I want to preface this blog by saying I wish the Ravens were in the Super Bowl. What purple bird fan wouldn’t? The hurt from the loss eleven days ago still will take a while to go away. And I don’t believe any true Baltimore Raven’s fan who says it won’t. Let’s face it, the worst three loses in Ravens’ history came in the playoffs. In 2007 the Indianapolis Colts came into town. It was Baltimore’s chance to finally put the demons of Bob Irsay and the town of Indy to rest. Steve McNair decided to play his worst game as a quarterback on that cold January Saturday night. The Colts beat the Ravens 15-6. The Divisional playoff loss to the Colts was like receiving a good swift kick in the shins. For weeks and weeks I lamented about the games, what if, what if, what if.
On January 15, 2011 the Baltimore Ravens played in Pittsburgh in the AFC Divisional Round. The Ravens took a 24-7 lead into halftime and had all the momentum. The Steelers missed a field goal as the first half expired. The Ravens then entered the 3rd quarter committing three turnovers on three consecutive possessions. The Steelers capitalized and outscored the Ravens 24-3 in the second half. They went on to win 31-24. That game was like getting a blindsided punch in the face. For weeks and weeks I lamented about the game, what if what if what if.
On January 19, 2012 the Baltimore Ravens went to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face the New England Patriots in the ACF Title Game. With seconds remaining and down by three; Lee Evans dropped the game winning touchdown in the end zone. And then Billy Cundiff missed a 32 yard field that would have sent the game into overtime. That loss was like getting a good swift kick in the testicles. What if Ed Reed’s interception wouldn’t have been called back on a pass interference call? What if the Ravens scored seven rather than three after the Pat’s fumbled on a kickoff return? What if Lee Evans catches the ball with seconds remaining, what if Billy Cundiff splits the up rights and sends the game into overtime? WHAT IF? It will take some time to get over this one.
Now I’m not saying I’m glad the Ravens aren’t playing Sunday, I wish there were. But with the Ravens and Steelers and Colts not in it, I have no rooting interest. Actually I don’t hate the Colts anymore. So as long as the Steelers and their obnoxious fans aren’t in the “Show’, I don’t care who wins. Like the 49ers-Saints NFC Divisional playoff game of three weeks ago, I’m going to watch the game as a football fan; neither as a Raven’s fan nor a Steelers’ hater, but as a football fan.
I don’t hate Tom Brady or Eli Manning anymore. I don’t hate New York nor Boston anymore. I really don’t care who wins. I do care if it’s a good game. The last time I had no rooting interest was in Super Bowl XLIII. It was when the Patriots beat the Panthers in a thriller of a game where the Pat’s kicked a field goal to win it with seconds left. That’s the kind of game I’m rooting for.
This Super Bowl I will allow me to stay calm, no cussing, nor pounding my serving trays. I won’t need to bite my finger nails neither. I will simply sit back and enjoy the action. When the Patriots score, I’ll root for the Giants to score. When the Giants score I’ll root for the Patriots to score.
I’ll root for overtime. Hell I’ll root for triple overtime. Why would I care? Let the people in New England and New York sweat it out. I’ll just enjoy it as a football fan. Would I much rather the Ravens in it? Of course! But if they and the Steelers aren’t in it, then what the hell, I get to be a football fan Sunday and enjoy the game.
Giants 31 Patriots 28 in Overtime