The Ravens have a lot to be proud of after last season. They finished with an 11-5 record, boasted the league's second best defense and finished in the final four of the NFL playoffs. Even though they lost to the Steelers three times last season, they are still a very tough and feared team in the NFL. That was until they showed off their newest addition to their uniforms which has a bright yellow streak down the back of their jerseys.
The Ravens asked the NFL not to schedule any night games against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. This request prevented a Week One prime time match up between the Steelers and Ravens on Thursday night. If I could, I would like to ask the Ravens organization one question? At what moment, exactly, did you lose your "testicular fortitude"? Did you lose them in one of your losses to the Steelers? Maybe it was after you watched the Steelers claim their 6th Super Bowl. You don't want to play the Steelers at night in Pittsburgh?? Can a Raven fan ever hold up their head again after this incredible act of cowardice displayed by their team? This intense, physical, hate filled rivalry can't be played during prime time because the Ravens are... well, lets face it; they're scared.
Mike Preston, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun, however thinks this is a good idea. He wrote "The organization knows how to work the crowd. The Steelers always bring back their old-timers for the games, and it gets the crowd in a frenzied mood. The Steelers introduce former players like Jack Lambert, Jack Ham and Andy Russell before the game or at halftime. It doesn’t sound like much, but it definitely helps get the crowd going." The Ravens are the Steelers biggest rival. The crowd is going to be in a "frenzied mood" regardless of whether the old timers are there or not. Your team is turning into a pack of purple cowards that are not only being intimidated by the Steelers themselves, but apparently by the Steeler fans as well.
The Ravens are embarrassing themselves. They went from being a tough, hard nosed football organization to a whiny little pack of crybabies. Why don't the Ravens just ask the NFL to schedule both games against the Steelers in Baltimore? Then they won't have to worry about the Steelers "frenzied" fans knocking them off their game.
They should want to play the Steelers on prime time. They should want to prove to themselves to the league that they are capable of beating the defending Super Bowl Champions. That they are tougher and more physical. They should want to come to Pittsburgh and ruin the Super Bowl celebration and beat the Steelers on their home field. But instead, they're choosing to avoid the Steelers and avoid the national spotlight.
The Ravens are moving in the wrong direction. Winners don't look for the easy way out. Winners look to prove themselves when presented with a tough situation. The Steelers had the toughest schedule in the NFL last year and they finished with a championship. Winners want the ball at the end of the game. Winners view going into enemy territory as a challenge, a challenge that if met can prove greatness. Winners don't beg out of a prime time contest against their division rival.