Barring a shutout this Sunday, Matt Stover is going to trot on the field for the Indianapolis Colts and attempt either a field goal or extra point.
And when he does, a little piece of Baltimore sports history will be made at M&T Bank Stadium.
Some amount of the fans on hand will undoubtedly boo Stover. It’s gonna happen, guaranteed.
If you’re a complete jerk, you’ll be one of them.
If you’re a person who respects the heritage of the Baltimore Ravens and the genuine-gentleman that is Matt Stover, you won’t be doing any booing when he comes on the field and fulfills his duty for the visiting Colts.
For the record, I wanted to use a different term for those who boo Stover on Sunday, but management suggested I find another term. Any of you out there have an Uncle Richard? There’s a chance his name might be shortened to “Dick”.
Let’s just say that’s it my opinion if you boo Matt Stover Sunday, you might as well go by the name “Uncle Dick” at the upcoming family holiday party. I think you get my point.
There’s NO VALID REASON, NONE AT ALL, for booing Stover on Sunday.
I take that back, there’s one reason why you’d boo Stover on Sunday: You’re a jerk. And if you’re a jerk, and you want to boo him, go right ahead and confirm your reservation in Jerk-Land.
I can hear it now.
“But Drew, he plays for the Colts” — that is NOT a valid reason to boo Matt Stover. Stover took the gig because he felt he could still kick in the NFL. The Colts called. It was a good fit. Their checks cash. The Ravens didn’t want him. If you worked for Coca-Cola and they fired you, would you go to work for Pepsi if it meant supporting your family and children? You’re damn right you would.
The Ravens fired Matt Stover. He still wants to work. It just happens his new office is in Indianapolis.
But that’s not reason enough to boo him on Sunday. Not even close, in fact.
Would you have booed Johnny Unitas on his return trip to Baltimore as a member of the San Diego Chargers? If you were a jerk, yeah, you would have. If you have a brain and appreciate the legacy established by Unitas, you would not have.
As far as the Baltimore Ravens go, Matt Stover is literally un-booable.
There aren’t many on that list, honestly. Ray Lewis is on that list. Jon Ogden’s on that list. Todd Heap’s on that list. So is Ed Reed. They’ve all earned “Can Not Boo” status.
And so has Matt Stover.
It would be significantly embarrassing to Baltimore’s appreciation of its football heritage if on Sunday, Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf were forced to make comment on national TV about the Ravens fans “lack of respect” for Matt Stover.
So, not booing Stover on Sunday does two things. It keeps you from being an idiot, know-nothing fan — and it saves Baltimore, as a sports town, from being ridiculed in front of millions of viewers across the country.
Frankly, booing Stover is akin to something those buffoons in Philadelphia would do if, say, Donovan McNabb is ever forced out in Philly and plays a half-season in New York because of an injury to Eli Manning.
Those creeps in Philly respect no one once they’re gone. Hell, they hardly respect their own favorites when they play in the city of Brotherly Love.
Booing Stover on Sunday would not only be a 55-yard field goal version of “lack of respect” but it would give Baltimore a seat on the Stupid Bus.
And you’d be a big jerk — an Uncle Dick, if you will — if you’re one of the people who boo him on Sunday.
It’s bad enough that five years ago a bunch of drunk morons in the stadium actually cheered Kyle Boller’s foot injury.
That was a low point in Baltimore sports fandom.
But this Sunday, when Stover trots on the field, there’s little doubt in my mind that idiots will again surface — and boo one of the franchise’s all time best performers and, without question, one of Baltimore football’s best civic ambassadors since 1996.
If you don’t want to clap and cheer for him on Sunday because he plays for an opposing team, I’ll check off on that. It would be nice if Stover got a great show of appreciation from the fanbase, but it’s also completely reasonable to just do nothing and remain silent.
That wouldn’t be disrespectful at all.
If you’re not comfortable clapping for him and showing him your appreciation, just sit there with indifference and put your hands under your rear end for a minute or two.
But please, don’t be a jerk on Sunday.
Don’t boo one of the guys on the un-booable list.
That’s something only your Uncle Dick would do.
Uncle Dick is a jerk.
And…as the scoreboard reminds all of you:
Don’t be a jerk.