Ravens fans: Angry about the team, angry about the team’s marketing decisions

October 24, 2013 | Drew Forrester

It’s easy for me to tell someone not to take $130,000 when it’s offered to them.

It’s not all that easy to NOT take it, though, if it’s offered to you.

The story circulating about the Ravens taking $130,000 from the state of Maryland as they push the “Affordable Care Act” on the citizens of Maryland is quite the hot button topic.

Lots of football fans in town are angry at the Ravens for aligning themselves with “ObamaCare”.  I’m not sure if any of those who are irate are willing to divorce themselves from the team because of the situation, but that’s the chance the Ravens took when they signed on “ObamaCare” as a marketing partner.

The Ravens didn’t ask me, so I didn’t get to tell them this in advance of the deal, and I’m quite certain they don’t care what I think, anyway.

But I’ll use this space to opine on it because it’s my right to do that.

If I were advising the Ravens, I would have told them to say “no thanks” to the deal and the $130,000.

Look, I get it…a hundred and thirty grand is a hundred and thirty grand.  Even when you’re valued at upwards of three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollars, $130,000 is still a nice chunk of change.

That said, it’s not enough – in my opinion – to sell your soul to something as volatile as the nation’s new health insurance system, which is clearly the most dysfunctional “thing” the United States has rolled out in – well – maybe forever.

It’s just not worth the hassle and ill will it potentially creates.

And yes, the Ravens have a right to sign on any “advertiser” they want.  Just because they advertise beer, it doesn’t mean you have to buy the product they advertise.  You don’t have to purchase the particular brand of hot dogs they market to you at the stadium.

In this case, though, whoring yourself for $130,000 to a client that potentially has such a negative impact on the folks who are “mandated” to participate just reeks of a bad choice by the Ravens.

When marijuana becomes legal in Maryland — and that will happen before 2023, once the state figures out how to profit off of it — will the Ravens advertise THAT product, too?

It will be a hot button topic the day Maryland legalizes pot…the same way “ObamaCare” is a hot button topic…and I’m curious to see if the Ravens take marketing money from weed growers and sellers.

I’m personally not affected at all by the country’s new insurance system.  I think it’s a horrible policy, frankly, but most of what the current administration in D.C. has done can be filed under “horrible”.  That said, since my family already has health insurance, I don’t really have a dog in the hunt on this one, other than receiving a bunch of e-mails from disgusted Ravens fans who don’t understand why the Ravens would take $130,000 from the state of Maryland to promote something as potentially damaging as “ObamaCare”.

I don’t have an answer for those folks who are angry.  You can either keep rooting for the team or turn in your tickets so someone else can buy them.

That said, the Ravens would have been far better served to just say “no thanks” when the sponsorship opportunity came their way and the $130,000 was offered.  Unless — “ahem” — some high ranking state official who also happens to own a sky box or two at the football stadium put the heat on them to do the deal and help out “his friend” in Washington D.C.

When it comes to football – and politics – we all know this:  It’s a dirty game under the pile.



19 Comments For This Post

  1. Kolo Jezdec Says:

    I wonder if there would be quite as much anger if the Ravens were 7-0?

    Too bad they could not get enough money from the state to be able to keep Mr. Boldin around.

    Maybe those angry fans could show their distaste for this by buying one less beer at the stadium during the next home game? Maybe donate that money to a local charity that helps people put food on the table. Then the Ravens could donate the $130,000 they got from the state to the same charity and everyone is a winner.

  2. Kolo Jezdec Says:

    Also, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the $130,000 the state gave to the Ravens came from the pockets of the taxpayers in Maryland. (DF: That’s not really an issue at all. The state uses our money every day for stuff we don’t approve of…)

  3. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    $130,000 is pocket change for a billionaire franchise, why would they want to align themselves with a time bomb like Obamacare puzzles me? They should have said no & just moved on !!!

  4. The Armchair QB Says:

    It’s been said that, “politics makes strange bedfellows” and this is one “bed” the Ravens may regret having to lie in! If the organization learns anything from the fallout over this decision, it probably will be to stay out of……politics!

  5. Jason Manelli Says:

    Well, we have the football equivalent of a shutdown this week anyway with the bye, so I guess this story makes sense.

  6. justafan Says:

    Obama Care is the biggest scam ever forced upon the American People. Having said that, the Ravens should stay the hell out of politics. Not only should they turn down the $130,000 from the State, they should not have accepted Obama’s invitation to the White House. Tyranny is rapidly replacing Liberty in this country thanks to the likes of Barrack Obama.

  7. Charlie Says:

    maybe it’s helpful to the team to be seen by local and state authorities as supportive of the health scheme, which is the party’s signature effort at the moment. maryland is a one-party state, so it might be a bad plan for any corporation — even a popular one which revived our football lives — to say ‘no’ when the authorities come calling for help. i am not bothered by this, even though i don’t like the health plan, because i think the ravens are paying protection money.

  8. Chuck Says:

    What’s so disingenuous and dishonest is the way some in the local media are implicating Dick Cass, while absolving and apparently protecting Steve Bisciotti for the decision to promote ObamaCare through assets owned or influenced by the Ravens. Dick Cass has ZERO equity in the organization. He’s an employee, albeit a very powerful one.

