Lombardi’s Way

Football…it’s more than just a game

Mike Hyde Head
Back in 1996 when the Ravens first marched into town and the NFL returned to its righteous place, Baltimore didn’t quite have its football groove. Tailgating wasn’t quite the art form then that it is now in Charm City and how to be the best 12th man wasn’t quite understood. Time has changed all of that for the better – much better. Today, two Super Bowl Championships, 4 AFC Championship games and 9 playoff appearances later we’ve grown as a football community and because of football and the Baltimore Ravens,...

Leadership Is NOT One of The Ravens Concerns

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The question of leadership or the lack thereof has been bantered about quite a bit over the past few days since Ray Lewis said what he said on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown. “We talk about the transition of losing so many guys, a guy like myself and Ed Reed and other guys that are based off leadership, I’ve said it earlier: ‘Where would the leadership come from?’ Because the leadership being strong in the locker room and winning games, listen — talent sometimes can win you games. But when you...

The City That Reeds

Reed Super Bowl
It’s interesting how many Ravens fans quickly dismiss Ed Reed as a player who chased the money. Instead of finishing his career as a life-long Raven, they reason that he was greedy and sold out. Sound familiar? If this describes you, you’re wrong! Reed had little choice but to move on because for all intents and purposes the Ravens didn’t really make an offer. If the man wanted to continue playing and his then current employer made no offer, why should he be blamed for moving on? And now that...

Now THAT’S One SUPER Fan!

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Recently I was asked to think of a super Ravens fan. The “super fan” I was told could not be one of those Hall of Fame fans that you’ve come to know and love like Sports Steve, Poetic Justice, Purple Dame, Captain Defense and the rest of those wonderfully crazed people. It didn’t take me long to come up with my choice – Marlyn Pietruszka. Miss Mar as I so affectionately call her, is well into her golden years and bumping up against the age of 80. I’m somewhat embarrassed...

Ray Lewis

Ray practice field
Ray Lewis. The mere mention of his name triggers emotion. Outside of Baltimore, Lewis is loathed and called names too unsavory for these pages. Within Baltimore he is placed upon a pedestal on par with the city’s most iconic sports figures – Unitas, Robinson and Ripken. Yet Ray is different. Our heroes of the past didn’t willingly embrace being the face of a franchise. For them it was a byproduct of doing their jobs well on and off the field. Lewis didn’t just accept the moniker – he owned it...

TERRELL SUGGS: “Let’s not kid ourselves…”

Terrell Suggs Not Kid Ourselves
Who are the 2013 Baltimore Ravens? Besides the natural response of defending Super Bowl Champions, the next best answer may be, “TBD.” To Be Determined… On defense the Ravens have talent that dwarfs that of last season. Of course there’s better depth, vital to enduring the grind of the long season. But a quick look around the starting 11 reveals a rather significant upgrade. Chris Canty, Marcus Spears and Brandon Williams are substantial improvements over the 2012 rotation that included a starter, one year removed from football and from tipping...

It’s Way Too Early to Give up on Dallas Clark

Clark Moore
If Dallas Clark was a marketable security, investors might just cut their losses and take what they could get. That adds up to a buyer’s market and yours truly would be one of them. I’d load up on Clark! Before you accuse me of taking a long trip on the Pineapple Express, let’s take a step back for a moment… Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell has aspirations to become a head coach again. His ambitions hinge on his success in Baltimore where he has a very good quarterback to prove to...

VERY SUPERSTITIOUS!

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The Ravens loss to the Denver Broncos on the NFL’s opening night seems like it happened about a month ago. As fans we’ve had to live with that debacle of a third quarter and suffer through the national media already throwing dirt on the grave of the Ravens 2013 season. Had the Ravens won, it may seem like it happened just yesterday. The glow of that victory in the national spotlight may have been reminiscent of a postseason win. And if I had only worn my lucky shirt – the...

IT’S PREDICTION TIME: Ravens v. Browns

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Ravens v. Browns, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD Ravens favored by 6 ½; over/under 43 ½   No matter how good or bad divisional rivals are, the familiarity usually paves the way to a competitively fought game. Such will be the case when the Baltimore Ravens host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at The Bank. The Ravens are struggling with an identity crisis on offense. The toughness and attitude provided by the physicality of departed wide receiver Anquan Boldin has been replaced by finesse and undefined roles. As a result...

Kruger Returns and Predicts Intensity

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Disrespected! In a word that sums up Paul Kruger’s feeling towards the Baltimore Ravens. Ozzie Newsome from the beginning of free agency barely lifted a finger to retain the services of the developing pass rush specialist. The lack of interest suggested that Ozzie already knew that Kruger would attract suitors who would shower the former Ute with millions and effectively remove him from consideration for “right player, right price.” Despite a five year, $40 million contract, Kruger will apparently return to Baltimore with an axe to grind and something to...

