The Real Story Behind Opening 2013 on the Road

Lombardi's Way The Real Story Behind Opening 2013 on the Road

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As he does every year Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti joined us on the set of Ravens Rap in Ocean City, hosted by the Blue Ox Bar and Grille.

Among the topics we discussed during the show was the NFL’s opening night. Bisciotti was quick to point out that Orioles owner Peter Angelos was not at fault and did his best to accommodate the Ravens. The culprits were MLBPA and the Chicago White Sox.

When asked why the league never seriously considered a Wednesday game, Bisciotti explained that after consulting with Baltimore-based attorney Ron Shapiro that his sensitivity to the religious significance of Rosh Hashanah grew and as a result he opted not to pursue the Wednesday game out of respect to Jewish fans of the NFL both locally and league-wide.

When it was clear that Bisciotti would concede the opening night he requested that the next two games be home games for the Ravens. The league conceded and threw in a bonus – the Thanksgiving home game against the Steelers.

Bisciotti was also allowed to choose which road opponent he wanted for the opener from a group of three – the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers were ruled out for the obvious reasons. The Bears were ruled out because the Ravens still harbor resentment towards Chicago for reneging on a draft day deal in 2011 that would have netted them a 4th round pick.

The club settled on Denver.

The Ravens rationalized that Peyton Manning wasn’t always at his best in September and more dangerous later in the season. They also believed that they could get their longest team flight out of the way early followed by a 10 day rest and two home games.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Back to that 2011 draft day trade that never happened with the Chicago Bears…

The Ravens had the 26th pick and the Bears the 29th. The teams agreed to swap first round picks and the price for the Bears to move up was their 4th round pick in the 2011 draft.

With a few minutes remaining to consummate the deal, the Ravens called in the trade but the Bears did not. Eventually the pick clock expired as the Ravens assumed the Bears would call in the trade on their end to conform with league guidelines.

The Chiefs sitting at No. 27 jumped in front of the Ravens and selected Jonathan Baldwin while the Ravens picked Jimmy Smith at 27. The Bears eventually got the guy they wanted all along, Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi. The Bears’ shady stall tactics burn in Bisciotti’s soul.

Roger Goodell intervened and pleaded with the Bears to honor the deal but the Bears refused. The mastermind behind the Bears’ shenanigans was then GM Jerry Angelo who is no longer in the league. What goes around…



All of us at RSR are saddened by Kris Jones’ decision to leave our company, 24×7 Networks to pursue a different career path. Kris was a major contributor to our success over the past 18 months while bringing passion, a great work ethic, humor and creativity to his job every single day.

We wish him and his bride Leigh all the best, and as they venture down a new path along life’s journey we hope that it intersects with ours every now and then.

You will be missed.

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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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