This is a good time to be a fan of the local teams. The Baltimore Ravens kick-off the 2012 season on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium and the O’s are in the hunt.

I know, the wrist injury to Baltimore Oriole Gold Glove right fielder Nick Markakis really put a damper on things this weekend, but the fact that the O’s stood toe to toe with the New York Yankees was encouraging.

The Birds split their four-game series against the New York Yankees and are right where they were at the start of it. A 13-3 loss on Sunday on the heels of losing Markakis could cause some panic but this team has been resilient all year. Nate McClouth has been a spark and maybe he can be a solid replacement in the lead-off position in Markakis’ absence or maybe Buck Showalter can do what he’s done all year and just find a way to make it fit.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens are trying to get to the post-season for the fifth consecutive time. While that would be a tall order, the team is hopeful that the new and improved Joe Flacco led offense can now be the team’s beacon.

The Ravens have been led by their defense for over a decade, but with Terrell Suggs on the shelf for the foreseeable future, Flacco, Ray Rice and Torrey Smith may have to keep putting points on the board to keep this team in contention.

The good thing about this season is that the schedule will let us know how good or not this team is early with the Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots in the first three weeks.

If you are a sports fan for the Orange and Black and the Purple and Black, these are the days you’ve been waiting for. All games in September are of extreme importance. You gotta love it.

Rob Long


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