In 1996, the National Football League returned to the city of Baltimore for the first time since the 1983 season. The move of the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, instantly made our Ravens the demon of the league. No one outside of the Charm City limits wanted this team in the league, let alone to succeed. We were the villains, the thieves that stole the hearts out of the city of Cleveland. Nevermind what had happened here 12 years earlier…the mind of sports has a very, very short memory. For the original fans of this team, nights like this coming Monday seemed like it would never happen. A Monday Night game in Lambeau against one of the NFL’s crown jewel franchises….the Green Bay Packers.
Yes, i remember that Sunday night drubbing Vinny and Co. were dealt at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1997. I still say the Ravens were set up to be embarrassed by the league with that game. But things are finally different now. Baltimore travels to Green Bay this Monday to take on the Packers in the most historic and revered venue in the NFL because they have earned their place in the NFL. A far cry from the 1996 team, and more proof that there is no grand conspiracy in the league offices against our beloved Purple Birds.
I don’t know about you, but as a Ravens’ fan, I feel a certain sense of pride that we were chosen to play on a December Monday night in Lambeau. Look, the NFL figured these were two teams who would be in the thick of the playoff hunt during December’s first week. Enough so that it was scheduled in prime time. And with the flex-scheduling, that, to me, makes this an even greater honor.
So when I tune into ESPN this Monday, I will watch Flacco and crew take the field in 20 degree weather, with the potential of snow, and my chest will puff out a little. These are my guys, in Green Bay, on a Monday night in December, right smack dab in the middle of the playoff chase….does it get any better??
Go Ravens!!!!! It’s time to hunt!