Tag Archive | "Super Bowl XLVII"

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WNST’s Aparicio to take part in football roundtable Sept. 17 at Sports Legends

Posted on 21 August 2013 by WNST Staff


Baltimore Media Members to Provide Insight on 2013 Baltimore Ravens Season

Baltimore, Md. – Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards today announced that it will host a football roundtable discussion on Tuesday, September 17 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. with members of the local sports media.

The panel of Baltimore media experts will consist of  Pete Gilbert (WBAL-TV, WBAL Radio, 98 Rock & Ravens Broadcast Team); Bruce Cunningham (Fox 45 Sports Director & Public Address Announcer at  M&T Bank Stadium); Nestor Aparicio (WNST Founder &  Author of Purple Reign and Purple Reign 2); and Jeff Zrebiec (The Baltimore Sun). The panelists will discuss the Ravens off-season moves, provide their insight & predictions for the 2013 season and take questions from members of the audience.

“There is an excitement building as the Ravens prepare to kickoff their 2013 campaign, especially after winning the Super Bowl last season ,” said Mike Gibbons, executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation.  “Baltimoreans  love talking football, so we thought this roundtable would be a great opportunity for the media who cover the team and fans to come together to share their thoughts on the Ravens initial start to the season and the long-term outlook for 2013.”

Tickets for the program are $25.00 and include lunch, the roundtable program and admission to the galleries at Sports Legends Museum.  Attendees will have the opportunity to see the latest additions to the Ravens Gallery featuring new artifacts from the  Super Bowl XLVII Championship season. Artifacts include Ravens Kicker Justin Tucker’s cleats worn during Super Bowl XLVII; Ravens Defensive End Arthur Jones’ jersey (#97) worn during the Wild Card game against the Indianapolis Colts; a reproduction Super Bowl XLVII ring that is an exact replica of the one presented to Joe Flacco with his name and “MVP” engraved on the side; and more.

To order tickets, please contact Ashley Serano at 410-727-1539 x3013 or AshleyS@BabeRuthMuseum.org.

About The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation
The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the legacy of Maryland’s rich sports heritage.  The Foundation owns and operates both Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and the Babe Ruth Birthplace.  Located adjacent to Oriole Park, Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards opened in May 2005 and consists of 22,000 square feet of artifacts and interactive exhibits profiling Maryland’s sports history.  Among the items featured in the Museum’s Ravens’ Gallery are the Super Bowl jerseys of Jonathan Ogden and Matt Stover, as well as the football from the team’s first home game.

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You couldn’t ask for a better year for Dad

Posted on 16 June 2013 by Luke Jones

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano

As we spend the day honoring our fathers, grandfathers, or any man who’s embraced the enormous responsibility of being called “Dad,” it’s easy to reflect on what was a great year for Dad if he’s a Baltimore sports fan.

Perhaps you were lucky enough to cherish the Orioles’ first playoff appearance in 15 years with the man who held your hand as he walked you through the gate at Memorial Stadium or Oriole Park at Camden Yards countless times or sat down to watch with you on TV or just happened to put the ballgame on the radio as he drove you nowhere in particular. Witnessing a raucous and packed Camden Yards wave rally towels for Games 1 and 2 of the American League Division Series was as good as it gets after 14 seasons largely filled with misery and eventual apathy.

The Ravens’ second Super Bowl championship undoubtedly meant more if you can remember your father crying when the Colts skipped town in the middle of the night or you spent a large portion of your childhood wondering with Dad if Baltimore would ever get another NFL team as autumn Sundays were all too quiet for far too many years. Whether you made the once-in-a-lifetime trip to New Orleans or celebrated at home with the rest of Charm City as Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and John Harbaugh raised the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the feeling accompanying that bear hug, high five, or glowing smile will never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to share them with their fathers.

