The Baltimore Ravens Won The Super Bowl
It’s nice to just type that out, and to read it.
“It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t pretty. But it was us,” said Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh. That sure as hell sums up not just the Super Bowl, but just about everything the Ravens do.
The team has a tendency to blow large leads. Their quarterback (and Super Bowl MVP) Joe Flacco during the regular season had a bit of a consistency issue. He’d play like Peyton Manning one week, and a week later play like Mark Sanchez. (A great quarterback, and a lousy one, respectively.) For a while there the team was quite injury prone. (Even in the big game last night, vital defensive component Haloti Ngata got injured and didn’t return.) They were one of the most penalized teams in the NFL this year.
In short, watching the current Baltimore Ravens can, for a fan such as myself, be a nerve-wracking, heartbreaking, indigestion-inducing affair. It sure as hell was right up until the end last night, when during their biggest game of the year, and of perhaps the decade, the Ravens displayed each of the flaws I mentioned above at some of the worst possible moments.
The light itself seemed to work against them. For 35 minutes the game was delayed because of a power failure at the Superdome. Paraphrasing Coach John Harbaugh, how could it be any other way for this team after the season it had?
But as I write this, the Ravens are NFL Champions. Something that tends to erase a lot (but not ALL) of the exasperation I feel with their mistakes during the regular season. Their victory is even featured on the front page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today, paper of their arch-rivals, the Steelers.
They almost went to the Super Bowl last year, if not for two serious, inexcusable foul-ups on the part of two people that are not even with the team anymore, and who shall remain nameless in this post.
The vast majority of pundits did not predict a Ravens victory, and some of them are still making the story more about the San Francisco loss. Baltimore, as I told some of my friends last night, just isn’t the sexy, poetic, lucrative, marketable story that many people wanted from the Super Bowl. It wasn’t in 2001, (the last time they won it all) and it isn’t now, and the media is trying to adjust to a Ravens victory.
From a media standpoint, it simply isn’t sexy for the Ravens to win the Super Bowl. Not outside of Maryland, anyway. The world wants to see the Patriots win their next one. They want to see Pittsburgh climb their bogus “Stairway to Seven”. They wanted Peyton Manning to come back from a year off and win everything.
It seems appropriate that I root for the Ravens. For my own life in a way mirrors their last few seasons. Much potential, some outstanding, memorable moments, and getting exceptionally close to big things, only to have fate, or my own dumb errors blow it for me. Few people seem to think I have what it takes.
But then I come back sometimes and nail it anyway. Possibly because I’m too much of a stubborn pain in the ass to give up totally. I’ve had some plans that meant a lot to me go up in flames in the last few years, but I keep making plans.
Which I know from every feel good platitude that ever was spat out is key to success. I also know that most people will continue to doubt that I am the best person for the job, or what have you. (Outside of those that truly know me.) And even when I do shine through with my obvious victories, there is usually someone nearby that points out it isn’t as impressive as someone else. (I actually once had someone tell me after a good karaoke performance that I wasn’t as good as Freddie Mercury. For god’s sake who is?)
In short, I am not usually considered the sexy option in what I do.
Yet, like T-Sizzle, Ray Lewis, Coach Harbaugh, and the rest of Ravens Nation, I usually don’t care. I know when I’ve nailed it, and I’ll know the next time as well. It usually isn’t pretty or perfect when I do things, but it is me. And when I get it right, I really get it right.