Sunday, January 22, 2012

NFL Playoffs in Baltimore

I had forgotten what it's like to root for a football team in the playoffs, until ODU made the FCS playoffs at the end of last season.  So it was kind of jarring last weekend to go to the Ravens' game against the Texans.  Home games in Buffalo can fun and energic, but towards the end of the season, Bills fans can also be too despondent.  M&T Bank Stadium was L-O-U-D and their fans spirited last weekend. 

Another thing that's jarring is listening to Ravens fans call up the sports radio shows to do nothing but complain about beating Houston by only seven points.  That was a fantastic defense they had just defeated and they're playing in the AFC Championship Game for the second time in four years.  Conversely, Buffalo hasn't played a playoff game since January 2000. 

The Bills at home against the Jets in 2010.  Lost in The Music City Miracle is that the embattled Rob Johnson gave Buffalo the lead before the game ended on the subsequent kickoff.

I don't think it's accurate to call Ravens fans "spoiled."  Most of the fans I know are fine and can logically identify the team's flaws without bashing the team or individual players.  It's probably just the vocal minority that doesn't understand that Baltimore plays teams who are also trying to win the game.

I took pictures (see below) and wanted to post them before their game against New England.  I just didn't get a chance to do so during the week.  Big props to my friend Steve for inviting me.

Ray Lewis did his dance to pump up the crowd.

"...because sometimes you get chased by angry men..."

Opening kickoff.
Flacco threw a touchdown on this play-action pass.
Flacco may not be a Brady or Brees, but he's gotten at least one playoff win in each of his first four seasons.
Giving the ball to Ray Rice is never a bad thing.  Cam Cameron disagreed in the fourth quarter against Houston, but he gets paid the big bucks while I'm an armchair quarterback.
Two of the most beloved players in Baltimore are Lewis (52) and Ed Reed (20).
Flacco graduated from the University of Delaware, another in the long line CAA Football players who made the NFL.

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