No Time for Bandwagon Fans

Lombardi's Way No Time for Bandwagon Fans

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There are plenty of vacant seats on the Ravens bandwagon.

Spoiled by success, frustrated by unrealistic expectations, fans are dropping off in droves even before the next stop and despite just passing the midway point of the 2013 season.

Intoxicated by a World Championship fans want the buzz to last. They want to hear the Ravens being celebrated throughout the national media. They want that full year of having that “defending champ” persuasion.

But the buzz is gone and only a nasty hangover remains – one that is seemingly getting worse.

It wasn’t supposed to go down this way. Repeating in the NFL is a ridiculously difficult task, but did the Ravens title defense so far have to be so agonizing? The Ravens barely got to wear their shiny bling in its full luster before they began to deal with things like:


  • First defending Super Bowl champ to be 3-5 after 8 decisions
  • Worst rushing average since the merger of the NFL/AFL

It’s akin to Miss America having her crown stripped away after uncompromising photos surfaced on the web.

Ever since the NFL’s opening night escaped to the Rocky Mountain High things just haven’t gone the way we all hoped. They told us our parade was to feature magnificent skies of blue but instead we’ve weathered only rain without an umbrella.

Fans are ticked.

They feel ripped off.

And we’ll all be damned if someone doesn’t take the blame.

Fire Harbaugh! Cam Cameron Part II! Ozzie is losing it!

Bisciotti sold out! Cut Ngata! Rice is done!

And whose idea was it to feature this zone-blocking scheme?

This season has been like the Twilight Zone!


A deep breath and a little perspective, people.

The Ravens didn’t expect things to go down the way they have. Their intentions were all good and they wanted to stave off the wrath of Father Time so that our Super Bowl heroes were not exposed as aging has-beens – long-in-the-tooth champions.

Unfortunately they’ve made a few mistakes that leave them staring at a disappointing record and up at this week’s opponent, the division leading Cincinnati Bengals.

While hardly perfect the Ravens organization is strong, among the game’s best. They will adjust their sails and rediscover their winning ways.

It may not be this year and even if it’s not, let’s remember that not a single one of the other 32 teams has enjoyed the consistent success of the Ravens since John Harbaugh’s arrival.


  • 5 consecutive seasons in the playoffs
  • 3 Conference Championship appearances
  • 1 Super Bowl Title

There are franchises out there with great fan bases that would die to have such creds on their resume.

We can criticize the 2013 season and we should. Such critical thinking is a prerequisite for improvement.

But quitting on the team?

C’mon man!

As bad as it’s been this team, our team has lost 4 games by a total of 14 points. They aren’t that far away. And even if the string is broken and 2013 finds them at home in their recliners during the playoffs, they will be back. They are just too good organizationally not to.

Until then remember your loyalties, your civic pride. Who or what has lifted that pride more than the Ravens?

They are the single-most galvanizing force in the land.

They are akin to family.

And from where I come from, you never go against the family.

Unless of course you’re one of them – those bandwagoners!

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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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