As fate would have it, the next game on the NFL schedule takes place in Baltimore this Thursday night.
That means, of course, the national spotlight will center on M&T Bank Stadium when the Ravens take on the Cleveland Browns.
In the aftermath of Monday night’s thievery in Seattle, where the Seahawks (now 2-1*) were gifted a game by the replacement officials, I’m suggesting that Baltimore stand up and make a statement this Thursday night.
This will never happen, of course, because people by nature are afraid to be daring, but I think the ultimate kick-to-the-family jewels for the NFL would be to have their own TV network be forced to show the opening kick-off with NO ONE in the stadium.
That’s right — I’m suggesting all 70,000 fans do not enter the seating section of the stadium until after the ball has been kicked-off.
I’ll hear all of your silly complaints about “not hurting the Ravens” and all that other malarkey, but none of that stuff is as important as the real meat of the issue: the NFL is not a legitimate sporting league right now.
If you’re attending Thursday’s game, you have the chance to be part of a peaceful demonstration of sorts. You can file in quietly and safely after the kick-off. No need to rush to your seats. No running. No pushing, no shoving (don’t worry, that stuff wouldn’t be called by the refs anyway.) Just hang around in the concourse, drink a beer, have a burger, and when the ball gets kicked-off, make your way to your seat.
I would absolutely love to see the NFL Network be forced to show — even by accident — an empty stadium to start Thursday night’s game.
And please, please, please don’t tell me how this could “hurt” the Ravens. They’re playing the freakin’ Browns. They could spot them a 16-point lead and beat them by 10 if they want.
Stand up and be counted.
Don’t be a pansy.
If you have a ticket to the game on Thursday night, don’t enter the seating area until the game has started.
And for the 3rd time, I completely understand how some of you will throw the “this hurts the Ravens” comment at me. Save your breath and your typing energy. If the Ravens can’t beat the Browns simply because the fans didn’t enter the stadium until three minutes elapsed in the game, something is really wrong with the Ravens, not with the fans.
Stand up for the Packers, who were completely cheated out of a win on Monday night.
Stand up for yourself, the people buying tickets and jerseys and supporting the sponsors of NFL programming on television.
Stand up, frankly, for the Ravens, who might be the next team to get jobbed out of a game in a couple of weeks when some goof calls a touchdown in Kansas City on the final play when Ed Reed clearly had the ball before Dwayne Bowe.
Or you can just continue to let the league punch you in the face and head to the stadium early and get to your seat in plenty of time for kick-off, which is precisely what the NFL expects you will do on Thursday night.
They know you all too well. They know you don’t have the balls to do something about the referee fiasco. If you did, you’d help make the place empty at kick-off on Thursday night.
Send a message.
Make it peaceful.
Just walk in late and say to Roger Goodell and the rest of the people around the country watching the game on the NFL Network, “Baltimore will stand up and be counted.”