It was the perfect way to bid farewell to Lewis, who was the omnipresent figure teaching Baltimore to “raise the roof” and to remember what it felt like to have an NFL team in the infancy of the franchise and making an improbable return from injury for the “last ride” of his career, entering the pantheon of the city’s all-time best sports figures over the last 17 years.

The last 12 months have been a wonderful time to spend with Dad, but many weren’t able to share those special memories with the man holding so much influence over not just their Baltimore sports fandom but in other aspects of their lives. For those individuals, his presence may no longer be here physically, but his spirit lives on through every pitch and each snap, the cheers and moments of disappointment, and with each breath his son or daughter takes.

I once heard someone say that when you lose your father at a young age, you spend the rest of your life trying to make him proud. Truer words have never been spoken if you’ve found yourself in that unenviable position, regardless of how old you might be.

Sunday marked the ninth Father’s Day I’ve spent without my dad, but his smile and embrace were felt as strongly as ever while watching what transpired on the Baltimore sports scene over the last year.

Many landing in this wonderful but difficult business of sports media will point to the influence their father had in sharing a love for sports, writing, or both at an early age. My dad didn’t live long enough to see me take the unique path to where I am today that began with five rewarding years working in public education, continued with a unique media competition at WNST.net, and eventually turned into a full-time opportunity to cover the local teams with which I grew up. But he’s the biggest reason why I’m doing what I love today and he – along with my mom, of course – was my biggest fan in whatever I tried to accomplish.

I miss his physical presence and voice every day after nearly nine years without him, but I know he’s been right there with me along the way, starting with the first Ravens game I attended without him in 2004 when I sobbed uncontrollably just six days after he died – the emotion came immediately after Reed returned an interception 106 yards for a touchdown in the closing seconds to wrap up a victory against Cleveland — and continuing each time I walk into the press box or cover another training camp practice in the sweltering heat of Owings Mills in August.

Your perspective changes when you work in media as you get to know athletes and coaches – for better or worse – and remember the obligatory rule of no cheering in the press box. You have a job to do, so the manner in which you watch and enjoy games changes from your previous experiences as a fan. What was once only a passion becomes a profession, with responsibilities that accompany such an awesome job.

But it doesn’t change how you feel inside, especially when you had the kind of relationship I enjoyed with my father through the first 21 years of my life. There isn’t a time that I’m walking to my car after a late night at Camden Yards or an afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in which I don’t think of Dad, silently asking him what he thought of the game.

I can almost hear his opinions on Flacco, Harbaugh, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado even though each of those individuals came along years after his passing. And I know I’m not alone in sharing the sentiment that my late father has enjoyed the best seat in the house over this last year in particular.

What a year it was, Dad.

As the Orioles were on the verge of clinching their first postseason berth since 1997, one of the most unique scenes of the year occurred on the final home date of the regular season. Moments after a win over the Boston Red Sox, manager Buck Showalter and his club of talented but unproven players mixed with a few journeymen stood on the field watching a game between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels on the video board, with the outcome determining whether the Orioles would officially clinch a spot that afternoon or would need to wait a little longer.

It was a unique scene in which players and coaches transformed into fans just like the 41,000 gathered at the ballpark that afternoon. And it was a moment that brought a lump in my throat and moisture in my eyes as I thought of the countless games at the ballpark with my dad, who served as an usher for nine years at Memorial Stadium and was with me for virtually every game I attended through 2004.

I could remember the many times talking to him when I was away for college at Syracuse and how he’d inevitably fit into every conversation, “The Orioles still stink.” Truthfully, the language was a bit more colorful, but it was a running joke to mask the annual disappointment we both held.

In that moment sitting in the press box on that Sunday afternoon, I thought to myself, “Not anymore.”

Lucky enough to be at Yankee Stadium to cover the ALDS last October, I wore my favorite shirt to Game 5, a maroon polo that belonged to my dad and my grandfather before him. The color has faded to more of a light salmon and it has a few more holes around the collar and shoulders than I’d like to admit, but the shirt was the only garment of choice as the Orioles were unfortunately eliminated in a highly competitive series in which fans could still be proud of the club’s remarkable season.

