PHOENIX — So, the Baltimore Orioles hold all the cards. And that’s always a dangerous thing. And that’s the way Peter Angelos loves it.
If you are a lover or fan of the Baltimore Ravens and are awaiting the big announcement from here at the NFL Owners Meetings at the beautiful Biltmore in Arizona about the NFL Kickoff extravaganza at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 5th you’ll be waiting a little longer.
There’s been an impasse. The Orioles have a game scheduled against the Chicago White Sox on that night of the traditional NFL opener and it appears that moving that baseball game back by seven hours is more difficult that it appears.
Of course, it’s on the desk of Peter Angelos now and has been passed onto the desk of Bud Selig and well…there’s really no reason for MLB to do anything or move anything on behalf of Baltimore’s truly loved NFL team.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been on the phone with Bud Selig for the past week and there’s still nothing even remotely promising on the horizon and it’s pretty evident that the Ravens are concerned and the word is now on the street.
Moving the game to Thursday afternoon would take the approval of MLB, the Orioles, the White Sox and the MLB Players Association.
And here’s the real story – all parties have known about this issue for six weeks and nothing substantial has been accomplished.
A source with the Baltimore Ravens told me that the Ravens and NFL would be willing to pay the Orioles to move the game.
“If there’s a financial loss for them, sure we’d be willing to compensate them. It’s only fair.”
Moving the Ravens kickoff game to Wednesday, Sept. 4th was an option but the team and the NFL will not play on Rosh Hashana. Moving the game to Friday night wouldn’t help because the Orioles are home that night and the NFL has a long-standing “no play on Friday” rule to stimulate interest in high school and college football.
If the Ravens were to not host the game there’s a line of reasoning that they’d still play the Thursday night opener but it would be on the road, potentially in a division rival (Pittsburgh is the hottest rumor with Denver not far behind.) There would be a television issue with CBS losing a key game like that to the NFL kickoff game.
The Ravens consider playing the Thursday night game a huge competitive advantage because of the 10 days off after the game. They almost consider it a second bye week after a long training camp. They will almost certainly play a game on the night of Sept. 5th.
There’s also a rumor of a concert or event in Baltimore in conjuction with a potential road game but all of these are in limbo because the NFL still wants the Ravens to play at home on Sept. 5.
The Ravens are hoping for the generosity of Peter Angelos to kick in and a reasonable settlement to have the game in Baltimore.
We’ll see how that works out for them…
I can report with full confidence that the Ravens are not optimistic.