The Last Days as Champions

ravens arrive in New Orleans

One year ago we were basking in the glow of being a Super Bowl participant. Collectively we had a swagger. The Ravens were kings and we their humble servants.

Together we steamrolled the franchise that broke our hearts in 1984, dropped a Mile High Miracle on Denver and carved the Patriots at Gillette Stadium with razor precision.

There was just one more standing in our way in pursuit of another Lombardi – the San Francisco 49ers.

Tens of thousands gathered at The Inner Harbor while many more watched on TV from home or their offices as our town gave the Ravens a raucous send off to New Orleans, site of Super Bowl XLVII.

Dressed for business the Ravens looked relaxed and confident and as they said goodbye and closed out the rally to Ed Reed leading a chorus of “Two Tickets to Paradise” we smiled, we laughed, we sang along and we believed.

And the Ravens delivered.

What a difference a year makes.

This week is the team’s last as defending Super Bowl Champions. The previous 51 weeks have provided many highs and some lows. The 2013 campaign wasn’t what we expected, starting with the season’s opening night, when the Ravens were forced to play on the road in Denver.

They deserved better.

Defending the crown is incredibly difficult in the modern day NFL. The season before is longer and the offseason shorter and laced with the distractions that typically accompany champions. Players leave to cash in on their success. Attrition is a nasty byproduct of reaching the NFL’s pinnacle.

But we all knew this going in.

The challenges are daunting.

We just didn’t expect our team to handle them so clumsily.

Chalk it up to experience and like any good organization the Ravens will get back up, dust themselves off, figure out why they’ve fallen and work diligently to once again be among the dazzling dozen still standing in the post season in 2014.

So as we prepare for Super Bowl XLVIII and enjoy our final few days as defending champions, take solace in the fact that the struggles of the 2013 season will fade over time. What will be remembered most are that championship and that trophy.

They are the indelible marks upon the history books.

They are part of our civic pride and our heritage.

Remember where you were, whom you were with and the incomparable joy you felt.

Look back upon the pictures that captured those moments in time.

They will echo in eternity.


Please share your Super Bowl XLVII memories below…

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured, Lombardi's Way by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

13 Raves on “The Last Days as Champions

  1. Emily Davidson on said:

    I think if Denver wins the Super Bowl, they should have to open their season in Baltimore….only fair…..I think that was the first of many things to go wrong for us this season!!!

  2. JerryB on said:

    We had our shot at back-to-back Super Bowls in 2011 & 2012 and, as much as it would be great to repeat those seasons, the more realistic goal is to make the playoffs EVERY year where, as we know, anything can happen! Frankly, a Super Bowl Championship every 12 years or so isn’t bad either……

  3. RED Raven on said:

    Being in New Orleans for that game was one of the best days of my life. I will always have those memories and they will always be grand. To see the way the Raven nation showed up and paraded down the streed to the dome, with a local marching band leading the way, everyone dancing and and chanting the seven nation army chant, was a spectical to behold. Every last peice of confetti that fell from the dome symbolized the scattered dreams of many a fan, player, and coach alike that assembled to form one of the greatest moments in Baltimore history. As the onld dong goes…”thanks for the memories”

  4. Mike Z on said:

    When season’s end I almost treat it like a player or coach. The Jerseys go to the far left in the closet until next season. I will keep a hat and sweatshirt out for winter, but for most the season is over.

    If it ends before the Super Bowl, I will pick my horse for the Playoffs (49ers and the OTHER Harbaugh)
    If that team does not make it, I pick another horse, because after all football is football.

    After that I look to the team and what they may lose, and need. Then I look at the free agency possibilities. Then the draft. Then wait until August.

    I am a Raven’s fan, and this is my team, win or lose. We had a great run coming off of 5-11 season in 2007. But for those that say that run is over because we were 8-8, are dead wrong. Since that 5-11 season we have not had a losing season.

  5. PG County Raven on said:

    Great 5 year run that’s never been done! We needed a year to strategically plan the next few years as the seeds were planted after the Super Bowl win by Steve: continue to remain competitive while preparing for a serious run in 2015. We’re reloading! We’re reloading!

    • Mike Z on said:

      Exactly. Everyone acts like the wheels fell off of the bus because we were 8-8. Honestly I felt the biggest thing missing was fire. Well, inconsistency of having it. Some weeks they had it, some didn’t. That makes a difference in close games. We lost too many close games.

      Reboot, reload, restock and bring it back next season.

  6. Max Cady on said:

    For a team that was ranked 28th and lower in most offensive category’s, going 8-8 was a huge accomplishment, tells me the D is back, 2 or 3 more key players on offense with this new D, and you might see a force again.

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