I live in a small town in Northern Ontario. Everybody knows everybody. And I hate everybody. Naturally, hockey reins king, which means going out to the local sports bar is always a disappointment. Our games are never shown. So, I made my own place the place to be, after purchasing a 43 inch flat screen by the sweat of my brow.
And so, every Sunday since the basement became sacred. Yelling in anger, exhaling in relief, the basement has seen all the emotions in the world. Flanked by my brothers, it was the only place in the city where I could have a healthy football related conversation.
But the basement truly became legend on January 13th, 2012. How long was that game? I remember it starting with the sun high up in the air and ending in absolute darkness. For what felt like an entire day, the Ravens and the Broncos traded blows, putting us and Ravens fans across the entire emotional range. Jumping in elation, chest thumping in bravado or gaping in awe and disbelief.
The latter was the one etched on my face as Jacoby Jones blew kisses to the stunned Denver crowd. I leaned against the sofa's arm, holding my head in my left hand, while my brother roared like Ray Lewis in a pre game huddle.
It was freezing in the basement. Yet after it all, it felt like the middle of July. I was drenched in sweat and drenched of energy. It was an experience that could not have been fully realized in any other place but the comfort and familiarity of my own home.
In 2013, renovations forced me to move the TV to my room. In 2013, the Ravens had their worst year under John Harbaugh, finishing with an 8-8 record that felt like a 5-11. It must have been a coincidence.
Now, I've never been to M&T Bank Stadium. I'm sure those of you who have can answer if the stadium boasting the best home field advantage in the league (yeah, I said it) tops your home experience.