Fran The Fan

Final Word (I Think) on Ray Rice’s Suspension

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We received a lot of push back from Ravens and NFL Fans not happy about what they believe to be a light-handed suspension given to Ray Rice (2 games, $500,000+). Some followers were nasty after I posted the following Tweets: Ray Rice’s suspension announced…check; overreaction from everyone…check; time to move on…TBD. Time 2 focus upon the field #Ravens — Russell St. Report (@RussellStReport) July 25, 2014   Haters gonna hate. The overreaction is to Rice’s suspension. When has Goodell ever given anyone a break? Ever think that he has more...

It’s the Steelers Again

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The season will continue– or effectively end – on Thanksgiving Losers of 4 of their last 5 games, the Ravens achieved a surprisingly easy victory over the New York Jets that was, in retrospect, an absolute must win against a conference rival they have dominated for the past 16 years. Why surprising? Because this 2013 season has shown fans that we have no idea what Ravens team is going to show up on any given Sunday. Just because they’re expected to win, it doesn’t mean they will (Exhibit A and...

Back to Square D

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  Ravens playoff chances once again ride on the defense An old adage (I don’t know who the author is) goes that “War is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.” You could say that, to a certain extent, yesterday’s Ravens game followed that formula. It was 30 minutes of exhilaration as the Ravens took their first comfortable half time lead since the Texans’ game, followed by another 30 minutes of offensive boredom and ineptitude that allowed the Bengals to creep back into striking distance, punctuated by...

Confessions of a Ravens Worry Wart

Me Worry
Ravens fans barely had a chance to bask in the glow of a second Super Bowl win before the team was seemingly dismantled, right before our eyes. After Joe Flacco signed his cap-friendly contract, I had visions of the Ravens extending Anquan Boldin, resigning Dannell Ellerbe, Ed Reed, and Bryant McKinnie, and cutting Vonta Leach, Brendan Ayanbadejo, Jameel McClain and Mount Cody, all the while bidding a fond farewell and best wishes to Cary Williams, Paul Kruger, Ray Lewis and Matt Birk. Only the last four transactions happened. Not only...

Flacco Leaving the Ravens is Pure Science Fiction

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A Writer’s Fantasy S.I.’s Peter King ignites an internet furor over Joe Flacco’s future with the Ravens In his Sports Illustrated.com column Monday morning, senior NFL writer Peter King ignited a fire storm of speculation concerning whether the Ravens will or will not pay, will or will not or franchise, Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.  It quickly made cannon fodder for many NFL analysts, web sites, and cable shows. After listening to the Ravens State of the Team press conference, King decided that Ozzie Newsome, while declaring the Ravens were...

Time to Add Another Trophy to Harbaugh’s Mantle?

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Cleaning out the Closet It’s been a week since that fantastic Super Bowl win and the glow still lingers.  While we continue to wait for Jim Harbaugh to publicly congratulate his brother on winning Super Bowl 47 here are a fan’s insights on the season, the playoffs, and the Super Bowl. I think there are 3 events that enabled the Ravens fabulous run to the Super Bowl: 1)     the firing of Cam Cameron, 2)     The foot injury to Jah Reed, and 3)     The game-tying TD pass to Jacoby Jones in...

Super Bowl Media Day Meanderings

Ed Reed Media Day
In honor of Super Bowl Media Day, here are some takes on recent football stories as well as the latest Ray controversy. News Item:  Patriots coach Bill Belichick blows off the AFC Championship post-game interview with CBS’ Steve Tasker.  It goes unnoticed until the Hoodie is pointedly called out by Shannon Sharpe on the CBS post game show. A Fan’s Take:  Long version – its bull when Belicheat apologists insist that fans should expect nothing more from the notoriously taciturn Hoodie. Short version – sore loser. Second Take:  Considering that...

One Last Dance

Last Dance
Nobody does it better Today’s game will be 150% on the emotion meter. It would have been awesome enough to see former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano return to the Purple Vault as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, fresh off a scary, but successful battle against leukemia, but even that remarkable event has been superseded by the imminent retirement of Mr. Raven, Ray Lewis.  Both will make this an unforgettable event. Regardless of how one feels about seeing the old horseshoes back in town (there are still tons of...

Here Come the Nay-Sayers

Tyrod Taylor v Bengals
The Ravens did well to rest their starters – as long as it doesn’t backfire on Sunday As Tony Lombardi so aptly noted in his game column (The Good, the Bad, and the Megan Fox), the Ravens closed out the 2012 regular season by playing their 5th preseason game of the year, closing out the 2012 regular season with a 23-17 defeat in Cincinnati. I had no problems with John Harbaugh resting the walking wounded.  When I saw the text of the Ravens inactives on my cell phone I realized Harbs...

Who Do You Want for a Ravens opponent in January?

