Ravens, O’s, and golf

August 30, 2007 | Ed Frankovic

If I am Brian Billick, there is no way I’m playing Steve McNair against Atlanta because there is so much more to lose than gain by having him play. Play Kyle Boller the entire first half and Troy Smith in the second half. I’d also sit Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Chris McAlister, Willis McGahee, Trevor Pryce, Kelly Gregg, Haloti Ngata, Bart Scott, and Terrell Suggs. Losing any one of those guys long-term would put a serious dent in the Ravens’ Super Bowl hopes.

Speaking of McNair, I’m hoping he has at least two more years in him as a Raven. Frequently I am asked, "What are the Ravens going to do about a QB of the future?" My answer is: "They’ll cross that bridge when they get to it." Quarterback is by far the hardest position to play in all of sports. Drafting and developing a QB is not very easy to do. It seems that it takes about five years for a young QB to figure out how to play the position well, so drafting someone isn’t really the answer. I know alot of people are hoping Troy Smith is the QB of the future here, but I’m just not seeing it. The Florida Gators made him look horrible in the BCS title game last year (the Big Ten was way overrated) and other than his pocket presence, he has not impressed me at all in preseason. He is too short and his arm is too erratic, although I would not mind being proven wrong on this observation.

On the topic of the O’s and their woes … I admit it is tough to take when the Red Sox and Yankees fans invade Baltimore when their teams are here but I can’t blame those fans. It is easier for them to come here than get tickets at Fenway or risk their lives in the Bronx. Besides, I remember when the idea of an O’s road trip was fun. In fact back in 1989, some friends and I spontaneously bolted a wedding reception a little early to drive to Cleveland to see the O’s play the Tribe on Memorial Day in 1989. That’s how much we loved the team back then. Now you can’t even get me to plan a trip weeks or months in advance just to go to Camden Yards. What a shame …

Another thing that is becoming more annoying with the O’s is that on Sundays they are frequently on TV on WJZ. As a huge fan of the PGA Tour, the O’s (or Tragics as I call them) often preempt the golf coverage for the week. Luckily down here in Howard County, I can flip over to the DC channel but the picture is not in HD … I wonder what other golf fans in the Baltimore area are doing when they don’t have the DC channel option??? I could easily tolerate the O’s games if they had their act together and there was a time when I would have preferred to watch the O’s over golf, but that desire faded long ago … thank you again Peter Angelos.

Speaking of the PGA Tour, this FedEx Cup thing is an interesting idea but will never hold a candle to the majors. I had no problem with Tiger Woods taking last week off. Hey, in the NFL if you are one of the top two seeds in your conference you get a bye in the first round of the playoffs so why shouldn’t Tiger be able to sit the first week and still have a good shot to win? You didn’t hear the NFL commissioner whining about Peyton Manning being off when the Colts had a bye for several years in a row, did you?? The Tour is definitely getting the networks, especially Jim Nantz and CBS, to hype this FedEx Cup as much as possible. Case in point: All last weekend, CBS kept putting up graphics showing where a player stood in the overall FedEx Cup based on what they would score on that particular hole (birdie, par, bogey, double, etc.) and this was during the third round of the first event??!! It was totally ridiculous and self-promoting, but I’m sure we’ll see that stuff again this week. I see Tiger winning the Cup — no problem. He loves the course in Boston and owns Cog Hill in Chicago, so he should have a good lead going into the last week in Atlanta.

To all the hockey fans out there: It’s only a couple of weeks until training camps open!!

Feel free to drop me a note anytime at: emfrank123@comcast.net.