Expectations have been blown to smithereens.
Instead of reaching and winning the Super Bowl as a couple of Sports Illustrated prognosticators forecasted, the Ravens have sunk to unprecedented depths.
We all live in a Purple Submarine…
By now you’ve probably adjusted to the agony of defeat after defeat. Perhaps many are quietly, some maybe not so quietly, hoping for the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. It would not be totally shocking to learn that some in the team’s personnel offices are whispering the same.
It’s a natural response.
Let’s reset and get them next time, right?
Many of you probably wished part of your summer away in anticipation of the 2015 season. It was only natural to draw the conclusion that if the Ravens improved their secondary in 2015 the way they improved their offensive line in 2014, then there was reason to believe they could push through the Divisional Playoff Round and perhaps the AFC Championship and Super Bowl.
As fans we’ve been spoiled. In the 90’s we were all too happy just to have a team. Then 2000 came along and everything changed. We were champions.
From 2001 through 2007 we had several peaks and valleys with little consistency. And then John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco arrived.
Say what you want about the pair, but the consistency they’ve helped to usher in is undeniable and they’ve won a playoff game during six of the past seven seasons.
But then there’s the mess of 2015.
It’s time to reboot.
This Sunday the Ravens host the San Diego Chargers. Believe it or not they are 3-point favorites and that has everything to do with you, the fans. But will you too be in (1-6) form?
I can’t help but think back to the Orioles 1988 season when they started the campaign with 21 consecutive losses. They snapped their losing streak in Chicago against the White Sox but when they returned home on May 2 to take on the Texas Rangers the Frank Robinson skippered Birds sported a record of (1-23).
Despite the horrific start Baltimore rallied to support their team as they faced the (9-13) Texas Rangers. Despite the gloom and doom, despite being 15 ½ games out just 24 games into the season, despite the less than impressive opponent, Orioles fans came together, inspiring their team to a 9-4 win.
In Disney this against all odds kind of team may have gone on to win the pennant. Unfortunately Tinker Bell never waved her magic wand over 33rd Street as the Orioles ended the campaign with a 54-107 record finishing in last place 34 ½ games out.
On that one cool Monday night as kids prepared for Tuesday morning classes, 50,402 fans managed to fend off opening pitch temps of 55 degrees and make their way to the ballpark to once again create their own brand of magic in the Memorial Stadium.
Perhaps fans sensed that the Orioles needed the moral support.
Perhaps they felt empathy.
Perhaps it was their way of saying thanks for so many great seasons before.
Whatever the reason, Baltimore, galvanized by a downtrodden team, THEIR TEAM, came together for a memorable night.
Perhaps on Sunday we can do the same for the downtrodden Baltimore Ravens and will them to victory.
Expectations aside and after so many great seasons before, they too have earned your support.