This team did to each of us today what they had done to us every game this season. They gave us hope, only to take it away moments later.
The 2013 Baltimore Ravens season ended with an 8-8 record. After all that happened after last year’s Super Bowl Championship, 8-8 should be considered a success. I mean think about it… they lost more starters than any championship team in history, and yet still nearly made the playoffs.
The Ravens were outscored 75-24 in their final two games. They lost eight of their last 10 regular season road games. And for the first time since John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco took over the reins of this team, the Ravens did not make the playoffs. Yes, all very disappointing.
I know that we are a in a “What have you done for me lately” society, so all that matters is right now… and right now we are all disappointed… but when you take a deep breath and a step back and look at what this franchise has accomplished, we should all be proud of our Purple and Black.
With all that goes on in sports today, from parity to free agency and salary caps, the five-year stretch that we just experienced has to be one of the best in the history of Baltimore sports. The Ravens were the only team in the NFL that had made the playoffs each of the last five years. Not even the “mighty Patriots” can claim that.
But more importantly, we can be extremely proud of the franchise that we cheer for. In this century, the Ravens have gone to the playoffs in nine of 12 years, including four AFC Title appearances, and two Super Bowl Championships.
Ask any fan base of any team in any sport if they would take that, and I guarantee you they wouldn’t even have to consider it. They’d take it without hesitation.
Now, it’s very likely that we are going to see a similar off-season to what we witnessed last year. Terell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and other big fan favorites could be salary cap causalities. But (unlike the Orioles) I have all the confidence in the world in the Ravens front office to reload and get us back to the playoffs next season. The centerpieces are there… it’s time to fill in the gaps.
But we’ll have the next eight months to discuss all that. For now, before you put away your Ravens jersey for the winter, take one last look and be proud. The Ravens gave each of us an enjoyable, magical run like few fans in sports get to experience.
THANK YOU RAVENS!