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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 same one that I wore on last year’s opening day, things would have been SO much different. Especially if I hadn’t washed all the winning karma off it, you know?

Look that shirt could have changed history. Perhaps Dallas Clark holds on to that perfectly spun pass from Joe Flacco towards the end of the first half and maybe John Harbaugh challenges that obvious drop by Wes Welker. That shirt, that dirty shirt cost the Ravens sole possession of first in the AFC North.

Instead all four teams are tied for first – or last depending upon if you are a glass half full or empty kind of fan, at (0-1).

Seriously, these thoughts I’m ashamed to admit, enter my mind as a fan of local sports.

I’ve gone over to friends’ homes to watch games and when things are going well for the Ravens I insist that everyone remain exactly where they are. Why flirt with good mojo right?

Two seasons ago several of us gathered at Will’s home when the Ravens were in Cincinnati. Will, upon returning to his lucky end of the couch accidentally sat on the remote and the TV went black – just before Matt Birk snapped it to Joe Flacco.



Surely this was a voodoo move that dwarfed black cats and beer from Pittsburgh.

This was a life altering, bone-headed mistake! This was Lee Evans in the AFC Championship!

Quickly I jumped up from my chair, perfectly positioned behind the couch to yield maximum good fortune. It is the same seat I chose when the Ravens manhandled the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card game the season before.

Like a blitzing linebacker I dashed to the kitchen TV to avoid missing a single play.

On that very next snap, Ray Rice broke free for a 51-yard touchdown run to help secure the Ravens 24-16 victory. There’s NO WAY  he does that without me watching!

Thank God for that kitchen TV. The Ravens almost certainly would have fallen in a bitter defeat.

Back in 2008, the Ravens played tomorrow’s opponent, the lowly Cleveland Browns. Midway through the 3rd quarter, the Ravens had fallen behind 27-13. I sat, zapped of any energy – nearly melted into the corner of my couch, devoured by despair.

My dear mother-in-law was our guest that day and she watched how this game absolutely tortured me.

So she quietly meandered into the kitchen and turned on our TV in there to watch another game being shown on FOX. She could take no more of the debacle unfolding before us.

Mom probably thought I didn’t notice her seemingly stealth exodus, but I did and ready to grasp for any morsel of hope I wondered if her new location in our humble abode would somehow change the game in a plus way for the Ravens.


Down by 7.

Dear mother-in-law then had the audacity to think that she could leave the kitchen and rejoin us in the living room.

No-no-no-NO! You stay in there!

And so she did…

TOUCHDOWN Derrick Mason! Tie ball game!

My wife and son and I were jumping up and down. We could smell blood and all of this had to do with my wife’s BEAUTIFUL MOMMA selflessly leaving the room. I love that woman!

The Ravens went on to win 37-27. Game ball to Momma Roche!

That said, the collateral damage of this win still resonates. My mother-in-law scarred by my superstitions which are really symptomatic of a bigger problem of mine while watching the Ravens – Football Tourette’s, can no longer watch the games live. Seriously!

She now DVR’s every game and then the following day, with perfect knowledge of the game’s outcome, she will watch it in its entirety completely relaxed.

Now THAT would drive me insane, but it works for her and hey, the Ravens won a Super Bowl last season so if she changes her M.O. and Harbaugh & Co. fail to repeat, I know who to blame.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and watch the end of Gladiator.

The last several times I’ve done so before a Ravens v. Browns game the good guys won and you never mess with the juju!

What game day superstition best describes you?


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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 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 and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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