1984 was a big year in my life. Rondi and I got married, moved to downtown Baltimore and I started graduate school at the University of Maryland. When considering schools, Charm City seemed like a good choice. In addition to affordable tuition and housing, the city was home to the Orioles and my favorite football team growing up--the Baltimore Colts. I loved Johnny Unitas, Tom Matte, John Mackey, Bubba Smith and all the Colts and looked forward to going to games, that is until the snowy night of March 29, 1984 when the team moved out to Indianaoplis.
During the next 12 years, watching football on TV just didn't have the same excitement. Especially with Jack Kent Cooke trying to make the Redskins Maryland's team. Getting the Cleveland Browns to move east wasn't the most honorable way of having a Baltimore franchise but after getting passed over for expansion teams, it seemed to be the only way.
Since the first Raven game on September 1, 1996, defense has always been the team's strength (Ray Lewis was the team's second draft pick) and offense has been an afterthought. I'm not saying that the Ravens will come up with a victory on Sunday, but I don't believe that it will be a blowout by the Patriots. When I look at the Patriots' string of wins since the two losses to the Steelers and the Giants, I don't believe any were against strong teams.
Living in the heart of New England Patriot country will make for an interesting week! I'm looking forward to Sunday's game and hoping that Flacco can channel some of No. 19, Johnny Unitas! Let's Go Ravens!
(Photo courtesy of BACVA)