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The outcome of 4 AFC Games this weekend can have a significant impact on the January playoff schedule. The Jekyll and Hyde Baltimore Ravens did it again.  Forecast as a 2-3 point home underdog and picked by most national analysts to lose the game, the Ravens put together 60 minutes of solid football to easily beat the New York Giants 33-14 last Sunday and send the defending Super Bowl champs to the brink of an early off season.   The victory allowed the Ravens to clinch the AFC North for the...

Reality Check Time for Ravens

The Ravens finally ran out of horseshoes For the better part of this season the Baltimore Ravens have been playing and winning with horseshoes. Not the kind the Baltimore Colts left behind when they moved to Indianapolis 28 years ago. Lucky horseshoes. It has made for a storybook season so far and, to this point, the ‘shoes have been mostly ringers and leaners. How else do you explain the wins against New England, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Diego – all games the Ravens arguably should have lost? But horseshoes...

Ravens play down to their competition…AGAIN!

Harbaugh Chiefs
A Disconcerting Trend It’s been 4 days since the near-debacle at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City and I still can’t get the bad taste out of my mouth.  What should have been a cakewalk against a 1-3 Chiefs team that, incidentally, should have been 0-4, turned into a nail biter. It’s hard to believe that in the 21st Century two NFL teams could play 60 minutes of football in picture-perfect weather and not score a touchdown.  And throw only 45 passes TOTAL between the two teams.  If that had been any...

An Instant Classic

Flacco v Patriots September 23 2012
Hollywood Couldn’t Write This Script In what could be argued as being the most pulsating, heart-stopping game in M&T Bank Stadium history, the Baltimore Ravens snatched victory – by the smallest of margins and by the merest of inches of a goal post upright – from the jaws of defeat as they finally bested their long-time regular season nemesis, the New England Patriots. At first I wasn’t sure the game would even be competitive.  When word broke late Sunday morning that Torrey Smith had lost his brother the night before,...

Flacco “Elite” talk is wasted breath

Flacco Brady AFC Championship Game
News and Notes from a Fan’s Perspective A Tale of Two Joes The Talk of Flacco as an Elite Quarterback is Useless & Counterproductive Elite: Noun.  (Often used with a plural verb)  Persons of the highest class.  Only the elite were there.  Adjective: The choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons.  He’s one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. Elite can be an objective or subjective term, sometimes defined with data and statistics, other times as what is simply in the...

The Elephant in the Room

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As the regular season approaches, every team has its share of nagging question marks.  The Ravens are no exception.  How will they adequately replace Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson?  Will Paul Kruger be as good on rush defense as he is on rushing the passer? (Answer – not yet.)  What about the patchwork quilt known as the offensive line?  Together with the loss of Suggs and Johnson, the heretofore ageless Ray Lewis turns 37 and Ed Reed hits 34.  Is this the year the Ravens elite defense finally takes a...

Ravens, NFL QUICK SLANTS

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Welcome to April.  We’ve had an early spring, and the 2012 NFL Draft is just around the corner.  The football juices are cranked up again.  I’m over that brutal loss to the Patriots, even if Steve Bisciotti isn’t.  It’s been an interesting off season and here are some quick slants on what’s been going on in the NFL since the Super Bowl.  News Item:  New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was “speechless” over the suspension of Saints head coach Sean Payton for his part in the Saints’ bounty scheme and...

HOUSE CLEANING

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The Super Bowl is over, the players are off for a couple of months, coaching staffs are busy evaluating draft picks, the front office is plotting roster moves, and we Ravens fans are left to ruminate on WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN.  It’s time to do a little spring cleaning, to empty the in-box of NFL tidbits, odds n’ ends, and quirky football news from around the NFL.  So without further ado…. Talking Heads:  I sometimes listen to ESPN’s Mike & Mike in Morning on my work computer.  OK, I have...

Changes are Coming

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I waited a few days to write this column, following what was for all Ravens fans one of the bitterest losses ever suffered by a Baltimore sport team.  It helped that I had to leave for Atlanta on business early Monday morning, sparing me what I was told later was several days of excruciating Baltimore radio sports talk.  It’s all a matter of perspective; my colleagues in the Southland, Falcons fans all, said to me “Your team went to the Conference Championship game and you’re complaining?”   Well, let me...

No Fear Factor

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Fran the Fan  The Ravens beat a tough Houston Texans in a tight, tense game that, after a blow-out 1st quarter, turned out to be much closer than the final score indicated.  I listened to the radio broadcast from my end zone seat and Gerry Sandusky accurately gauged the mood and emotions of what was the largest crowd in Ravens’ history.  Things were tense and anxious.  The Texans were beating the Ravens on both sides of the ball.  Comments on the Ravens’ play-calling flew back and forth.  The inability of...

Divisional Weekend Picks

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OK, I admit that I blew the wild card games last week.  The two teams I got right (Saints and Texans) won by wider than predicted margins, and I was simply smoked on the other two.  The Falcons were totally dominated by the Giants, and the Steelers were too banged up to compete against the Tebow Karma.  Good thing I don’t make a living at this prediction stuff. Before I get into this weekend’s games, I have to note two items:  First a word for Ravens fans who’ll be attending...