Rob Long: Perception Is Reality
I honestly believed the excitement of the Baltimore Ravens signing of Elvis Dumervil would ease some of the pain of the team opening the 2013 season on the road. Don’t know what I was thinking, but it seems that it makes it worse.
The blame game has been played on sports talk radio since the announcement that no agreement has been reach to allow for both teams to play on Thursday, September 5th. Fans feel robbed by the decision, and rightfully so. The decision to allow the defending Superbowl champ to open at home began in 2004 when the New England Patriots opened the season at home against the Indianapolis Colts. Since that time, fans of the champs have grown to expect the same treatment, festivities and all.
Some Ravens fans have blamed the Baltimore Orioles for this decision. While it’s difficult to convince them that this isn’t the fault of either team, it’s best to look at the situation with all parties involved. Fans could care less. They remember opening up the the 2001 season with no “pop” as the team opened that season on a Sunday afternoon with regional coverage against the Chicago Bears. They want more and deserve more. When that happens, fans look for someone to blame.
If you’re thinking Major League Baseball should have worked with the NFL, the closest representation in your reach would be the Baltimore Orioles. If you believe that MLB sets its schedule far in advance, you probably think it’s the NFL’s problem. Either way, we’re not going to have that home opener and a new tradition in the National Football League has ended, and wouldn’t you know it… The tradition ends in a year when the Ravens win it all.