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

December 03, 2011 | Nestor Aparicio


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.”