On Saturday The Sun’s Peter Schmuck posted an article explaining why the Ravens might soon induct Dennis Pitta into the team’s Ring of Honor.
I like Pitta, but when will this ROH madness stop? https://t.co/EEbtTSgPX7
— Tony Lombardi (@RSRLombardi) June 17, 2017
Of course, anyone with a morsel of compassion feels bad for Pitta. He’s a very good football player, a contributor to the community, devoted family man and all-around good guy. It’s hard not to root for him.
But all of those things don’t add up to a free spot on the ROH bingo card!
Without question, Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed belong. One is already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the other two are locks for busts in Canton, OH. Matt Stover belongs because he’s a borderline Hall of Famer (although he’ll never make it). Art Modell belongs for obvious reasons and Todd Heap is deserving for being a multi-time Pro Bowler who could have been so much more if his body wasn’t exposed to so many jarring hits — the result of bad quarterback play.
Yes, Kyle Boller, I’m looking at you.
But that’s it.
Many have argued that Brian Billick belongs and one day he might get in. But he left behind a trail of broken glass and would never have been mistaken for Mr. Congeniality when he was given his pink slip. Keep in mind he had 4 years remaining on a 5-year deal at roughly $5 million per. You know he had to tick off a lot of people for owner Steve Bisciotti to eat that kind of coin. But time does heal wounds.
As for Pitta, inducting him into the ROH is a little too much like participation trophies in T-ball. It cheapens the award for the deserving.
That said, I will fondly remember Pitta and a few of his shining moments:
• That diving catch in the snow bowl against the Vikings – his first game back from his initial hip injury.
• His TD grab in Super Bowl 47
• The clutch reception against the Broncos in overtime during the 2013 Divisional Playoff game. Facing a third-and-13 from their own 3-yard line in overtime, Pitta hauled in a 24-yard pass from Joe Flacco to help the Ravens flip the field. Failure to make that catch could have denied the opportunity for a Super Bowl Championship.
• After being de-cleated by a vicious head shot from Jerod Mayo in the 2012 AFC Championship Game, Pitta bounced back up and caught a touchdown on the very next play to stake the Ravens to a 14-13 lead, a lead they would never relinquish on their way to a Super Bowl 47 berth.
Dennis Pitta will be remembered for these clutch plays and more, and he will always occupy a place in the collective heart of Ravens Nation.
But a place in the Ring of Honor?
Not so much…