Ravens training camp vacating Westminster: It’s just business of Hardball

December 03, 2011 | Nestor Aparicio

Ravens training camp vacating Westminster: It’s just business of Hardball

at McDaniel College. The bad beds at a 2-star hotel. All of the strain it puts on every member of the organization to deal with the “distraction” that the fans are when the team attempts to mix work with cheers and jeers in the sometimes-100 degree heat.

So, be pissed. Vent. Get it off your chests. Comment below. Write a blog at WNST.net. Do what you need to do to self-soothe.

And then await to see what the Ravens will do to attempt to make it right at some point next spring and beyond with good deeds to fix your rightfully hurt feelings.

Three public practices? Extra autograph sessions? More community service? The Ravens are certain to be on their best behavior next year but the new Collective Bargaining Agreement already limits the players’ obligation to the team and the community in many ways with less offseason mandatory activity and work time that already has angered many of the NFL “football people” and coaches like John Harbaugh, who might hold practice 365 days a year if he could.

But, honestly, I don’t know much MORE the Ravens could do in the community.

I’m not just giving lip service to it. I SEE it. I’m a PART of it. Come out on Monday Nights if you wanna have an experience with a player. Come meet Brendon Ayanbadejo who is in the Top 10 Cool Ravens of All-Time.

Ravens players are out in the community on a daily basis, signing autographs, shaking hands, doing community service, working with kids. If you haven’t met Ray Lewis since 1996, it’s probably your fault.

There are no excuses for me to make for this decision to leave Westminster. I never enjoyed the experience of going to Westminster for Ravens’ practices. I’ve always been honest about that. But I did respect the incredible effort and manpower it took to execute such an old-school tradition and to pull it off with such precision.

It’s sad that it’s apparently come to an end because I always saw the joy on the faces of the fans, especially the kids who were off from school on a summer day in Carroll County.

But, this too shall pass. And the Ravens now “owe you one.”

We’ll see what they do to make it right.
But you should know that this isn’t about you or Westminster or even John Harbaugh or Steve Bisciotti.

This is about winning.

And THAT’S “what’s important now.”

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11 Comments For This Post

  1. John Says:

    It’s all excuses Nestor. It doesn’t matter where you train. If Billick had Flacco and Rice he would be just as successful as Harbaugh and if Harbs has Ron Johnson, Randy Hymes and Clarence Moore he would be fired and working in Philly holding Andy Reid’s lunch. The Steelers, Colts and Pats hold open training camps and they been to the last decade worth of Super Bowls. There is no excuse the Ravens can’t make that happen.

  2. Larry Bruggeman Says:

    This decision has nothing to do with money since the Ravens actually make money going to Westminster thru corporate sponsorships etc. It is about a control freak head coach who cares nothing at all about the young fans of the Ravens or any fan. His only concern is do I have absolute control over everything concerning this football team? He doesn’t care about the tradition of taking you children or grandchildren in my case to Ravens camp to get up close to the players they idolize. His kids only have to ask daddy and they get anything they want visa-a-via Ravens. I wonder How many 10 or 11 year olds that cannot go to training camp now will be Ravens fans when they are 24 or 25 and old enough to buy season tickets. I played football thru college and coached for 22 years and never saw any coach as paranoid as John Harbaugh. I had Baltimore Colt, USFL Stars, Baltimore Stallions, and now own 3 Ravens PSL’s and was looking forward to obtaining a 4th so I could leave each of my grandchildren a ticket in my will like my grandfather did with Colt tickets. Now I might sell them and take them on a crusie instead. Greed takes many forms not just money and it this case it was Harbaugh’s greed for power that has turned me off of Baltimore professional football after 56 years. Sad so sad

  3. Steve in Bel Air Says:

    Nes,

    When I first heard the Ravens were moving training camp, and the impact to Westminster, the first thought I had was “It’s not the Ravens’ responsibility to keep the town of Westminster in business.” I understand the business people and McDaniel being disappointed, but the decision makes perfect sense to me.

    I heard Ed Reed on another station last night, and he said he has been asking for this for years. He was not hiding how he felt, and I got the impression that a lot of guys felt the same way. He said he took his own bed to the Best Western. Some would say these guys are spoiled, but I think they want a quality football camp that makes them winners, and I’m ok with that.

  4. stan Says:

    who cares about training camp?the purpose of camp is to get ready for a 16 game 5 month season,not sign autographs.I’ve been out to Westminster once and i didnt enjoy the ride,the parking or the heat.I understand people who are pissed and all,but you’ll get over it as long as the team wins.The Ravens have always done right by the fans and this city and im sure they will do the right thing.The Ravens have grown their fan base by winning on and off the field but holding camp in Westminster wasnt benafical for the franchise or the players.people who say this is a money move have no clue what they talking about

  5. unitastoberry Says:

    Just keep winning. They can train anywhere they want. We want another Superbowl.

  6. Russ Says:

    If you fans think it sucks not having practices in Westminster for three weeks, just remember the years of not having football at all after the Colts left. Besides would you really want your team having practices at some lowly college or at a facility that is second to none in the NFL?

  7. Chad T Says:

    One question: would the “fan-owned” green bay packers move training camp to a plush, hoity-toity complex where no fans can see? No. I’m the biggest ravens fan out there, but you can’t just always give them a free pass because they are the ravens. They made a mistake here. It’s been 11 years since we won a Super Bowl, which isn’t yesterday anymore. And the team that just won it (and are the favorites this year and undefeated), are actually OWNED by the fans. Goes to show, you don’t have to be “all corporate” to be successful. Great points nester.
    E VERYONE: look for more details on ravens roost 115 in westminster’s ravens rally on dec. 17th. We are not giving up!

  8. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Some traditions die hard and, no doubt, this one will,too. From 1953, when visits to Westminster became annual rituals for my Dad and me, through the same with my sons and in recent years, my grandchildren, I’ll miss it. But, everything changes and tempest fugits! My guess is that Bisciotti will find a way to placate the fans and assuage the hurt feelings because this organization has a history of doing the right thing. As for Cameron, win, lose or draw from here on in, I hope he’s not back next year……..

  9. slowboater Says:

    Just because “fanatics” are what pay the bills doesn’t necessarily equate to doing everything the fans want. If the owner thinks or supports what he feels, is the best for the team, I have no problem with that support.
    If you, as a fan, feel “slighted” by the move then that is your right. Just like it is the Ravens right to do what they think is best for the team.

  10. harry o'sullivan Says:

    Larry Bruggeman Says: I happen to agree with LARRY. Harbaugh givs us all that FAN P/R after the game about how important the Fans are. I always say.. put your money where your mouth is. Well, The Ravens just showed how much they care about US FANS. I have been going to Westminster since the days of Johnny Unitas… The Ravens Just killed another great Baltimore Football Tradition.

  11. Tom Says:

    It’s just as hot in Owings Mills as it is in Westminster.

    The lockout gave the team the excuse it needed to abandon what Bisciotti claimed was so important to him has a child. If I hadn’t already sold my season tickets for financial reasons, I’d consider doing so – because while I can take my kids to training camp, I couldn’t trust the boozed-up fans in my section not to watch their tongue.

    Still a fan, but as Nestor points out with the Orioles – it’s ALL about money – even for the Ravens at the end of the day.

    If it were about winning, are you telling me that Bouldin dropped that pass last year in Pitt that would have sent the Ravens to the Super Bowl because of where they held training camp that year?

    Not buying it for a second.

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