Tuesday, October 07, 2008

WARNING TO RAVENS' FANS: 'Rome wasn't built in a day.'

While watching the Ravens v. Titans on Sunday from my chair in Section 101, I had flashbacks to previous Ravens’ meltdowns against the New England Patriots last season and against the Detroit Lions a few years back.

The Ravens, particularly the defense, play with so much emotion, effort and intensity that it is so difficult for them to ratchet down the adrenalin when a call doesn’t go their way. Of course that is the professional thing yet in the past such professionalism has often escaped the Ravens’ defense.

Professional quarterbacks and offensive coordinators will use that raw emotion against their opponent to get them to over commit or to sell out and when they do, their flank is exposed and defeat isn’t far behind.

We were led to believe that the Ravens would become a more professional and disciplined team under John Harbaugh. So far that hasn’t happened – at least not to our collective level of satisfaction.

As the game unfolded, the tension grew and the Ravens seemed to unravel and lose their poise – a development that didn’t go unnoticed by Ravens’ fans. I lost my poise too and my football Tourette’s kicked in again.

Seeking sensibility, I was engaged in a text exchange with a friend close to the team. And after trading several text messages his last read, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

It was then that I realized the excitement and competitiveness of the team over their initial three games heightened my level of expectation to the point where I expected the seemingly rapid development and maturation process to continue to accelerate.

The mini-meltdown was sort of a speed bump for me. It reminded me that there’s still a lot of work ahead and suddenly, my level of expectation dropped precipitously.

I’m now back to comparing this Ravens team to the one in 2002 and 2003…maybe even that of 1999. Back then they delivered excitement, competed regularly and captured our attention. Any post season aspirations while certainly welcomed were considered a bonus.

I can now take in the 2008 season with a little more clarity and I’m sure I’ll repeat my friend’s words regularly.

They might help me to keep my sanity and from the couch when it’s time to go to sleep.

Photo by Sabina Moran


Anonymous said...

good post. remember 1999...there was a giant sleeping that year and no one knew....."the greatest trick the devel ever pulled was making people think he didn't exist..."----The usual suspects.

Anonymous said...

Well done. When people ask me what my favorite Ravens season was, 1999ranks at the top of my list. That was the first Ravens team to finish at the .500 level after 3 straight losing seasons in Baltimore. As a fan of any sports team, nothing is as much fun as watching your favorite team when it is on the rise and expectation levels are low.

I don't expext the team to beat the Colts on Sunday, and like most Ravens fans I am waiting for the offense to inexplicably explode and put enough points on the board that it doesn't matter what our secondary looks like. I expect that we will see a game like that at some point yet this year, although likely not this week.

Harryos29 said...

I too, Liked 1999. We came close that year.
I want to SEE Cam take the Gloves off and let Yamon and Demetrius go deep atleast twice a Quarter. We need to put the thought of the DEEP PASS in the minds of the Opponents.
I came up with JOHNNY UNITAS..Nuff said!!