Baltimore, Champions Again!

Street Talk Baltimore, Champions Again!

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This season, Kurt Backert and I managed our fantasy football team for the Crown Royal Fantasy League (First and Crown). We were approached to enter this league and Tony Lombardi gave us the chance to represent

The league draft was held in Baltimore as other participants were flown in by Crown Royal from various locations around the country. Kurt drafted well and gave us our best chance to win on a weekly basis with a dynamic roster.


Kurt shares his royal experience…

What a night for football! Not only were the Ravens kicking off their defense of Super Bowl XLVII, but RSR was selected to participate in the Crown Royal’s “First and Crown’, fantasy football league draft. The draft was held Thursday, September 5th at M&T Bank Stadium in one of the luxury suites.

Christina Kavanaugh, Hailey Cobb, and the Crown Royal team organized not only a fantasy football draft, but a great football experience for the participants.

The event started with our fantasy draft, which consisted of 14 rounds. We had the fifth choice in the first round and drafted in inverted order the entire draft. We nabbed LeSean McCoy in Round 1 and we were happy to get him since I had him 2nd on my draft board behind Peyton Manning.

With the 28th overall selection (our Round 2 choice) I was fortunate enough to select Jimmy Graham who, for fantasy purposes, would dominate his position more than any other player.

The Crown Royal team then had us take a tour of M&T Bank Stadium which included visits to the locker rooms, press row, the field, and a walking tour of the rich history of Baltimore football.

Following the tour, we returned to the suite to enjoy a whiskey tasting session with Crown Royal products as the Ravens-Broncos game came on for our viewing.

The draft party was incredible, although I do wish the final result of that opening night Ravens game was as exciting as the event.

Thanks to the great people of Crown Royal, we were given the chance to win prizes throughout the year including two tickets to a Ravens game, plus Crown Royal swag and an assortment of spirits.

Throughout the season, we had some challenges and were forced to weather adversity the way aspiring champions do. We started with wide receivers Steve Smith and Lance Moore, but Moore would go on to have some rough weeks and was later riddled with injuries. We dug into our depth chart and looked for favorable match-ups with less-than-household names like Ryan Broyles to Baltimore’s own Marlon Brown.

Kurt and I forged a great partnering relationship with him playing the role of GM and coach and me as the Assistant GM and advanced scout. The collaborative effort worked and we regularly relied upon our weekly Under the Radar discoveries that Kurt provides here at

The way this league was set up, we were able to play against 16 teams from across the country—8 from the NFC, 7 others from the AFC. It was great to be able to, not only represent RSR, but the Ravens fan-base as well. Let’s be honest, we just wanted to prove that Baltimore is still the place for Champions! Our toughest challenge was our 4-game losing streak at the end of the season where we dropped match-ups to our counterparts from Chicago, Denver, Tampa Bay, and yes… Pittsburgh.

We ended up rebounding nicely, beating Denver and Chicago back-to-back—clinching our playoff spot.

In the end, we managed to pull out the victory in the championship over our Dallas counterparts, formidable opponents for sure and aptly named, “How ‘Bout them Cowboys”. We wish them and all of our great competitors all the best.

But in the end and as we look back on the experience, we were almost destined to win. Our team, the Baltimore Ravens, the defending Super Bowl Champion together with the fantasy draft being held in Baltimore seemed like a great omen. And it was!

It seems rather fitting that the 2013 Crown Royal fantasy crown ended up in its rightful place — Baltimore, the home of champions.

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Joe Wedra

About Joe Wedra

Joe is an NFL enthusiast that spends way too much time studying tape, but he wouldn’t want it any other way. Joe can be found on Twitter @JoeWedra, where he’ll tweet out everything from Ravens analysis to scouting reports on Division II offensive line prospects…all for the love of the game!

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