    Anyone who believes that Bisciotti was unaware of this sponsorship agreement (particularly one that’s so politically charged) and not given the opportunity by Cass to walk away from it, is probably so blinded by purple loyalty as to live in some alternative universe that doesn’t really exist. Or at least also believes in the Tooth Fairy.

  9. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Just a follow-up: The Ravens should admit that they made a mistake in taking the money. next they should match the money & donate it to charitable causes in Balto. & make sure every media outlet knows what they did. I think that would help the PR dept. getting back to the good graces of the fans. And if was done because of some sky box owner putting pressure on Bisciotti, then this is way deeper than anybody realizes !!!

  10. John In Westminster Says:

    1) Billionaires don’t become billionaires by turning down 6 figure checks.

    2) Since the State of Maryland helped to build our beloved stadium, the State and the Ravens will always be in an amicable business relationship.

    By no means do I agree with Obamacare (nor most of the Republicrats/Demicans in office) in any way. But business is business and we live in capitalist economy.

    Prediction: Despite some anticipated fan backlash of the non-Obama fans, this will soon be forgotten, which most likely will be after the next Harbaugh over-coaching move that risks another win.

  11. BK Says:

    I guess everyone just loves our health care system now huh? Do you love paying for things that you find out AFTER the fact of what they cost? Do you like paying $500 to have your temperature taken, and then 3 different co-pays to the nurse, the nursing assistant, and the janitor that was in the room when you had your temperature taken? Only to see the cost of the procedure got knocked down to $20 when the insurance company picked up the bill. but would have cost you $500 if you had no insurance and paid it out of pocket. So funny how so many Americans vote and root for a certain party and/or candidate that usually goes COMPLETELY against what is beneficial to them. Keep the racist, pitch fork, witch hunt going, from 95% of people that have no idea why they feel that way! LMAO.

    Obama Care has plenty of flaws, yes, but not nearly as many as the original plan. You take a guess at who ‘forced’ it to it’s present policy…

    BTW – To say this is the single most horrific, biggest scam, ever on the American Citizens just shows how short-sited and uneducated people are. Welfare, Social Security, Tax Codes, Pork Barrels, private money in election campaigns, piggy-back practice of passing bills, a two party political system with too many terms, The Electoral College, forcing America into needless WARS, etc. etc. just to name a few.

    Get a grip people and think about better prioritizing what is important in this world. The Ravens taking $130,000 from the Democratic State of MD for a law passed by the elected President of The United States is not the end of the world.

    – Independent

  12. Dan Says:

    To BK , , The President of The United States does not pass laws .

  13. Chuck Says:


    Would you buy a house without first fully reading the proposed sales agreement? No.

    Would you buy a car before not fully reading the sales contract? Of course not.

    But you accept and endorse a 2,800 page piece of legislation that both you and everyone of us (Including Obama and Pelosi) has still yet to fully read and understand because your political party overlords tell you it’s a good thing.

    You’re a complete tool.

  14. unitastoberry Says:

    Maybe Dick Cass should have read the plans and their prices first before he cashed the check for 130k? I and many many others in my age group 55 and upper middle class income bracket are looking at losing another 200-500 a month depending on what your employer or you as a individual pay to healthcare. We were promised 4 years ago that our premiums would come down? Since the recession prices for everything except houses have skyrocketed. I stop to buy lunch and its 8-9 dollars for a sandwich! The state now taxes me on Rain? Put me in the you should have read the fine print column before you took that money Ravens!

  15. OVER40DON Says:

    Chuck , I’m sure BK read the entire bill. Yer just piling on to racist, witch hunt Drew started here. But remember, you don’t realize you are doing that. I had no idea Obamacare was going the right the ship on all the hospital over charges. And of course lets not forget about those janitorial fees we all pay EVERY tome week seek health care. TOOL ? NK is a misguided, delusional, FOOL.

  16. Ralph Says:

    To begin with, the new insurance thingy is not politics anymore than Social Security is politics. The political aspect of it is way past. Second, I’m pretty sure Steve B and Dick C. are big time Democrats as were the Modells before them and most of Maryland. The Ravens have for one reson or another been allowed to be vocal about their politics even conservative types like old Matt B. our center. Like the dude before said, if they weren’t 3-4 with some strange coaching decisions no one would even care about this. Of course, to be fair, if the Ravens brass appeared to be Republicans I would probably be pissed. While my cooment seems a bit desultory, I hope we can all be friends and the Ravens can win the AFC again because the Broncos suck.

  17. Russ Says:

    BK & Over40don, you have both clearly shown your complete ignorance. Why do idiots as yourself, always have to raise a ‘racist’ flag anytime anyone disagrees with the president or his policies? I happen to disagree totally with Obamacare because I do not want more government control over our lives. There is far too much already! The government, BOTH parties to be clear so you do not start whining about racism again, have a terrible track record with running programs. Take a quick look at the postal service and how successful (not) an operation they have run with that. Also, I doubt very seriously BK or anyone here for that matter has read the whole Obamacare bill. It is a recipe for disaster. Allow the private sector to compete for healthcare and the competition alone will keep the pricing competative. Anytime only ONE party, crams a major bill down the throats of a citizenry which by number is generally opposed, is a bad idea for us all. THAT, is not the way that the government, the people WE hire, should run OUR country.

  18. OVER40DON Says:

    Russ u dufus I was being sarcastic. U r the tool Chuck was referring too I believe.

  19. Dirk Says:

    This is all the more reason to have an NFL team in London! Go Goodell Go!

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