Last night, as that field goal went through just inside the right goal post, the feelings of enthusiasm, elation, and endurance hit me as I imagined it did to many other Ravens fans last night.
I remember just as the clock turned midnight and both facebook & twitter were lighting up with such sensationally positive (for the most part) posts concerning this game. The Ravens franchise received much more respect & fans for their actions last night.
Even though Al Michaels had characterized the certain chant something like “the loudest chant for manure I’ve ever heard,” it spoke volumes nationwide to the situation with the replacement officials and the adversities that certain teams have to face against the “darlings” of the NFL. Last night, the Ravens fought off those adversities and are praised for their valiant effort and the continued efforts for parity in the National Football League.
The Ravens conquered some demons that, for over a decade previously, had worked very well in New England’s favor. The Patriots previously have not had a sub-.500 record since 2003, which was a result of an opening day lost to the Bills. Along with the fact that the Ravens had never previously beaten the Patriots in the regular season. (Our city’s team conquered other similar items when they upset the Patriots in the 2009 season’s post season, for our first ever win against them which was also at their home stadium). There were several other big stats the Ravens had overcome, along with the glaring fact that they were behind 9 points with about 4 minutes left in the game!
My confidence in the game could not have been higher, even before the game had begun. It was understandably tough for our receiver Torrey Smith to play last night only 19 hours removed from his brother passing away tragically. He ended the night with 6 receptions for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns that were key in the victory. One could look back at the numerous examples of NFL players that play their 1st game right after suffering through a personal loss and having a tremendous game & victory. (Look up the successful game former QB Brett Farve had after his father passed away)
Hard to not like this guy.
I knew our game was ours when the Ravens (albeit unsuccessfully) went for it on 4th down in the 4th quarter deep in New England territory rather than kicking a field goal. My favorite sports columnist, Gregg Easterbrook, normally preaches about teams who need to score at least a field goal & touchdown get close to the opposition’s side near the end of the game must go for the touchdown first when so close. As well as saying such phrases as “fortune favors the bold” and “going for it on 4th down tells your team, even if the try fails, that you want to win the game.” I personally take his stances to heart and when I saw the Ravens in such a situation last night with the game on the line and knowing they still needed at least a field goal as well, I was shouting at the television for the Ravens to go for it. I didn’t care that the Patriots got the ball back, my confidence in a victory was still high.
Getting back to the Orioles for a moment, they went out and did what they needed to keep in pace for the postseason by taking 2 of 3 games over the Red Sox. This weekend’s battles with Boston concluded in a 3 games to 4 margin in Baltimore’s favor. Now the Orioles have 10 games left for their astounding season, with four of those games against the lowly Toronto Blue Jays starting with today’s double-header. With 10 games left and the Yankees still only 1 game ahead of us and the Athletics 1 game behind us in the Wild Card standings, baseball fever is still very much alive here this late in the season. Catch it while you can! (Just make sure that you aren’t catching a possible homerun for the opposing team that our guys could grab)
The Ravens return to the Primetime line-up yet again this Thursday night versus the Browns, making it 3 primetime games in the span of 18 days. For those who do not have NFL Network, the game will also play on local TV as well on WBAL (NBC).
Look forward to another great week of sports!