Steve Smith Reports to Ravens Camp Already Hating Steelers
By Roy G Edwards
The Former Carolina Panthers Wide out and newly acquired Baltimore Ravens receiver has reported to Baltimore Ravens offseason workouts and is ready to begin learning the new system. He has been assigned his number 89 uniform and has gotten settled in his new home town. Before he reported to work outs this offseason he already knew one important thing; he didn’t like Pittsburgh.
Smith, 34, has played the last 13 seasons as a member of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers drafted Smith in 2001 and he was wildly successful as a member of their team. The Panthers went to the Super Bowl with Smith on the roster, he made pro bowls, and played under high talent and big name players. The one thing missing was a true rival.
The 5’9” wide out played his college days at Utah and the entirety of his professional career without a true rival. Smith now finds himself in one of, if not the number one, most hated rivalry in professional football.
Smith, holding no punches towards his newly acquired rival, Tweetted out the following message to the people of black and yellow.
The Baltimore and Pittsburgh stadiums sit no more than a four hour drive from one another and have maintained the change in players through the last two decades. Many of today’s football rivalries stem from the players themselves and not necessarily from the teams or cities. Rivalries have come and gone throughout the last two decades and we have watched them fizzle out as quickly as they began.
Manning and Brady has been minimized, Jets and Patriots is nearly irrelevant, Dallas and Washington seem to be only a fan discussion, and Green Bay and Chicago doesn’t have the hatred that the Baltimore and Pittsburgh rivalry possesses.
“They don’t like us, and we damn for sure don’t like them,” former Steelers wideout Hines Ward said in a NFL Network documentary on the rivalry.
Although the names have changed, the culture has not. In an AFC North that seems more wide open than it ever has, it is this competitive spunk that keeps these teams at the top of the NFL year in and year out. The two franchises have become the staple for what the new age NFL strives to be, while still maintaining the old school grit and mindset that made this game so popular.
While the loud speech of Smith can be tied to reasons why the pro bowl wide out was not retained, Baltimore fans welcome it with open arms. So long as it is directed at the guys from Pittsburgh.