Looking Back on a Summer Tradition
Training camp at McDaniel College was in many ways an annual right of passage for fans, transitioning mindsets from summer to fall. It was once a tradition but now just a memory. Press play for a trip down memory lane or read the transcript below.
Recently I posted an older blog on Flashback Friday that revisited the topic of Ravens training camp at McDaniel College. For some it was like picking at a scab that still hasn’t quite fully healed.
There was something very nostalgic about those trips out Route 140 and into the inviting arms of Westminster, Maryland. The old-fashioned family restaurant Baugher’s, the rolling hills and the rural setting served as a picturesque slice of Americana detached from the city’s hustle and bustle.
But like most things that advance with technology there is collateral damage.
In exchange for creature comforts we sacrifice charm. In exchange for modern conveniences intended to accelerate the pace of life we forget to slow down, soak things in and absorb part of our past. Somehow the innocence of simplicity is lost, replaced by new engineering.
I have always compared McDaniel to the baseball field carved out of the cornfields of Iowa in the movie, “A Field of Dreams.” Those hazy, hot days of July and August when fans took a day off work to sit in the wooden bleachers just like many of their parents and grandparents did years ago when Baltimore was the home of the Colts.
It’s easy to imagine these words from James Earl Jones applying to McDaniel.
“They will find they have reserved seats somewhere along the baselines where they sat when they were children. And cheer their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters.”
The NFL’s newest collective bargaining agreement changed all that. It limits the time players can spend on the field so in order to maximize every second of that time practices must be extremely efficient – efficiencies that McDaniel just can’t provide to allow the Ravens to effectively compete.
We have the memories of those good old days. Those they can’t take away.
Some of us have pictures, proof that we were there during the good old days.
And as much as we’d like to, you can’t go back and do it all over.
Today you just have to wait to see if the lottery process gets you a seat on a more modern bench in Owings Mills.