Charm City boasts several avenues for the avid sports fan and over the past 14 months it is hard to find any type of fan that has not experienced the thrill of victory.
For chronological sake, we will exemplify just how wonderful Baltimore sports have been by going back 14 months as Loyola kick started a run of Championships and playoff runs. The Greyhounds have often taken a back seat to Johns Hopkins in the NCAA Lacrosse world, but 2012 was the year of the hound. Loyola entered the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse tournament as the number one seed and did not falter. They battled their way through the bracket and on May 28th, 2012 Loyola hoisted its’ first ever NCAA Championship in lacrosse. It was a sight to behold.
After 14 consecutive losing seasons and fans refusing to go to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the 2012 Baltimore Orioles brought back meaningful baseball to Charm City. While still being ignored halfway through the season, Baltimore proved all of the naysayers and so called “experts” wrong as they battled in September and clinched their first playoff berth since 1997 as the second Wild Card team. Despite being the underdogs (as they had been all season) the Orioles walked into Texas and beat the powerful Rangers in the one game playoff to advance to the American League Division Series against the hated New York Yankees. Although the Birds came up just short, playoff baseball had returned to Baltimore and the atmosphere was electric at Yard!
Perhaps the crowned jewel of the Baltimore sports world, the Baltimore Ravens continued the trend of local winners. The Ravens, much like their baseball counterparts, consistently were labeled underdogs as they entered the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. After making easy work of the visiting Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore hit the road to take on the heavily favored Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. Courtesy of the ‘Mile High Miracle’, the Ravens disposed of the Broncos in double overtime to advance to their third AFC Championship game in five seasons. Baltimore proceeded to figuratively and physically beat up the Patriots to setup a ‘Harbowl’ in Super Bowl XLVII. Ray Lewis’ last ride ended with his everlasting confetti falling experience and Baltimore brought back the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in franchise history.
From one football to another, the Baltimore Blast would not be out done in the sudden resurgence of Baltimore sports glory. After losing in the MISL Championship in 2011 and 2012, the Blast had something to prove and desperately wanted to hoist the ship in 2013. The Blast tied for the best record in the regular season and entered the playoffs with one goal in mind. In game one of the Championship series, the Blast demolished the Missouri Comets 21-12 and although they were shutout in the first half, Baltimore fought its way back and secured the 2013 MISL Championship with a 8-6 victory in game two.
The final leg of this great 14 month journey was the Towson University baseball team. After nearly seeing their program shutdown due to budget cuts, the Tigers made an incredible run through the CAA tournament going undefeated as the four seed to secure a berth in the NCAA Baseball tournament. Not letting the big stage scare them, Towson won their first game in the tournament against Florida Atlantic 7-2, but a loss to North Carolina in their next matchup setup a rematch with Florida Atlantic and lost a heartbreaker in the elimination game 6-5. Their run was extremely inspirational and capped off one of the greatest 14 months of Baltimore sports that this city has ever seen.
This is Josh Michael, aka Baltimore Sports Nut and I hope you have enjoyed this post and look forward to hitting the air waves on Friday at 3:30 as I take my shot at becoming the next King of Baltimore Sports Media!