Don’t Be That Fan Who Winds Up Hating The Team
Please forgive me for what I’m about to do, but I think some of you need it.
And, admittedly, I’m in a different position than a lot of you, which is probably why it’s easier for me to do this than it would be for you and your tailgating buddies.
First, let’s do the full disclosure thing. I’m NOT a Ravens ticket holder. I never have been, in fact. While I was on the radio in town (2002-2014), I had a media credential that allowed me access to every game and my son wasn’t born until 2007, so for a while there was no real reason for me to buy a ticket or PSL anyway. Now that I’m no longer on the air and my 8-year old boy is a Ravens nut, I’m likely going to be looking into buying season tickets at some point either next season or in 2017.
So, unlike many of you reading this, I do not have any true “sweat equity” in the Ravens. I was an Orioles 29-game plan holder this past season and I know what it’s like to be, literally, “invested” in the team. I also know the difference between spending your money on tickets and having an opinion and not spending your money and having an opinion. They ARE different.
I’m afraid we’re in for a long season of football here in Baltimore, one that we haven’t seen in the John Harbaugh-Joe Flacco era – thankfully. We’ve had some glorious moments with those two and the rest of the team(s) since 2008, and there will be more winning and more glory to come, of that I’m certain. But this year, it appears, is going to be a disappointing one.
I picked the team to go 9-7 and miss the playoffs back in August when RSR asked me for my thoughts on the 2015 team. I cited two main reasons; no overall quality at the wide receiver position and a lack of team depth. It looks like I was wrong. They’re probably not going to go 9-7. Or 8-8 for that matter. Right now, I’d say 7-9 would be a monumental accomplishment for this year’s edition of the Ravens, given that they’re already 1-4 and getting crushed with semi-key injuries every Sunday.
And you know what?
I’m OK with it.
Really, I am.
Sure, I’ll be watching every game still and opining on it all at my daily sports blog – Drew’s Morning Dish – just like you all will be watching every minute of every game and offering your insight here at Tony’s outstanding Ravens website. I’m not going to start playing golf on Sunday afternoon and missing the games just because the team isn’t going anywhere in 2015. It’s football. They’re the Ravens. I’m not abandoning them now, or ever, just because they’re losing some games.
I hope you won’t, either. You’d be missing something very special, something we DIDN’T have from 1984 through 1995. I took my eight year old son to his first game on Sunday (yeah, I know, what an indoctrination, huh?) and we had a freakin’ blast together. If he thinks he’ll never forget it, imagine what I think. As I sat there on a sun-splashed day, eight rows from the field, watching his eyes light up with excitement and answering questions that were much more “smart” in nature than I might have suspected, I remembered why having a football team is so important in our city.
We love having a team because it brings people together.
Your tailgate area is made up of your best friends in the world. You might have met your wife there. Your kids might even tailgate with you now. Ten times every year (if you can stomach the pre-season game) you get to hang out with the best people you know and create awesome memories and friendships.
Yes, we’d like the team to win. They have, in fact. A lot. You might even remember this little game they play every year called the Super Bowl. That’s when the best team from the AFC plays the best team from the NFC and the winner of that one game is the champion football team of the world. The BALTIMORE Ravens won that game a couple of years ago. We even had a parade for the guys.
No one can win forever, unless you’re Ronda Rousey. Even the greats like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, three of the best quarterbacks we’ve seen in the last 25 years, have but one Super Bowl ring each. Winning in the NFL is hard. It takes good drafting, sharp player development, excellent coaching and a whole lot of luck. In 2000 and 2012, the Ravens had all of that going for them. This year, they don’t have much of it.
But don’t let the losing spoil the season for you. Go to the games, tailgate your butt off (responsibly, of course), wear your purple and get in that stadium and support your team. Be the guy (or gal) who doesn’t let a bad season ruin your perspective on things. While others around you are complaining and threatening to never come again, stand out in the crowd and proclaim “I’m with them – win or lose.”
It’s never fun to lose, admittedly. They’ve done so little of it in the Harbaugh-Flacco era that what we saw last Sunday — when the Browns came to town and beat us — was like having Gilligan take our high school prom date from us. It just CAN’T happen.
Well, I have bad news, guys. Gilligan might be in San Francisco next Sunday. And in Phoenix the following Monday, too.
You better get used to seeing him dancing with your prom date.
But just keeping smiling.
Another pretty girl is right around the corner.