Simon Treating Clash with Boyhood Team as a “Business Trip”

John Simon

Having grown up as a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ravens rookie linebacker John Simon knows to tread lightly when speaking about his former favorite team, which happens to be current his employer’s biggest rival.

Draft day must have been a little awkward.

Due to the logjam of pass rushing talent in front of him, Simon has been unable to really put much on display for Ravens fans. Simon has been primarily delegated to cutting his teeth in a special teams role before he can seriously throw his name into contention for playing time at outside linebacker.

Chances are, Simon won’t be a major factor on Sunday, but that doesn’t take away the story of a football fan having the opportunity to play so close to home in the stadium of the team he rooted for growing up. Unfortunately, given the circumstances and the bitter dislike between the Ravens and Steelers – from the locker rooms down to the fan base – Simon essentially pleaded the fifth when it came to saying anything about his interest in Sunday’s opponent.

“It’s exciting, but like I said, I’m a Raven now,” Simon said. “It’ll be nice being close to home and being able to get out there on special teams a little bit.”

“It’ll be surreal for me,” he said.  ”I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help. It’ll be a business trip.”

Simon’s answers today backed up the response he gave me during training camp when I asked him if he owned a terrible towel.

“Burned them, they’re all gone,” Simon said last summer.

Clearly, Simon doesn’t really want to talk about his childhood rooting interest in the Steelers, or even if he cares about them now. He knows that the same people he once cheered with will now be rooting against him on Sunday.

Even though I probably have more negative feelings for the Pittsburgh Steelers than for most other things on this earth, I can’t help but be happy for someone within the Ravens locker room that has the opportunity that Simon will on Sunday. It reminds me a bit of former Ravens wide receiver LaQuan Williams, who got to suit up for his hometown team each and every week (he was even lucky enough to play at M&T Bank Stadium during high school and college).

While it’s obviously a different circumstance – playing FOR your childhood team as opposed to AGAINST them – you still know that Sunday must hold some special meaning for Simon, regardless of his reluctance to admit as much.

Though some reading this will likely never forgive Simon for having waved a Terrible Towel in his past, at least he was born into his allegiance for the black and gold. It’s not like he’s from Idaho or New Mexico (or Maryland); he’s from Youngstown, Ohio, which is just an hour drive from Pittsburgh.

Put aside the Steeler-hate blinders for just a moment – as a fan of football in general, one can’t help but be excited for Simon to have the opportunity to suit up against a team that once meant so much to him. That’s something that many of us could only dream of.

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Kris Jones. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
evden eve nakliyat şirketleri ofis taşımacılığı evden eve nakliye istanbul evden eve nakliyat Şehirlerarası Evden Eve Nakliyat İstanbul Nakliyat Firmaları

Hot off the street

Asa Jackson Stepping Up

After a strong practice Friday, Asa Jackson is making a case to win the job as the Ravens nickel cornerback. It is much too early to say the job belongs to Jackson, with Chykie Brown, Tramain Jacobs, ...read more

CAMP NOTES: Suggs Leads Injury-Depleted Defense

The defense took to the practice field on Friday with a different look than the past few days. The injury bug has bitten the defensive unit hard two weeks into training camp. The Ravens lost rooki...read more

CAMP NOTES: Deonte & Jacoby Put on a Show

On a dreary Friday morning, the Ravens took to the field under cloudy skies for another early practice at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. The battle for the one or possibly two...read more

RAVENS LINKS: Elam the New Vocal Leader

Matt Elam Is Secondary's New Vocal Leader Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com discusses how Matt Elam, with a year under his belt, has stepped up and become the vocal leader of the defense's back end....read more

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Ravens Best/Worst Free Agent Signings

On March 11, 2012 we took a look at the best and worst free agent signings in Ravens history. Over two years later should the lists be modified? Might Elvis Dumervil be among the best? Michael Huff an...read more

View More