The Ravens and Orioles are fighting for the evening of Thursday, September 5th, and this is sure to get ugly if not settled shortly.
The NFL has started the tradition of the Super Bowl Champion opening the season the Thursday night before the rest of the league kicks off on Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens, Super Bowl XLVII victors, have earned this right and the date they are aiming for is Thursday, September 5, 2013.
However, the Baltimore Orioles have a home night game that day, after coming home from a road trip that is scheduled to end with a night game at the Chicago White Sox. The Orioles game has been scheduled for a while the Ravens game was just announced. Obviously, the NFL and the Ravens would like the Orioles and MLB to concede the time slot to the football team and re-schedule their game for an earlier time.
The problem this causes to the Orioles is that they will be in Chicago late into Wednesday night and to fly home and then expect to play a day game is an unrealistic expectation and logistical nightmare. The O's would have to jump on a plane immediately following their night game, then get home and grab a few hours of sleep before heading to Camden Yards to play another game.
For the Orioles to play earlier Thursday, in time to clear the stadium, the parking lots and area in time for 70,000 football fans only a few hours later, would take the cooperation of the White Sox, which appears to be one of the hangups in the process.
The Chisox say that moving the game to the afternoon would lower the revenue and therefore they are unwilling to accommodate the NFL. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig could step in and order the change made to the schedule if the Orioles supported and strongly suggested the changes.
The Orioles are not obligated to disrupt their schedule for the Ravens. They could be embroiled in a pennant race, making every game count in September. Or, they could be so far out of the race that no one would care if they switched the time, day or even played the game. The possibilities to accommodate the Super Bowl Champs are many.
The Orioles could push to get the White Sox game moved to earlier in the day. The Orioles could play at 1pm or 2pm, and the NFL and Ravens could bend a bit and play at 9pm, a late starting time, but still manageable. The Orioles could playa double-header on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and just not play on Thursday at all.
This is Baltimore and this city is firmly a football town right now. The Orioles experienced success for the first time in 15 seasons last year. However, unless the Birds want to fear the scorn of a lot more Ravens than Orioles fans, they should make it their business to do whatever it takes to make sure the Ravens kick off the 2013 NFL season as scheduled.
It's in their best interest and especially the venting that would just be piled on the already vilified Orioles owner, Peter Angelos. The problem with Angelos is that if it's a power play battle, the little man with the Napoleonic Complex will take it as a challenge and will not budge for his own personal sake.
Hopefully, calmer heads will prevail and it will be worked out to the mutual satisfaction of both of Baltimore's teams, their fans and both MLB and the NFL.