Billy Cundiff, in happier times, celebrating a game-winning field goal against Arizona.(Photo: Gail Burton, Associated Press)
""Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore"
-from Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.
Like everyone else here, the ending of the 2011 AFC Championship was painful for me to watch.
When the pass to Lee Evans was ruled incomplete, I went from excited to crushed in a millisecond. And when Billy Cundiff's kicked sailed wide, I was inconsolable. I ran outside & stayed in my car for a few minutes because I didn't want my reaction to upset my family.
Lee Evans hauls in a one-handed catch against Houston, the week before the New England game.(Photo:James Lang - USA TODAY Sports)
I don't know about you, but I've forgiven them, and I did so before the Super Bowl XLVII victory.
First off, Evans certainly could have done a better job in the end zone. But I've also believed from the moment it happened that Sterling Moore made a great play.
As for Cundiff, the miscues about which down it was and the rushed FG attempt didn't help matters. Considering John Harbaugh's background as a Special Teams coach (which should have taught him that kickers are headcases), the Ravens should've called a timeout.
But the main reason I forgive is because I don't want to emulate the reactions I've seen from other fanbases to big-game screw-ups. The way Boston fans treated Bill Buckner for years was shameful. Same goes for Donnie Moore's treatment by Angels fans after giving up a huge homerun in the ALCS (never mind the fact that Gary Lucas was arguably just as big a goat in that story and suffered no blame.).
I'm as passionate as any Ravens fan, I'll be screaming at the TV every game this year. But I've always tried to be a human being first and a football fan second.
No, I don't think the hatred of Evans and Cundiff is nearly as intense as it is for those guys mentioned above. But I think it's time for Ravens Nation to forgive them.