I woke up this morning a bit clouded from last night’s celebration.
Yet I took pause for a moment. Was it only just a dream?
And when I realized it wasn’t my head morphed into one humongous smile.
It really happened.
The Ravens did the unthinkable and shocked the world!
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, previously untouchable in AFC Championship Games at Gillette Stadium; 67-0 at home when leading at halftime – SHOT DOWN IN FLAMES by the underdog Baltimore Ravens.
Trailing at the break 13-7, you could sense that the Ravens had yet to put their best foot forward while the Patriots failed to capitalize on far superior field position, struggling to produce big plays.
And when the Ravens eventually did put their best foot forward in a very physical way, they shutout Brady & Company in the second half while adding 3 scoring tosses from game MVP Joe Flacco.
Nevermind that the officiating in this league remains substandard and these league darlings continue to get preferential treatment.
Nevermind that the league protects Brady like he’s the second coming.
Nevermind that the league’s favorite son can go into a slide with his feet up in the air, kick a defender and not be penalized.
Nevermind that the broadcasting duo of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms had the collective enthusiasm of a couple in desperate need of anti-depressants. Simms has always had his lips firmly planted on Brady’s hind part and our friends at Baltimore Sports Report reminded us that two of Nantz’ guests this summer at his wedding were none other than Brady and Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft.
Forget it all. Instead let’s focus on how the Ravens, treated like they were brought up on the wrong side of the NFL tracks, punched the anointed one right in the mouth leaving him stunned and sitting on the bench as stoically as a 5-year-old on timeout.
And then when all was said and done, Belichick and Brady dashed off to the locker room to jumpstart their little pity party, dodging reporters who wanted the Patriots’ Batman & Robin to weigh in with their postgame thoughts.
Thelma and Louise have bigger stones than those two.
At the end of the day, who cares really? What matters is that the Ravens are one step away from accomplishing what less than 5 weeks ago seemed like the unthinkable – to win Super Bowl XLVII.
Beaten by many for having an aging, downtrodden and sub-standard defense uncommon for the Baltimore Ravens.
Criticized for firing Cam Cameron.
And their leader, Ray Lewis, picked apart by analysts and so-called experts for the skills he’s lost instead of the uncommon leadership, intelligence, resilience and inspired commitment.
Ray Lewis, ridiculed by clueless fans and irresponsible media hacks who recklessly insinuate he’s a murderer when the man has done more for his community in a day than they’ve collectively done in their lives.
But we don’t mind. Not really. We know better and we like it this way.
Being an underdog is part of the DNA of a Baltimorean.
We embrace it and so does our favorite team.
Watch out world, the Ravens are 4 ½ point underdogs in Super Bowl XLVII.
And here in Baltimore we know what that means.
The wildest dreams can come true.