For the second time since the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, I spent the weekend away from Charm City.
I was in New York celebrating a friend’s birthday for a few days, rocking out with the Allman Brothers Band, staring at Manhattan while drinking beers on a Brooklyn rooftop and discovering what a “Yotel” was. (They seem nice.)
For the second time in as many trips away from Baltimore in recent weeks, I also spent a good chunk of my time away reminding as many folks as I could that I was “from the home of the World Champions” in as nonchalant a way as possible.
I will admit that at one point while sitting on the Brooklyn roof, I was telling a story about LB Brendon Ayanbadejo’s courageous fight for marriage equality. I started a sentence by dropping the term “I know a guy who plays for the Ravens” to which I received the response “you act like that’s not a big deal. They’re the Super Bowl champions.”
I can assure you the purpose of the story was not to illicit said response, but every time I hear those words I can’t help but smile.
No matter what your connection is to the team, there’s no question it matters a great deal to all of us to know that our hometown is held on a greater pedestal due to the incredible success of the organization with whom we share a home.
Over the course of the weekend a bevy of news flew around about the future of Ravens WR Anquan Boldin, First came a Saturday morning FoxSports.com story that said the two sides were prepared to part ways Friday after Boldin balked at the idea of cutting his $6 million base salary in 2013. It was followed by a USA Today report that stated the Boldin camp had flat out rejected an offer from the team and was readying for the postseason hero to be released and see unrestricted free agency Tuesday.
That particular report didn’t sit too well with those who remembered Anquan saying recently in a NBC Sports interview that if the team were to cut him he’d choose to retire instead of playing elsewhere. I never believed it, so it won’t bother me if he doesn’t follow up on his words. I understand why not everyone will feel how I feel.
Later Saturday news came from ESPN that Boldin was not prepared to be released but instead was planning on playing under his contract in 2013. The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday the team asked the receiver to slash his pay by $2 million.
(I was actually a bit afraid of writing about Boldin for this week’s column out of fear that when I woke up Monday morning the news would already be different.)
What the Sun report didn’t explain was how the team asked Boldin to cut his pay. If they asked him to cut his figure for 2013 but convert the money to bonus dollars in future years of a contract extension, it would seem fair. Boldin is in the last year of a four year, $28 million contract but has certainly shown a level of play that would make you think he has more than just one solid season ahead of him even at the age of 32.
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