Friday, December 22, 2006

Week 15.5 – Purple Rain on My Parade

12/22/06 – Baltimore, MD.

I’ve been doing the New York Times crossword puzzle lately and I think the title of this posting would be an excellent play-on-words, dual meaning, 20-letter monster type of answer in a Tuesday or Wednesday puzzle. The question could be something like “A Prince Downer” or “Putting Prince Down”. But the New York Times is not why I am writing a mid-week posting for the first time in months, although it did help me come up with the title, pretty clever, right?

The reason I felt the need to blog, as the heading might indicate, is that the last four days have included milestone moments in Ravens history that have appeared to not only be ignored, but replaced by feelings of disdain, bitterness, and suffering. In what is my first, and possibly only season on the sidelines, I’m ready to pop the champagne after each touchdown (or at least give Steve McNair a high-five). What gives?

Let me recap.

On Sunday afternoon, the Ravens clinched a playoff birth. However, the injury to McNair and the prospect of still having to play a first round game seemed to outweigh the excitement of making it to the post season.

On Monday night, the Ravens clinched the division title when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. The irony is that most of the Charm City was routing for Ocho Cinqo and company as an Indy loss would propel the Ravens into position for a first round bye. So when the game concluded, and the Locker Room AFC North Championship T-Shirt boxes were allowed to be opened, not only was the team not in the Locker Room, but I don’t think anyone felt like we were any closer to a Championship.

On Tuesday it was announced that the Ravens would be sending at least five players to the Pro Bowl including: Jonathan Ogden, Adalius Thomas, Ed Reed, Chris McAllister, and Terrell Suggs. Of course the national press has featured no less than five additional Ravens on their ‘all-snub’ teams and the biggest snub of all, Ray Lewis, has been quoted on just about every talk show discussing his frustration with the voting. And I agree. Watching 14 games up close, I can’t imagine why Ray and his protégé, Bart Scott, were left off the list. Not to mention Trevor Pryce and all his wonderful sacks. But I digress, I’m falling into the same funk most of Baltimore already appears to be in.

We were 6-10 last season. We only sent one Raven to the Pro Bowl. We were eliminated from the playoffs before Thanksgiving. And you saw more Oriole Orange around the city than Ravens Purple as the New Year began. So this year, during a season in which we have witnessed multiple fourth quarter comebacks, a shutout against our biggest rival, and a Defense that almost led by fantasy team to the title game, I propose a new order. A plea to the City of Baltimore, Ravens fans everywhere, and even the team itself.

Don’t rain on my parade and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to enjoy a confetti shower together.

No comments: