Welp, here we are. The Bye Week. A bittersweet hiatus from the trials and tribulations of being a NFL fan. The Ravens enter the bye at 6-4 and are last in the division. This is the first time since I can remember that the Ravens are last place in the division. I’m not too worried though. How many times can someone say that their team is 6-4 and last in the division? It just goes to show the strength of the AFC North this year. I think the Ravens have the division right where they want them. A win for us and a lose from another team puts the Ravens right back into the hunt. The running game is churning on a weekly basis and Joe Flacco is doing his best to be “elite” and not throw any picks. I don’t see any other scenario other than the Ravens battling it out with the first place Browns for the division title in Week 17.
Tonight is the night. The night the Ravens redeem themselves from the heartbreaking lose just one week ago. And to add to the drama, they play the Steelers. It’s no secret that these teams share some bad blood; maybe not like when Ray Lewis and Ed Reed anchored the Ravens D and Hines Ward ran routes for the Steelers, but it still is a game both teams look forward to.
The Ravens have dominated the matchup over the past three years, winning five out of eight games played. During that span the Ravens have one division title, an AFC Championship and a Super Bowl. The Steelers lost in the AFC Championship in 2011 and have not made the playoffs since.
This is the second meeting between the two teams. During the first game, back in September, the Ravens were victorious with a score of 26-6. Joe Flacco completed 21-29 passes for 166 yards and two scores. The rushing game was churning behind a dominate offensive line and Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett combined for 157 yards. I expect the rushing game to be another key component during this game. If that happens, it will open up the play-action long ball and we’ll hopefully see Steve Smith Sr. running into the end zone looking scary as shit at the end of the play.
I’m real excited, Let’s go! No Weapons!
I haven’t been this bummed out after a Ravens game since the 2011 AFC Championship. In 2011, Billy Cundiff cemented himself as Baltimore’s most hated athlete when he missed a chip shot to send us to the Super Bowl. Yes, we won it the next year so it really doesn’t matter. Today was not on the same level as that day, but it was close. The joy I felt when Steve Smith caught that ball and ran into the end zone was like that of a small child on Christmas morning. I must have yelled “Ice Up Son!” 400 times. Then the refs decided to rip away my hopes and dreams and make a bullshit offensive pass interference call.
I’m not going to place the blame on a crap call by the referees though. The Ravens are the better team out of the two and they simply do not come to play when they face the Bengals. Two games won in the last minute of the game this year. When you have one of the best defenses in the league, last minute drives to win should not happen. I don’t think I can write about this anymore; I’m going to find a corner and a pillow to cry into.
Remember when you used to go to a toy store with your mom. You’d find the sickest toy your prepubescent eyes have ever seen and sprint over to your mom screaming “Can I have it?! Can I have it?!” only for her to spit a big fat NO in your face. That’s how I feel about the World Series right now.
For seventeen years, Charm City waited on baited breath for the Orioles of the 70s, 80s, and mid-90s to come surging back, only to be disappointed year in and year out. In 2012, we made the playoffs only to lose in the ALDS to the Yankees. That was alright, we probably shouldn’t have been in that spot that year. But this year was our year; led the league in homeruns, best defense in the league without our starting third baseman, catcher, or first baseman, and the O’s have Buck Showalter in the dugout. They had all the ingredients to win a World Series.
The O’s absolutely embarrassed the Tigers in the ALDS. They made the last three Cy Young winners look like scrubs. We got the sweep and everything was hunky dory.
When we got matched up with the Royals, my reaction was “Well at least we don’t have to play the A’s.” After this past week, I wish we would have played them. The Royals dominated this series inside and out. Their pitching was outstanding, every game it seemed like every guy on their team would make an insane defensive play, and they had clutch hitting when they needed it. I am disappointed that the O’s lost because I need to see them win a World Series before I die, but I’m not mad we lost to Kansas City. They deserve to go to the Ship. They’re one of those teams that have been so bad for so long that when they eventually get good, it seems like its destiny that they’ll win it all. Personally, I am rooting for the Royals, teams that have been bad forever, stick together.
I think Adam Jones best described the O’s 2014 season, “Fucking Awesome.”
Pretty much every anti-drug and alcohol campaign has to pretty much pack it up now right? “Hey kids don’t drink and drive or smoke weed but if you do you might end up being the most decorated Olympian of all time with millions in the bank.” Not a very effective ad campaign if you ask me.
