason is a mirage. The preseason is a lie. It distorts the truth because of the converging and oftentimes conflicting objectives when teams take the field in the preseason. Just ask the Saints who looked like an offensive juggernaut in the preseason only to sputter when it counted.

In won’t exactly be pretty. I won’t exactly be easy. But in the end it will be exactly what we all want – a win against a tough division rival on the road.

I know it and you want to believe it.

Yet despite this knowledge somehow, I’m sure I’ll be morphing into that lunatic somewhere around 7:01PM tonight. If you are at Lagers Pub tonight, beware…

But at the end of the night I'll be smiling at a 19-13 Ravens win.

You feelin' me?


Rashad Gray's Blog said...

As far as I'm concerned, WE WON THIS GAME!!! The Cincinnati Cheaters(That's right, I said cheaters) need to get some honest referees(if there are any) and play a fair football game. When that ball landed in Heap's hands the game was tied(along with a Matt Stover field goal) That's okay, we'll be meeting the BUNGLES again soon. This time it'll be at our house. Get your popcorn ready