CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 01: Jermaine Gresham #84 of the Cincinnati Bengals fumbles the ball and is hit by Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens during the NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
With all that has been going on around the Baltimore sports scene over the past week or so, from the death of our beloved Art Modell to Mark Reynolds and the fighting Buck Showalters leading the AL East with some heart pounding, edge of your seat, intense action in this weekend's series with the New York Yankees, can the Cincinnati Bengals truly hope to come into M&T Bank Stadium on Monday Night Football, in front of the entire nation, and expect to win? I'm sure if you asked them or any Bengals fan, for that matter, they'd say "hells yeah we can". However I have to think that in the back of their collective minds they know that winning this game in Baltimore with all that has been going on in this city is a pretty daunting task.
Not only have the Ravens dedicated this season to Mr. Modell and the Orioles are in a pennant race for the first time in recent history (after having lost maybe there best player for the rest of the season, sound familiar?) but The Maryland Terrapins also just came off of an impressive season opening win behind their exciting rookie quarterback and the much anticipated second running of the Baltimore Grand Prix (which is much more of a hassle than a pleasure if you ask me but whatever) was also a success.With all of this going on and the pride of Baltimore,the Baltimore Ravens, opening up their season against a division rival at home, on Monday Night Football. This may not be the best time to be bringing your sports team into Charm City...
Of course I understand that by no means does any of this effect what happens on a football field but you know the crowd will be electric. Yes, they would be electric any way but if you live in Baltimore you can almost feel the pride and confidence pouring out into the streets while driving to work in the morning. Complete strangers are high fiving each other at bus stops and purple and black and orange can be seen everywhere you look. You have to think that the Ravens are feeding off of it too.
Last season the Ravens felt they had something to prove week one against Pittsburgh and you saw what happened to them. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Orioles pitcher Zach Britton goes out and slams the door on the Yankees today with a homer or two from the other-worldly Mark Reynolds, if they dare pitch to him. this would give the O's a game lead over the Yanks in the AL East and set the Ravens up perfectly to complete a historic showing of Baltimore sports this weekend with a defining beat down of their division rivals.
I know, I know I'm getting way ahead of myself and the Bengals are a very good young football team that could challenge the Ravens, say, five out of ten times but there is just something in the air here in Baltimore and it's not just the usual smell of old bay and Natty Boh breath, it's the smell of winning and pride in our teams (plural!). It just wouldn't be right to end this amazing weekend with an opening day loss to Andy Dalton and the orange kitty cats.
***On a side note: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Yankee fans. Mark Teixeira was safe at first last night but you have been getting those calls for over a decade now. Don't get your panties all up in a bunch because one finally went the other way. Besides, tell your boy Mark that the head first slide is probably what lost the game. If he had just legged it out like a normal first baseman/power hitter he would have been safe by a mile. Besides he's an Oriole fan, what do you expect?***