A few months later, I wore the same shirt as I settled into my seat in the auxiliary press box at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for Super Bowl XLVII. Coincidence or not, there was something fitting about the seat to my left somehow remaining empty throughout the game as I thought back to 12 years earlier and the giant hug shared with my dad as we watched the closing seconds of Super Bowl XXXV on TV. I remembered the many conversations about our dream of one day attending a Super Bowl together and hoping we would get the chance.

As the confetti fell and I quickly made my way downstairs for post-game interviews, I felt the same lump in my throat and moisture in my eyes that I did on that final day of September in Baltimore a few months earlier.

I suppose it wasn’t exactly how we pictured it, but we did make it to a Super Bowl, Dad.

It would be difficult to ask for a better sports year as we spent Sunday honoring our fathers in various ways. Whether you took him to the ballpark or got together to watch the Orioles on TV, shared a meal, called him on the telephone, or simply spent a few moments lost in memory, I can only wish and pray you’re as lucky as I was – and still am — to have had such a wonderful dad.

His love of Baltimore sports and, more importantly, the valuable life lessons he offered about what it meant to be a man, a compassionate friend, a devoted husband, and a father are ones I remember and still try to fully grasp as I approach my 30th birthday and dream of one day having a family of my own.

Whenever someone who knew him tells me how much I resemble him, I smile proudly after once cringing at that notion when I was a teenager — though I’ll promise to refrain from growing his trademark mustache.

I feel his presence at every game, imagining him chomping on peanuts or popcorn while making a mess, and it makes me smile far more often than I cry all these years later.

I’ll never stop trying to make him proud, hopefully experiencing a few more years like this past one along the way.

I hope you enjoyed it, Dad.

I know I did.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Celebration over, preparation in full force this week

Posted on 10 June 2013 by Glenn Clark

As Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones and I were sitting at the Baltimore Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills Friday night, we were discussing the finality of the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII season/celebration. Luke pointed out the team would still have the ability to hang a Super Bowl championship banner at M&T Bank Stadium before their home opener Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns, but that’s about all that’s left for this team.

With the White House visited and the rings handed out, the Baltimore Ravens are now-in the words of now NFL agent Jay-Z-“on to the next one.” It was nice to have Ray Lewis and Ed Reed around Charm City for a week. It was nice to reflect once more on this particular era of Ravens football.

But as of today, that’s over.

As of today, the relationship between Ed Reed and the Baltimore Ravens is once again severed. He won’t be back in the building again until his career comes to a close. As of today, Ed Reed is nothing more than a player the Ravens will have to go up against when they play the Houston Texans…if he’s healthy enough to play.

It has been remarkably fun to celebrate a Super Bowl title for Baltimore Ravens players (and coaches and staffers who also received rings Friday night) and fans alike. It’s been a wild four months of player movement, late-night talk shows, Dancing With The Stars, accolades and high-fives.

It’s all in the past now.

The Ravens open their only mandatory mini-camp of the offseason tomorrow in Owings Mills. While a number of players have taken part in voluntary OTA’s and strength programs, this will be the first gathering of what will make up the overwhelming majority of the 2013 version of this team. There will still be a few lingering injuries that will prevent players from taking part in practice, but it will most certainly be the closest thing we’ll see to the first look at the Ravens in the post Lewis/Reed era before Training Camp.

While you’re scrambling to make sure you have your copy of “Purple Reign 2” before Father’s Day (and that isn’t a bit-you REALLY need to make sure this is the gift you’re giving), the Purple Birds will spend their week taking the best look they can at the team that will take the field this year to try to protect their Lombardi Trophy.

For the World Champs, there are a number of questions as always. None will be fully addressed in minicamp; because no NFL issue has EVER really been fully addressed during the course of a minicamp. But many will be viewed closely with the understanding that this is the best opportunity to set the tone for how the team handles both Camp and preseason games.

