I’m not an expert on much, but Baltimore sports and enthusiasm are two things I’ve spent my entire existence since 1972 immersed in here in the Charm City. And even though the Ravens are traveling to New England this weekend for an honest-to-God, NFL playoff game, I’m sensing this is the least-exciting postseason run in the history of Baltimore sports.
I have more ways to take the temperature of the city than I care to admit. From emails and AM 1570 to thousands of people on Facebook, Twitter and in a variety of web locales — this is a tepid metropolis right now regarding the Ravens.
I’m just looking for some purple string lights around the region and I’m not “feeling the love” for the 2009 Ravens.
Where’s YOUR purple, Baltimore?
Now before you say, “Nasty – I’m fired up for the game on Sunday, what are you talking about?” I will respond with facts (not low blows…).
Fact: There are still many flights into Providence, Boston and Manchester all day on Friday and Saturday.
Fact: There were still seats left on my bus a few hours ago. I reserved NINE buses for the weekend. I’m using TWO.
Fact: Seats for the game on the internet are face value (or BELOW) in almost every case. There are PLENTY of tickets to be had. Hate to be Capt. Obvious here, but ANYONE can get in their car on Saturday and drive up to the game very inexpensively…if they’re willing to brave a 20-degree day.
Fact: I’m not even getting a trickle of the email traffic, the “Hey Nasty, where’s the party this New England” emails like I usually do. We have over 100 people on our Facebook “I’m Going to New England this weekend” page, but I figured we’d have at least 500.
Last weekend in Oakland, there were less Ravens fans than I’ve ever seen at a road game. Matter of fact, there was no audible “Ohhh” in the National Anthem. Other than family members of players, I didn’t see a hint of purple or Ravens fans anywhere.
The tickets are dirt cheap in New England and the Patriots fans don’t want them either. All four locations this weekend have spare tickets for LESS than face value!!!
The Patriots fans are setting the tone for the “unplayoffs.” They’ve won three Super Bowls, two World Series and an NBA Championship in the last nine years. Judging from the depth of cheap seats on the internet, the Chowdah’s aren’t so impressed with this version of the Patriots, either. Apparently, if a bye isn’t involved, the New England fans will skip another 20-degree afternoon in Foxborough.
The game itself has all sorts of drama built into it that no playoff game really needs. The Tom Brady-Ray Lewis issue from September. The comeback in 2007 that ended with the Patriots keeping their undefeated season in tact. And, the sheer volume of freaking Red Sox fans that take over Baltimore three times a summer ought to get purple fans pissed off enough to go up to New England and take over a significant portion of their “unused” tickets.
Here’s a link to the Tom Brady Bang Cartoon from September if you haven’t seen it. A wild portrayal of Greg Mattison for sure. And very funny…
Here’s the current reality of the Providence situation for WNST:
I’ve not only been on every postseason roadtrip the Ravens have ever had, I’ve been the only one throwing gigantic parties for people in purple.
I’m not sensing that we’ll have 1,500 people at Dave & Buster’s in Providence Saturday night like we did in Nashville. I’m not sure we’ll have 1,500 fans at the game yelling “Ohhhh” in the National Anthem on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Sure there are reasons to be optimistic:
- Sooner or later, we’ll beat the Patriots in New England.
- The Ravens are going to run the ball and stop the run.
- Wes Welker absence can’t hurt.
- Tom Brady’s injuries can’t hurt.
- I saw a glimmer in the eyes of all of the Ravens veterans yesterday, from Trevor Pryce and Ray Lewis to Derrick Mason and Matt Birk. They know what’s at stake.
So, get out those purple lights. Consider a last-minute “roadie” up I-95 after tonight’s snowstorm. Buy some tickets. Bring a parka.
I’d hate to think that Baltimore can’t get 1000% behind Festivus 2010.
Of course, if the Ravens win on Sunday afternoon, I don’t think we’ll have any problem getting people stoked about going out to Indianapolis to kick Peyton Manning’s ass. And yes, our bus will be on sale at 5 p.m. Sunday if that’s the case…
I have a feeling the city will be awash in purple when our Gunther buses pull back into Baltimore after midnight with a ticket punched to Ind-ia-no-place.