Michael Phelps is an absolute moron for getting his second DUI for two reasons A. He’s filthy rich and B. He was in Baltimore when he got it. There is no reason someone as rich as him should ever get a DUI let alone operate a motor vehicle ever again. He probably carries enough cash to pay a driver’s yearly salary in his pocket as walking around money. And secondly, does Michel Phelps realize that he’s a pretty popular character in the Baltimore area? Some might say a “local hero”. Instead of hopping in his white Range Rover (sick dude…) and going for a joy ride, he could have walked up to literally any taxi and gotten a free ride in about 2 milliseconds.
The final point I’m going to make is that Phelps two options, both of which will ultimately affect his public image. He could train super hard and win a bunch of medals in the next Olympics. People will forget he loves to drive hammered; he’ll get the parades, the press conferences, and the whole she-bang. OR. He could double down, become a frequent at a grungy local bar, and develop an alcohol dependency and an arrest record a mile long. Years will pass by and people will eventually begin to look upon him with sorrow in their eyes and the memories of what once was in their hearts. Personally, I hope he wins some medals because the alternative is a really depressing scenario I made up.
I am so tired of this entire situation. Every day it seems like some new shady piece of evidence comes to light that make the entire Ravens organization look like it doesn’t care about domestic violence. The new report from Outside the Lines says that the Ravens used “purposeful misdirection” in their handling of the Ray Rice incident. Biscotti made a statement yesterday which was basically just him denying everything and claiming that all of the unnamed sources are from Rice’s inner circle. If that’s the case, it makes the way the Ravens and Rice handled this even more pitiful. I can just imagine Ray Rice and his buddies sitting around in a circle in Ray’s living room talking about how this is all the Ravens fault and calling reporters leaking stories. Meanwhile Biscotti, Cass, Newsome, and Harbaugh are at a meeting talking about how it is all on Ray.
ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Kevin Van Valkenburg broke the story and claim they have twenty unnamed sources. Quick side note, how ridiculous are these two reporters’ names? It’s destiny that these two met and broke this story. Twenty people all saying the same thing makes it seem pretty unlikely that this story is untrue, though. Unless, of course, all of the “unnamed sources” are from Rice’s camp. Natta and Valkenburg’s sources are claiming that the Raven’s Director of Security, Darren Sanders, was told a detailed account of the Rice incident mere hours after it happened. Sander’s denied this and said that he talked to Atlantic City Police and the officer he spoke to said that he “couldn’t tell if Rice punched or slapped his fiancé”. Ummm, not really sure why it matters Atlantic City Police. Pretty sure the manner by which you beat your significant other doesn’t come into play during domestic violence arrests. Add into it the fact that the report also claims that Biscotti, Cass, and Newsome all petitioned to Goodell for a 2-game suspension after seeing the video and it doesn’t look good for Biscotti’s ownership chances.
You can read the original article here:
Are you kidding me? This looks awesome. I spent my entire childhood playing with pretend swords and this entire time the opportunity to play with real swords was right at my fingertips. I mean this happens in my hometown, Ellicott City, Md. Why haven’t I heard about this? I mean it’s only the largest long sword fighting competition in North America, you’d think someone from the town it takes place in would know about it. Even if I couldn’t get involved, this would still be an awesome event to watch. Two people hitting each other with real swords? Sign me up. My friends and I would be in the parking lot, 3 hours before it started, tailgating, and discussing our favorites to win every year.
A hotel ballroom seems like an odd place to host this event though. I had youth football award ceremonies and prom in hotel ballrooms and they’re having a sword fighting tournament. It’s incredible and I’m glad it happens, but I just think another venue would have been better, like outside or anywhere other than a hotel ballroom.
According to the article, 200 people from all over the world came to this event this past year. Like I said this event is in my hometown and I had no idea. I could have been talking to a professional sword fighter at any point this summer and had no idea. And the people who take place in this event take it seriously. They study “ancient sword fighting manuscripts” and adhere to one of two styles of fighting: German or Italian. The more I read about this the more intrigued I am. How do you get involved in this? Do you just go to the bulletin board at your local library and grab a sign-up sheet? Once, you do get involved, are their sword fighting teams you can join, or classes you can take to learn the German style of fighting? I have so many questions, and so little time until next July.