Pay It Forward!

Marines RSR
When you stop and reflect back upon September 11, 2001 it’s so difficult not to be humbled by the enormity of that disastrous morning. We all remember where we were and what we felt while watching the events unfold. Initially it seemed like an accident but soon it became apparent that our country was under attack. The surrealism was numbing. Lives were lost. Families were broken. A nation was severely wounded. Twelve years have come and gone and while collectively we say that we’ll never forget – sometimes we do....

JOHN HARBAUGH PRESSER: A Parody

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The world of sports media consists of two separate yet equally important groups: “real” media, which often pays for privileged access, and the “unreal” media, free of any agenda and representing the fans. ~ Random fan site owner who admires Law & Order   John Harbaugh: Good to see everybody. Thanks for coming. We just finished some preparations for the Browns. Obviously, we’ll be moving through that throughout the course of the week. We’re excited to do so, and we’re ready to move on. Bo Plutonium: What exactly happened or...

The Ravens “Other” Brown Paying Dividends

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It’s no secret that Ozzie Newsome and The Baltimore Ravens have had their fair share of misses when it comes to drafting wide receivers. They struck out on first-rounders Travis Taylor and Mark Clayton. Other mid-round picks like Devard Darling, Marcus Smith, Demetrius Williams and Tandon Doss never fared much better. Two (Smith and Doss) in 4 full seasons totaled 7 catches for 123 yards (all belonging to Doss). In fact when you add up the career statistics of these disappointing players as Ravens and then compare their combined stats...

Ravens Roster Configuration Leaves Team Vulnerable

Jacoby Hurt
The Baltimore Ravens started their season in nightmarish fashion losing to the Denver Broncos by the score of 49-27, led by seven TD passes from future Hall of Famer and arguably the game’s best ever regular season quarterback, Peyton Manning. It happens sometimes. It has happened in the past. Back in 1969 during week 2 of the season, the Baltimore Colts fresh off a bitter defeat at the hands of the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, were thrashed by the Minnesota Vikings by the score of 52-14. Quarterback...

Hey Ravens Fans, Come Down From the Ledge!

Joe Flacco
The opening game of an NFL season holds hope and promise. As each team takes the field across the board every one without exception has Super Bowl aspirations. Some are legit, others are mere fantasies. When opening day arrives, all of the expectations crystalize on the field. To many that first game sets the stage for what the rest of the season will be like. This morning, how many of you said, “It’s going to be a long season?” Relax! It’s one game. The teams that performed well in week...

It’s Time to Defend a Title

Flacco Trophy SB
It has been 214 days since the confetti, dressed in purple, black and gold, tumbled from the ceiling of the Superdome in New Orleans and upon the newly crowned champions – The Baltimore Ravens. As fans we’ve basked in the glow that goes with the title. Civic pride stands tall as does that highly coveted piece of hardware from Tiffany’s – The Lombardi, kissed by our coaches and our players, resting comfortably in a magnificent mahogany trophy case at team headquarters. It represents history, enriches our legacy, strengthens our heritage...

Ravens Will Get The Last Laugh

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Disrespect. It is a word used regularly as a means to an end – to amp up the level of motivation for a player, a team, or both. It has become a rallying cry of sorts around the NFL, employed by those who feel they aren’t properly admired or held in high enough esteem. Such feelings crystalize and they develop into a collective chip on the shoulder propelling determination, perseverance and endurance. Disrespect a team regularly and they develop an us-against-the-world mentality. And that can become a galvanizing force for...

Trade Winds About to Blow Through Ravens Headquarters?

Jacoby doo rag
By 4PM today the Ravens will trim 10 more players from their roster to get down to the league mandated 53. And while those players still left standing can stop waiting to exhale, those on the bottom of the roster are still at risk. In other words the cutdown to 53 today isn’t necessarily the final 53. There will be more change. The Ravens are thin at cornerback – dangerously thin. Ozzie Newsome has long said that a team can’t have enough good corners yet the Ravens have a total...

Ravens Will be Better in 2013

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Tonight is the final dress rehearsal – the preseason curtain call. In one week the Ravens will officially begin their defense of the title as the reigning Super Bowl Champions. I’m asked often what I expect from this season’s team. And it’s interesting how the question is presented or phrased. It’s almost as if the questioner winces a bit anticipating a not so pleasant answer. They then look surprised when I respond… The Ravens will be better in 2013! Yes I do realize that they are the champs but being...

After The Ravens Win SB XLVIII…

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The NFL’s opening night is just 10 days away and while some might head to the Inner Harbor on September 5 to enjoy Keith Urban’s 45-minute float down a lazy river and accept it as a consolation prize, most of us will be angrily champing at the bit knowing that Baltimore should be hosting the game. The NFL can spin this any way they want. They can point their finger at MLB. Roger Goodell can pretend to discreetly insinuate that it’s all Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos’ fault. Well for...