Well, the Baltimore conspiracy theorists are at it again around the Charm City.
We got a mystery call at WNST today with a caller saying “the Ravens game is going to get moved to Baltimore this weekend if Hurricane Ike hits Texas.”
So, I went into action making some calls to my league sources and investigating the possibilities. This is just a “top of mind” set of notes saying why it might — or might — not happen.
First, the storm is tracking more west than northwest right this minute. Obviously, that could change.
(And we’ll hope for the best for all the folks in Texas, Lousiana and Mexico. Hurricanes clearly suck. As a guy who left New Orleans literally the morning that panic broke out before Hurricane Katrina after a Ravens game three years ago, I have maximum respect for the devastation they bring and the way people’s lives are affected. I have pals who live in West Palm Beach, Fla. who literally don’t feel safe making any plans for September because they’ve seen the gas lines, property damage and general “freak out” that happens to citizens when evacuations happen.)
Second, the Ravens would be the team LEAST affected because they wouldn’t have to fly this weekend like they did a few years ago when Hurricane Isabel flooded here and the team was slated to play in San Diego and wound up leaving five days early. For this one, the strife and hardship would be on the Texans’ side. And I think the league could make this decision as late as Thursday and still pull off a football game on Sunday.
But the storm will take its course and I’m sure the folks on Park Avenue in New York are aware and watching the Doppler.
Certainly, the league doesn’t want to react too boldly too early and move the game. In fact, everyone I spoke to in Owings Mills said that nothing had been said or done and no calls or considerations had been made as of 4:30 this afternoon.
BUT…and this is obviously hour to hour with the storm…if the scenario did happen it would probably come down by the end of the day tomorrow and action would be taken right away. Most Ravens fan don’t realize (and I didn’t know it until late Saturday night) that the Bengals actually came to Baltimore a day early last week because the league didn’t want to risk the team not being able to get into the area on Saturday because of Hurricane Hanna, which turned out to be much milder than anticipated.
As we learned with San Diego a few years ago and as we saw last week when the Saints went to Indianapolis to practice, the NFL knows what it’s doing and is probably quietly on it. There’s always a plan with those folks. They’re sharp cookies!
So, if the Ravens wound up drawing an impromptu home game this weekend, the club would obviously have some ticketing issues and fans would have to act quickly to get seats. But with the internet and their website, the Ravens would wind up getting a flood of traffic because every PSL holder would easily be accessible to download and print tickets or perhaps use an alternate ticket for the game.
So stay tuned…
Sure, there’s a possibility, but let’s not wish that on the poor folks in the Houston area.