The Ravens will have to plan a depth chart before Training Camp gets underway. While all players will get reps, determining who gets which reps with which unit and how many are necessary is something that will happen between now and the start of Camp. At no position is that determination more difficult than wide receiver.

The Ravens know what they have at the top of the depth chart at wide receiver. Torrey Smith (or “Samson” as LB Terrell Suggs joked Friday night) is expected to lead the group and appears to be on the verge of breakout stardom. His exceptional speed was combined with better route running and improved catching consistency last season, leaving many to believe he could become a 1,000 yard type of receiver in his third year out of Maryland.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Your definitive look at the Super Bowl XLVII championship ring

Posted on 07 June 2013 by WNST Staff

Without being able to hold one in your hand, here’s the most definitive look you’ll find of the Ravens’ new Super Bowl XLVII championship rings, courtesy of Jostens:

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Your first look at the Ravens’ Super Bowl ring

Posted on 07 June 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

With the Ravens set to receive their Super Bowl XLVII championship rings Friday night, the anticipation over how the piece of jewelry will look is finally over.

Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted a picture earlier this afternoon, with this ring resembling the Super Bowl XXXV version with the Ravens logo featured strongly. You can also see the two Lombardi Trophies behind the side profile of the bird, representing the organization’s two titles.

Here’s what the franchise’s Super Bowl XXXV ring looked like:

Members of the organization will receive their rings at a ceremony held at the team’s training facility in Owings Mills as numerous players have expressed their excitement for weeks.

“When it comes to actually seeing the rings, for somebody like me who’s never won a thing, I might act like a woman when she sees her engagement ring,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “I can’t wait. I can’t wait.”

Your thoughts on the Super Bowl XLVII championship ring? An upgrade or downgrade from the first one?

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 – Looking back at Super Bowl XLVII

Posted on 04 June 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

In honor of the Baltimore Ravens visiting the White House and receiving their Super Bowl rings this week as well as the official release of “Purple Reign 2” by Nestor Aparicio, The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction took a look back at what was the magical 2012 season in this week’s Tuesday Top 7.

Luke Jones offered his top 7 favorite moments of the Super Bowl season while Drew Forrester named his top 7 most important factors contributing to the championship. You can hear Jones’ explanation HERE while you can hear Forrester’s portion HERE.

Luke Jones’ Top 7 Favorite Moments …

7) Torrey Smith’s performance in Week 3 less than 24 hours after his brother’s tragic death

6) Defeating Pittsburgh at Heinz Field for the third straight year

5) Fourth and 29

4) Ray Lewis’ final game in Baltimore

3) The Prayer in Thin Air

2) Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin taking over in the second half in Foxborough

1) Jacoby Jones’ 108-yard kickoff return to begin the second half in New Orleans

Drew Forrester’s Top 7 Most Important Factors …


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Ravens’ SB ring to include elements from season, franchise history

Posted on 15 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Baltimore Ravens Select Jostens to Create the Team’s Super Bowl XLVII Championship Ring
Minneapolis, MN – May 14, 2013The Baltimore Ravens today announced that Jostens has been selected to create the team’s Super Bowl XLVII Championship Ring, which will capture the story of the Ravens exciting World Championship victory. Ravens’ players and leadership have been collaborating with Jostens master jewelers to design and produce custom Championship Rings for players and members of the Ravens organization. The design of the ring celebrates the 2012 season, while also paying tribute to the rich tradition of one of footballs’ most successful franchises.

“We’ve enjoyed working with Jostens on the creation of our Super Bowl XLVII Championship Rings,” commented Ravens President, Dick Cass. “We have created a beautiful ring that I believe everyone in the organization will be proud to wear, and we look forward to presenting them and seeing our team’s reactions.”

The one-of-a-kind ring recognizes the Ravens remarkable 2012 season and marks the 2nd time that the Ravens have brought the Lombardi Trophy to Baltimore. Elements from the season and the franchise’s history will be incorporated into the ring’s final design, truly symbolizing the success of the team and the Ravens organization.

