Ravens Take Exception to The Boos

Lombardi's Way Ravens Take Exception to The Boos

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Despite the fact that the Ravens still have a chance to salvage a successful season given the watered-down product that is the NFL, fans here in The Land of Pleasant Living are anything but optimistic. Part of the gloom and doom stems from the wretched Ravens offense. Part of it has to do with the protests of many of the league’s players.

And unfortunately, apathy has crept into the fan base.

That’s the last thing Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti wants to see.

On Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens, as a team, took a knee, to gather in prayer. Those in attendance at The Bank showered the home team with a cascade of boos. Who could blame them? They weren’t aware of the plan, and emotions already ran high. The first sign of a bended knee signaled the cue for agitated fans.

Maybe the Ravens should’ve let the fans in on their little secret.

Why shroud the good intentions in mystery?

The plan obviously backfired.

Just as obvious is the disconnect between the players and fans.

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Perhaps the next time around fans will be more accepting now that they understand the intent. The Ravens attempt at compromise had merit. A prayer for understanding and solutions while standing in unison to the playing of the National Anthem, represents a noble olive branch for both sides of this societal divide.

Maybe this Sunday will be more peaceful.


During the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner prior to the Ravens v. Steelers, cameras were everywhere, and focused on key players. That’s hardly a surprise. CBS wanted to capture the mood, reactions and body language of the players during the anthem’s 90 seconds in response to all of the furor from previous weeks.

As they stood along the sidelines, the players were well aware of this. For 1 ½ minutes it was clearly a time to show respect. Well, clear to everyone not named Joe Flacco.

At around the 1:04 mark of the video below, Flacco can be seen chuckling in response to someone just behind him to his right. Given the stage, the focus and all of the controversy surrounding the anthem and the fan’s perceived lack of respect for all the flag stands for, Flacco STILL lacked the awareness of that moment’s importance.

Given his awareness (or lack thereof), no wonder he can’t break old habits and step up his game to the level of his pay.

Flacco is paid to be a top 5 quarterback yet hovers at the very bottom of the league’s signal callers – currently one notch above the 32nd ranked starting QB, DeShone Kizer. He still predetermines where he’s going with the ball; makes few pre-snap adjustments; stares down receivers; struggles to properly execute a screen after 9 ¼ seasons; possesses sloppy ball skills and has no clue how to use cadence as a weapon.

Anyone watch last night’s game in Kansas City? Alex Smith kept the Redskins front seven off balance all night with cadence. That leads to free plays and it helps the offensive line gain an edge. It helps them to gain leverage which leads to more wins at the line of scrimmage.

The Ravens know this. The coordinator, senior offensive assistant and offensive line coach all know this. But they still can’t get their 10-year vet to execute it? Really?

I guess after his grade school antics during an important pregame moment, we shouldn’t be surprised.

Flacco is hardly the brightest bulb in the bunch. He’s a bit like Bull Durham’s Nuke LaLoosh.

I wonder how many takes it took to get those M&T Bank commercials right?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) 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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