submitted by Adam Mann
I think we can all agree that last Saturday sucked. It was heartbreaking to lose to a team that just about everyone thought the Ravens should beat. But in the end, it was a great season. Not just a good one, but a GREAT one.
Not just because the Ravens went 14-2, but that certainly didn’t hurt. Not just because they were the number one seed in the AFC for the first time. Not just because Lamar Jackson and the Ravens set NFL record after NFL record. It wasn’t because of just one of these things, but because of ALL these things.
So many fans grade a season based off one question: did we win the Super Bowl?
And I completely get it, especially after a year like this, when the team showed so much promise and certainly had the talent to go all the way.
But those fans are missing the point. Looking back at the year I jumped off the couch time after time with excitement. I found myself looking forward to the next game all week. I enjoyed the run to the playoffs. I enjoyed the buildup to the Titans game.
Being in contention seems to be an inevitable part of being a Ravens fan. We’ve grown accustomed to it. We’ve been spoiled. In the last 19 years the Ravens have had a losing record four times. Compare that to the Orioles… in the last 19 years they’ve had four WINNING seasons.
When you’re spoiled, it’s easy to start expecting more and stop enjoying what you have. But for fans, sports shouldn’t just be about winning championships – if that’s what you’re in it for, you’re in for a lifetime of disappointment.
For fans, sports are about enjoying the run. The build up to the season. Letting the hype wash over you. The run up to the playoffs. Being in contention. Each game mattering. Thanking God everyday you aren’t a Browns fan.
It’s a run the Ravens have been on almost since their inception. Looking back, it’s hard to find a season when the Ravens weren’t in contention late in the season (yes, I know they’re there…humor me.)
The expectations heading into every season is a playoff caliber team, an expectation that we shouldn’t take for granted. One day this run of excellence is going to end and we’re going to wait for the day that we’re playing in games that matter.
Let’s all enjoy it while they do matter, even if they come with some disappointment.