September 15, 2011 | Tom Federline

It has been almost eight (8) months and the Ravens were due retribution. Eight months, to stew over a game the Ravens had lost, down right choked in the second half. There was a bad taste in the Ravens mouth and this past Sunday had to have felt like using Listerine for the first time. That was an old fashion, smash mouth, in your face –  Baltimore Ravens butt whoopin’. There have been two teams that have stood in the way of the Ravens going back to the Super Bowl and both teams are fairly despised by Baltimore football fanatics. The Pittsburgh Squealers and the Indianapolis Irsays. The Squealers were dealt their (some) of their due. Now if the Ravens can make it to the Super Bowl this year……..now you are talking…………’cause guess where it is? The city of Indianapolis. 

Opening Weekend for football coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Heavy reflection. The playing of “Taps” in unison around the league prior to kickoff – emotional. The full field United States flag with opposing teams and ancillary guests streching it out across from one another, while the National Anthem was being played – nice display of patriotism and unity. There were multiple renditions of the National Anthem. I am a little biased recognizing Baltimore/Ravens Stadium as one of the best I have ever heard. Baltimore is blessed with the perennial Mycheal Miller for all home games.I can only hope some teams played “Proud to be an American” – (Lee Greenwood) at halftime. The NFL direction of the opening ceremonies was respectfully handled. Kudos all around the league and television coverage of that life changing day ten years ago.

And then between 1:05 and 3:55 pm, fans of the Baltimore Ravens had a reawakening. Reason to boast, reason to believe again, reason to watch the rest of the year. Oh and Jarret Johnson (JJ)…………you have entered the Ravens Greatest Hits of All-Time Club. I only have Bart Scott and Ray-Ray in that category. Do you all have any “hits” you would like to potentially add? Playing the Squealers on Opening Day after that loss last year could have really had some repercussions around town and for the Ravens if they had lost again. Thank you Ravens. A loss – the wound does not heal. A win – no more wound. The butt kickin’ they gave them – the Ravens are ready for 2011.

Ravens – Steelers footaball is kind of getting like Maryland – Duke basketball. Who cares about the rest of the season? Just beat that one team. Anything else is icing on the cake. The Ravens didn’t just beat the Steelers, they beat them down.  The team needed it, the coaching staff needed it, the fans needed it. There were moments there where I thought the officials were going to ruin “fix” the game. But they stayed consistently bad and good. Although, that holding call on McKinney in the first quarter after a 36 yard pass play to Dixon, had me throwing things at the television while adding colorful commentary. Even the CBS crew and Phil Simms got into the action on that one. Yes, I was happy to hear Jim Nantzs’ voice, along with Simms, on the TV broadcast. Jim Nantz just has to stay away from golf. The best thing about CBS doing the game………..It meant NO “J”erry Sandusky, Quadry(most annoying voice in broadcasting) Ismail and Stan (has no clue) White. Yes, I am still boycotting all of WBAL  newscasts, Ravens games with that Trio of Torture and “J”erry Sanduskys voice for the Mike Flanagan debacle and juvenile journalism.

Bottom line – the Ravens showed up for the regular seasons first game and the Squealers ………still thought it was preseason. November game may be interesting. Somebody is going to get hurt. Speaking of potential injuries, why was Flacco in the game in the fourth quarter? Horribaugh and Camera Cameron will ride Flacco until the young man needs a stretcher to take him off. And that will crush the Ravens chances of going to the promised land. Hey Bisciotti, you are the one spending the money, you are a successful business man, are you going to let the offensive captain of the team be sacrificed? Tyrod (VT) Taylor is not the answer. But he is the “back-up” QB, to be utilized in blow-outs to protect the the offensive leader.

Holy Ngata! That is one man-beast right there. Suggs, Ray Jr., Reeeeeeeed, McKinney (potential new star), Dixon, Pitta, Boldin, etc. etc. That was one of the best Ravens games ……… ever. Strap yourself in…….it’s gonna be one heckuva ride. GO RAVENS!