Joe Cool

September 07, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

I’d like to think as I approach my 40th birthday in a few weeks, I’m not as excitable as I was in my younger days.

As a fan, I’ve been through all of the wins and loses, Super Bowls and World Series, thrills and disappointments.

But today as the 13th season of Ravens football commences, it all came back to me, just why we all still watch the games and care so much.

Today is what being a fan is all about. This is the “juice” and the beautiful reward of being a sports fan: that feeling you get when your team wins.

The team has a fresh start with a fresh coach and fresh rookie quarterback, who is extremely likeable and calm amidst the storm.

And I left the house this morning thinking the Ravens would have to do some special things to win, and specifically to stifle Carson Palmer, who I think is among the best in the business.

The injuries have been dreadful. The play on the field has been less than inspiring. The age factor will haunt them each week of the season. And the lack of depth has felt hopeless.

But instead of a loss — and I think many of us kind of expected them to lose — this win today was magical.

We distributed about 20,000 “WACKO 4 FLACCO” signs prior to the game. We had a little faith and — voila!!! — a memory was made.

I hope many of you kept your signs and post them in the office this week. If you do, send me along where you do have them “reside” during the week and I’ll post the pics up on the site later in the week as a Pep Rally for Houston.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been through it all as a fan, and I don’t know that I’ve ever been as excited as I was when Flacco turned the right corner and headed for daylight in the end zone.

It was that crazy rush up the spine that I haven’t felt in a long time.
At least not since sometime well before the Colts debacle 21 months ago. (Yeah, it’s been that long!)

It’s a feeling that I only get from the NFL and from the Ravens.

God, I love the NFL! (It’s days like today when I really miss my father the most, the excitement of the afterglow of a big win!)

I’ll write some more later, but I’m home from the game sitting on the couch watching Cleveland get their asses kicked and watching their lousy fans boo their team in the home opener (the Browns have the worst fans in the universe).

The Ravens are 1-0.

And I’m really happy.

See you tomorrow night for the Bud Light Purple & Black Attack with Brent Harris and Brad Jackson at High Topps from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dan Wilcox and Chris McAlister are the guests.

Lots more to come…

I was in the locker room after the game and got some good stories that I’ll write about later.

But today belongs to Joe Cool…

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