“Jostens is honored to have the opportunity to work with the Baltimore Ravens again to design and produce their Super Bowl Championship Ring,” said Chris Poitras, Director, Sports Sales and Marketing, Jostens. “Working closely with the Ravens players and team leadership, Jostens is creating a stunning ring that blends the team’s achievement with the Ravens’ championship history and tradition.”

The Ravens are also excited to announce that they are working closely with the Master Jewelers at Jostens to create a collection of jewelry and items especially for Raven Fans. The limited edition collection will debut to fans the evening of the Ravens’ Ring Ceremony and be inspired by the Super Bowl XLVII Championship Ring. The Baltimore Ravens and Jostens are excited to partner to extend this opportunity to celebrate the championship season and thrilling victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

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Jacoby Jones gets big scores, advances to finals of DWTS

Posted on 14 May 2013 by WNST Staff

After a weekend hospital scare for partner Karina Smirnoff, Baltimore Ravens WR/KR Jacoby Jones put together his best overall week of the season on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars”. First up was the Argentine Tango, which earned the Super Bowl XLVII hero his first ever perfect score of 30/30.

Later in the show ABC aired interview pieces with many people from Jones’ life, including Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, WR Torrey Smith and former Ravens LB Ray Lewis. He then performed the Lindy Hop, bringing in a score of 29/30 from the judges.

On Tuesday night’s show Jones found out he had advanced to next week’s finals as soap star Ingo Rademacher was eliminated. Also advancing to the finals are Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman, county singer Kellie Pickler and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Ravens’ Draft actually provides offensive answer

Posted on 29 April 2013 by Glenn Clark

Since the Baltimore Ravens claimed a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, I’ve found myself asking one particular question in regards to QB Joe Flacco. I’ve probably asked some 15 or 20 NFL analysts who have appeared on “The Reality Check” on WNST that same question.

“Do the Ravens need to put the right playmakers around Flacco to prop him up or should they assume he’s good enough to make lesser players around him better?”

I have probably tended to lean a little bit more to the former. I made my feelings about the team’s decision to trade Anquan Boldin over a desire to save a couple million bucks quite clear. The Ravens however have made it clear at least thus far that they’re operating with a lean to the latter.

The Ravens lost six starters from their Super Bowl winning defense, replacing them with potential starters in Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Elvis Dumervil, Rolando McClain, Michael Huff and top Draft picks Matt Elam and Arthur Brown. At this time, three starters from their Super Bowl winning offense are currently not on the roster and the Ravens have replaced them with…well…I mean…I guess they DID draft a reserve fullback?

Coming out of the NFL Draft, the Ravens still find themselves particularly thin at receiver. Torrey Smith and his freshly-trimmed locks lead the way with Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss, David Reed, LaQuan Williams, Deonte Thompson, Tommy Streeter and Aaron Mellette falling in some sort of similar order behind. The Ravens will certainly have high expectations for TE Dennis Pitta (who we might not see back in Baltimore for awhile as he hopes to get a long-term deal) as well as fellow TE Ed Dickson.

This group makes you believe the Ravens are thinking more along the lines of “Joe Flacco is good enough to make these guys better.” It’s not so terribly unthinkable that this group could help the Ravens win a third straight AFC North title. Certainly the New York Giants felt comfortable enough with Eli Manning under center that they were willing to simply elevate Domenik Hixon and some unknown receiver from UMass named Victor Cruz going into the 2011 season. For their troubles, the Giants were rewarded with their second Vince Lombardi Trophy in the Tom Coughlin era.

Returning with this group would inherently mark a belief that Joe Flacco has reached the level where his ability in Jim Caldwell’s offense is enough to make those he throws the football to better. A decision to obtain a veteran WR cut before the start of the season (similar to what the Ravens did with T.J. Houshmandzadeh in 2010) or to deal for a veteran WR (similar to what the Ravens did in 2011 with Lee Evans) or even to add one more current free agent receiver (Brandon Stokley remains on the market?) might mark more of a belief that the team still needs to help prop up their quarterback via more talented offensive weapons.

