One of my more embarrassing moments since starting Ravens24x7.com back in 2003 took place in April of 2005. But to fully comprehend the mess I created I must start with something that took place in April, 2004.
Just before the NFL was set to release its 2004 schedule I received a call from a friend who had a friend with a friend who worked in the league offices in New York. The friend thrice removed was willing to share the Ravens schedule.
“Do you want it?”, I was asked rhetorically (I think).
“Of course I do!”
The schedule was faxed to me, back in the day when fax machines were used a bit more and worked better than the one used by Elvis Dumervil’s former agent.
I took the sheet off the fax as though I had just received the Dead Sea scrolls, loaded the schedule on to our site and off it went…
It didn’t take long for word to get out and someone called into WNST to let them know we had the schedule.
The site’s traffic reached an all-time high. It was a good day.
Fast-forward to April 2005 and I receive the same call who had the same friend with his 3 degrees of separation.
The golden fax arrived and I proudly put the schedule to an audience that was 400% bigger thanks in part to the fax from 2004.
But this fax was different. The 2005 fax didn’t have the “facts”.
Every single game including the bye week was wrong. I didn’t think that was even mathematically possible.
Making matters worse I had to be told by the Ravens that it was wrong. Having established a bit of a schedule reputation from the previous season, site visitors took our newly published schedule as gospel.
The Ravens switchboard received calls from angry suite holders who were promised early schedule details, details that they would use to plan their season of suite usage and allocate tickets to their key customers.
My “Schedule-Gate” created unnecessary drama for the team and forced me into an early retirement from the schedule business.
But that said, it’s ok to guess and I’m guessing that since the Orioles are on the road on September 7 and September 28 and at home September 14 and September 21 that the Ravens first four games, barring a Thursday or Monday night game, will be home-road-road-home.
With that in mind, please vote on who you think the Ravens will open against.
You have a little over 24 hours.
Oh, and let’s keep this to ourselves…