Earlier this week, Tuesday to be exact, I received an e-mail from Larry who says he’s a Ravens season ticket holder and took issue with the fact that I was being – in his mind – too easy on the football team in the wake of a 3-5 start.
“What you don’t understand,” the e-mail read, “is that a lot of us feel shortchanged by what the Ravens have done with this team.”
I didn’t flip out or anything, but I got a little heated with that comment. I spent ten minutes or so addressing it in the show.
Last night, Larry e-mailed me again.
“On today’s show, I heard you sarcastically say short-changed a few times and you referenced my e-mail to you and it sounded like you were making fun of me. Well ask the fans if you don’t believe me. But you don’t have the guts to because you’ll find out I’m right and most people out there think the same way I do.”
And, honestly, I couldn’t care less how many people “out there” think the same way Larry does. It doesn’t matter to me if you think the Ravens have short-changed the fans.
You’re wrong if you think that.
That’s all. Period. Full stop.
The Ravens and the word “short-changing the fans” should never be used in the same sentence.
They certainly haven’t always been perfect — no team in the league can say they have, by the way — since they showed up here in 1996, but they’ve been to four AFC title games, two Super Bowls, and they’re 2-0 in those games.
What do the Browns and Lions have in common?
Answer: They were both in business before you and I were born. And they’ve never once been TO a Super Bowl.
That, my friends, is the definition of “short-changing your fans”.
This Ravens team might finish 8-8. No question about that. And, if they do, it would be their worst season under John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco.
That, however, isn’t completely unexpected the year after you’ve won the Super Bowl.
Unless you’re not paying attention to the way sports works, that is.
An 8-8 season after five straight playoff appearances and a World Championship shouldn’t be looked at as “short-changing the fans” in any situation. What the Astros did last summer by breaking up their team and operating the entire season with a $30 million payroll was, to borrow a term, “short-changing the fans”.
The Ravens have paid out far more than they’ve taken in to the sports fans of Baltimore. They’ve over-delivered, big time.
Speaking of the concept of “short-changing the fans”…how have the Orioles done since 1993?