A similar situation continues to play out at left tackle. 5th round pick Ricky Wagner is unlikely to be of any sort of help this season, meaning the Ravens’ options are Kelechi Osemele, a possible return of Bryant McKinnie and similar late offseason considerations.

The Ravens may well believe Flacco’s quicker release in the Caldwell offense makes the need for a left tackle upgrade less necessary. The team won a Super Bowl with a left tackle who played significantly in only one regular season game. The Super Bowl winning left tackles in the prior three seasons were Jermon Bushrod, Chad Clifton and David Diehl. All were nice players, none Hall of Famers. The quarterbacks they protected for were Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning.

The Ravens made it quite clear that they feel Flacco is in that group, giving him a contract worth $120 million ($52 million guaranteed) this offseason. That decision made the organization’s faith in their sixth year starter evident, but the decisions they’ve made since then have made it even more so apparent.

The roster we see at OTA’s and minicamp in the next month won’t be a direct reflection of the roster that invades Denver September 5th to face the Broncos, but there won’t be many drastic roster changes to be made.

The Ravens won’t be better offensively in 2013 because of the big splash they made in free agency. They won’t be better offensively in 2013 because they drafted a hot shot receiver or mountainous offensive tackle out of the SEC at the back end of the first round.

Instead, they’ll hope to be better offensively in 2013 simply because of how they REALLY spent their money in free agency…their quarterback. They clearly think the guy is ready to make the rest of the group even better.

I guess my question has essentially been answered. The only question moving forward will be whether or not the decision was the right one.


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Posted on 14 March 2013 by Dwayne Showalter

I still haven’t been able to stop replaying the events of February 3rd on my DVR.  I’m still flipping through the newspapers and magazines that flew off shelves in the subsequent days.  When my team, the Baltimore Ravens, wins the Super Bowl I’m going to live with it for a while and savor it…certainly for more than a month.

Hell, I milked Super Bowl XXXV for twelve years.  I still have tremendous memories of the 2000 championship.  That’s the beauty of winning a championship in sports.  It’s something no one can take away.  You hear the players say that a lot.  It’s the same for us fans.  So with the two titles in mind (one fresh and one fairly distant) let’s compare some facets of the two.

Game Site:  XXXV Tampa, XLVII New Orleans.  I can’t really compare the two cities per se because I have been to neither.  I hear good things about both.  As for the venues, I’ve never been one much for domes or artificial turf.  Give me grass stains and a slight breeze any day.  Working lights are preferable too.  Advantage:  XXXV (1-0)

Regular Season:  XXXV 12-4 Wild Card winner in the AFC Central, XLVII 10-6 AFC North Division Champs.  In 2000, the Ravens darted to a 5-1 record before losing three straight and never lost again.  They went 5 games without a TD in October as well.  But they had one of the most dominating defenses of all time.  This season, Baltimore shot out to a 9-2 record against a tough schedule before again losing three straight games.  After beating the Giants in week 16 and clinching the division, they lost a meaningless game in Cincinnati.  It was somewhat of an anti-climactic end to a season that started on all cylinders.  Advantage: XXXV (2-0)

Uniforms:  XXXV all white, XVLII white jersey blank pants.  I have always liked the classic all-white look for an NFL team.  And some grass stains never hurt.  The last few years though, the white top, black pants combo has grown on me.  If there is one team in the NFL that should wear a lot of black it’s the Ravens.  Plus the old white socks with purple and black stripes killed the look in 2000.  Advantage: XLVII (1-2)

