“Respect is earned, respect is never given…”
The Baltimore Ravens came out of Denver victorious despite being nine point underdogs. After the miraculous performance they put on, you would think that the Ravens had earned a little respect. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It didn’t matter where you looked Monday morning as you were sure to see the Ravens discredited in some way, shape, or form. An ESPN article by Jeffri Chadiha titled “Broncos choke in historic fashion” gave little credit to Baltimore’s resiliency, saying that “…nobody outside of their fan base should buy into such bluster,” and that “the Ravens won because they hung around long enough to take advantage of the Broncos’ critical errors.” Chadiha, along with many other critics, preferred saying that the Broncos lost the game rather than the Ravens winning it.
This wasn’t the first ESPN article that shut down the Ravens in Denver. ESPN writer Ashley Fox trashed the Ravens earlier in the week, stating that fans should enjoy the win over Indianapolis as it would be Ray Lewis’s last and his career would come to an end in Denver.
Video: Ray Rice dedicates the win in Denver to the people of Baltimore
The degradation didn’t stop there as previews and predictions for the AFC Championship have already hit the press. The New England Patriots have been already given the win by many analysts. Former NFL coach Tony Dungy called into The Dan Patrick Show to give his picks for the Super Bowl, and didn’t bother to even comment on the AFC Championship game, going on to explain why the Falcons will beat the 49ers and then face the Patriots in the Super Bowl like it was already a given.
Dan Patrick’s poll question of the day was “which QB would you want for one playoff game,” with the possible responses being Matt Ryan, Colin Kaepernick, and Joe Flacco. The results? Colin Kaepernick, a second year quarterback who has played in only one playoff game, in a runaway with 53% of the votes to Joe Flacco’s 23.5%, despite his 7-4 playoff record. Even Matt Ryan, who won his first playoff game this weekend, was ahead of the Ravens’ quarterback.
Another ESPN headline called the Patriots “clear favorites” because of Tom Brady, neglecting to bring up the fact that Joe Flacco outplayed Brady in last year’s AFC Championship game and just did the same to Peyton Manning.
So why all of the Ravens hate? What have the Ravens done to be so disliked? While I can’t tell you the answer, I can tell you that the answer doesn’t matter. The Ravens went against all odds this week and shocked the world. I’m willing to believe that they’ll do it again this Sunday.
“…It’s better to be respected than liked. To hell with being liked!” – Ray Lewis