16 Shades of Purple

July 26, 2012 | Josh Murr

It’s late July. Summertime! Sunshine! Ocean City! Relaxing poolside. For our female fans, poolside also means lounging out in the sun reading the ever popular 50 Shades of Grey series. That leads me to my blog title.

You may ask why the 16 Shades of Purple? I don’t have to tell you what the purple is, but the 16 could represent the number of games. Close, but no cigar. Now that Ray Rice has his deal, the attention turns to Joe Flacco. Seems like everyone even Brian of Family Guy fame has input on this topic. Overrated! Underrated! Pay the man! What has he done?! Now it’s my turn to take the next few minutes to plug in some hearty input.

Not only does the number 16 represent the number of seasons the Ravens have been established (going on 17th year), but it stands for the number of starting quarterbacks the Ravens have had in their long history. Yes, 16 different signal callers. Hard to believe?! That is an average of a quarterback a season. Here is the list: Vinny Testaverde, Eric Zeier, Jim Harbaugh, Tony Banks, Stoney Case, Scott Mitchell, Trent Dilfer, Elvis Grbac, Randall Cunningham, Jeff Blake, Chris Redman, Kyle Boller, Anthony Wright, Steve McNair, Troy Smith, and Joe Flacco.

We had everyone from Elvis to Stoney! Even our beloved head coach’s brother is on that list! Heck, who could forget Stoney Case??! Come on, man! The point here is to all those who bicker and complain about Flacco, JUST SHUT UP ALREADY! :) … There, I said it. I mean, take a look at this list and tell me who would you rather have? And don’t tell me Scott Mitchell!

We have never had a quarterback like this on this side of the Baltimore Colts. Old school: Unitas. New school: Flacco. As a Ravens fan, I am elated at the opportunity we have had. Playoffs four straight years. A proven winner. All he does is win! (Now throw your hands up!)

Now to satisfy our stat savvy readers, this one is for you. Do stats really matter? They do when you are counting winnings at the end of a successful fantasy football season, but this is real football! Still not getting it? It’s all good. The goal here is not to convince you otherwise, but to look at another angle on this argument regarding Flacco. The negative on Joe is his numbers. The wins are there, no doubt. Even the success is right up there. But for some reason the numbers lack a tad. Yes, compared to the “elite” in the NFL, but take a look at this comparison.

2009 Wild Card Playoff. One quarterback 4-10, 34 yards, and 1 int. The other quarterback 23-42, 154 yards, and 2 TDs. Which quarterback won the game based on stats? Come on Captain Obvious! It was the second! WRONG! The first quarterback was Joe Flacco’s stats, and Tom Brady was the second. We all know the Ravens won convincingly.

Time travel to a rematch in the AFC Championship game. Flacco 22-36, 306 yards, 2 TDs. Brady 22-36, 239 yards, 1 rushing TD. Based on stats, Flacco won the game. This was, of course, painfully false.

So fans, I throw a very juicy question out there. Take the stats and lose? Or win the game? Don’t get me wrong here. Stats are needed to win games. But is it always the sexiest stat line that makes it? Only in fantasy league ladies and gentlemen.

Flacco will get his payday! Be patient. In OZ we trust! As Ray Lewis put it, “If I was Joe Flacco, I would have crazy swagger!”

Stand up! Say your OHHH! Raise your BOH! Baltimore Style!

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