Playoff run:  XXXV Denver, at Tennessee, at Oakland.  XVLII Indianapolis, at Denver, at New England.  In 2000, the playoffs came to Baltimore for the first time since 1977.  It was a huge deal and solid performance in beating Denver.  Winning in Tennessee was a blood bath between the NFLs two best teams.  Oakland was almost an afterthought.   This year’s games included Ray’s Last Dance, the Mile High Miracle and the exorcism of the demons (i.e. a certain WR and kicker) in New England.  Advantage:  XLVII (2-2)

Radio announcers:  XXXV  Scott Garceau and Tom Matte.  XLVII  Gerry Sandusky, Stan White and Qadry Ismael.  Garceau was smooth and clean in my book.  He rarely made mistakes and had a great grasp of the game’s intricacies.  Matte was the stereotypical homer but he added the right amount of insight if a bit bumbling at times.  Sandusky has certainly made his mark with “Touchdowwwwwwn Ravens” and “The hay is in the barn!”  but I think the trio can miss things that, to me, seem obvious.  Plus, I don’t see where the two man analyst combo works that well on the radio.  Advantage:  XXXV (3-2)

TV Crew.  XXXV CBS Gumble and Simms, XLVII CBS Nantz and Simms.  I think both play-by-play guys did admirable jobs.  Simms is solid but pulls out the “Golly Card” or the “Shucks Card” a bit too much.  I have major beef with the Gumble/Simms pairing though.  When Jamal Lewis scored a TD late in XXXV, the play was reviewed at the request of the Giants.  If you remember, he fumbled the ball forward as he crossed the plain.  It was debatable whether he got in or not.  Not debatable was the fact that Qadry Ismael scooped up the ball in the end zone.  It was going to be a TD either way.  No one ever mentioned that.  To this day, I haven’t heard anyone address that.  But that oversight could be offset by Simms’ constant gushing over Colin Kaepernick this year.  Advantage:  Push

Halftime Show:  XXXV Britney Spears and guests, XLVII Beyonce and guests.  I must admit, I don’t really watch the halftime show but Britney in her heyday was no slouch.  But they had to junk her up with Aerosmith and NSync for some reason.  At least they let Beyonce have the stage mostly to herself.  Advantage: XVLII (3-3-1)

Pregame intros:  XXXV The Squirrel, XVLVII team unity.  Ray Lewis busted out “the squirrel dance” for the whole world in 2000.  This year, the Ravens came out together as one (as did the Niners) in what I would call a little cliché and a downright buzz kill.  The intros to me were always kind of cool.  Advantage: XXXV (4-3-1)

The game itself:  XXXV Baltimore 34, NYGiants 7.  XVLII Baltimore 34, San Fran 31.  From a nerves standpoint, XXXV was a relative breeze.  Up 10-0 at half, a 17-0 lead was cut into late in the 3rd only when the Giants scored on the kickoff after which, Jermaine Lewis returned the favor and restored order.  The rest of the game was a celebration.  This season’s game was certainly enjoyed more by the rest of the country.  Watching teams hang onto big early leads isn’t my strong suit though.  We could debate the better long TD pass (Stokely or Jones) or kickoff return (Lewis or Jones).  The better offensive performance came this year.  The better defensive show was in 2000.  The end results were equally fantastic however.  Advantage: Push

Emotional Attachment:  I don’t think there is much doubt that the city is more emotionally attached to the Ravens now than in 2000.  The first championship team still had guys that were signed by the Cleveland Browns and were only five years removed from that ugly divorce.  It’s faded from memories now.  The 2012 bunch had two certain hall of fame players that had been in Baltimore their whole careers.  The Super Bowl XLVII Champs had been so close before, twice losing the AFC Title game.  Though there is always something special about your first time, there is a lot to be said for that long, invested relationship.  Advantage: XLVII. (4-4-2)

So in my scientific break down, it’s a push!  As it should be.  Or maybe the better Super Bowl Champ hat here and here should break the tie?  That’s a tough one for me to call too.   I guess we can wait a few months and use Better Looking Ring !  That’s a lot more fun than already worrying about who will or won’t be here in September.

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