This is a typical "be thankful for" Thanksgiving Day story, as all Baltimore Ravens fans need to read this, understand and acknowledge how lucky we are to have a competitive football team. The Ravens have pretty much always played meaningful games at this point of the season, much more than could be said for our woeful Major League Baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles, who haven't played meaningful games in June for over ten years!
Look around the rest of the NFL and see all the teams that might have had hope at the beginning of the season, and now where are they? The best thing about the NFL is that for the most part, almost every team can legitimately have that hope for competing every year. The level playing field along with the salary cap ensures that despite what happened last year, hope springs forth the very next season.
However, year after year, it seems that a lot of the same teams make the mistakes or have the injuries that doom them to playing out their schedule by the time Turkey Day rolls around. Not the Baltimore Ravens, as between their Front Office and coaching staff, the players put us fans in the wonderful position of debating the merits of who and where they will be playing in the post season just about every year. If the Ravens make the playoffs at the end of the season, it will mark the fourth time in five years we've had a team to root for in late-January. Not too many teams can boast of that streak.
Of course, at times we may seem to be a little bit of a spoiled bunch of kids, as we complain about what the team should have done, even when they win the game. We've seen how good they can be and therefore our expectations raise to almost unfair standards of excellence. Many of us, including me, have said that the team should be more like 9-1 instead of the already very good 7-3. Perhaps our passion to be perfect and never make the mistakes that can turn an NFL game on just one play is a bit unrealistic but our desire to be the best takes over our need to remain realistic and satisfied.
As fans, we need to use today to step back and admire what we have in front of us every Sunday from September to deep into January or dare we say, perhaps even beyond? Regardless of the opponent, most Ravens fans think we will win each time the team steps out onto the field. How many ther team's fans predict their team to win week in and out? Yeah, the hated Pittsburgh Steelers also fall into this category, and we are well aware of their success over and beyond the same time period we are discussing. At the same time, to be good enough to have what is considered not only one of the best rivalries in the NFL but in all of sports, is a testament to our success and expectations.
So before we continue to debate, criticize and complain, take a look around the nation and see how many fans of other NFL teams would gladly trade places with us Baltimore Ravens fans. Then say "we give thanks for our Baltimore Ravens." Happy Thanksgiving to all. Peace.