Every columnist has done it at one point or another. I’m talking about the timeless “trash talk” piece of course. You know, the one where they talk bad about the opposing team coming in to town and talk up their own team. It’s actually a decent strategy. It gets the people who read the newspaper fired up so they share it with their friends and gets the opposing team’s fans to read it and freak out about it. Kind of like Skip Bayless does every day.
So when I heard that Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post wrote this piece, I didn’t think much of it. I’m sure he is a good writer and a smart guy. He is a columnist for prominent newspaper after all. But I thought to myself, why don’t I write one of these pieces and, unlike most of them, actually back it up.
Here it goes.
After mocking our city and our sadness at the retiring of the only middle linebacker this franchise has ever known he proceeds to mock Ray himself. Saying, “But, like Lewis, their very passionate but washed-up warrior, the Ravens now seem better at striking a pose than striking fear in the hearts of a foe.” Washed up you say? Mr. Kiszla, you obviously haven’t done your homework. Ray was leading the team in tackles prior to his triceps injury and had 13 tackles on Sunday against the Colts. Hardly seems washed up to me.
He then picks on Ray for dropping a would be interception last Sunday as the reason why he is washed up and why it’s so remarkable to watch Peyton Manning do what he does. This, to me, doesn’t make much sense because I’m pretty sure one mistake doesn’t make you terrible. And I’m definitely sure Peyton Manning has thrown more than a few important interceptions in his career. Here’s one I’m sure one of his teammates will remember.
He does however give Ray his due, calling him the greatest linebacker of his generation. However he mentions Peyton Manning as being the greatest quarterback of his generation. I’m sorry, that title belongs to Tom Brady. And it isn’t even debate, stats, rings, head to head matchups. These all favor Brady in one way or another. But you have a right to an opinion. A stupid one at that
Kiszla, like most people previewing Saturday’s game, points to the score of the previous meeting as to why the Ravens have no shot in this one. Need I remind you that the Ravens held Peyton Manning in check for that game (he posted some of his lowest numbers all year) and had Joe Flacco not thrown an interception before halftime, that game would have been completely different. If the Ravens grab a touchdown there, it’s a three point game with all the momentum in the Ravens favor. Instead, the pick six demoralizes the team and Denver goes on to an easy victory. How easily you forget this, Mr. Kiszla.
He goes on to talk about how they shut down Anquan Boldin but these few lines really baffled me:
“I asked: “Were you hoping for a rematch, because the Broncos shut
Boldin replied: “Just because we lost to them.”
Wow. Kind of crabby, don’t you think?
Guess it makes sense. Baltimore is known for crabs.”
Either this guy doesn’t know what crabby means or he was just looking to rile some folks up. Probably both.
I hope Mr. Kiszla realizes that you shouldn’t write a story about matchup without even attempting to back up. But hey, it’s all in good fun. Don’t get too mad when Ravens come to town and rain on your parade though.
P.S. By the way we are known for crabs. And they are damn good.