From day one, the Ravens deserve commendation for the responsibility they have taken in recognizing the legacy of Baltimore football. What they’ve done cannot be discounted, and it is undoubtedly a signifiant part of the reason why the team was quickly able to become the most significant entity in the entire city.
Every time a former Colt passes, the team will be left with the same question. “What’s the appropriate way for us to react to this?”
They will ultimately be forced to do the same thing as their own former players pass away. They’ve already famously lost QB Steve McNair and FB Chuck Evans, the latter of which was part of the Super Bowl XXXV championship team.
The Ravens are doing the right thing by not involving a moment of silence in the remembrance. A moment of silence is often connected to a tragic event, and if is hard to think that Mackey’s passing should in any way be viewed as “tragic.” Instead, a celebration of his life on the video board is a much more appropriate honor.
The Ravens may or may not be doing the right thing in choosing not to recognize the death of Smith. I would think a simple recognition on the screen wouldn’t be too much, but will recognize that the team needs to be able to separate the significance of one player from another.
Smith’s contributions to the city of Baltimore were many in a short period of time, but it would be unfair to label him as a “Great” Baltimore Colt.
After asking the question, I received a number of responses via phone, email and Twitter. Many of the responses seemed to indicate that they didn’t feel the team was doing enough.
A number of the responses suggested the team SHOULD take Ehrmann’s advice and apply an “88” patch to their uniforms for the 2011 season. Other suggestions said the Ravens should not only honor Mackey during Friday night’s game, but again in the team’s regular season opener September 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
All are reasonable ideas. In this instance. everyone is right.
The Ravens NEEDED to honor the life of John Mackey in a public way. They needed to present an opportunity for fathers, grandfathers, uncles and friends to look at young Ravens fans and say “let me tell you a little bit about John Mackey.”
But there isn’t a right and wrong here. The Ravens COULD do more. They COULD choose to honor Bubba Smith as well.
It doesn’t mean they had to.
They’re doing exactly what they needed to do.
Once again, as Charm City sports fans we should be grateful that they continue to do the right thing.