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Commentary: It's been a while since O's fans have had something to cheer about

BY RANDY McROBERTS, rmcroberts@theaegis.com

2:07 PM EDT, September 18, 2012

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A couple of weeks ago co-sports writer Dewey Fox wrote about Baltimore and surrounding area as a "Football Town."

I thought the subject matter was interesting and in some ways very true, but probably not completely.

Now, we all know it's been a long time since the Baltimore Orioles had any post-season play. In fact it was the 1996 and 1997 seasons that saw the Orioles reach the playoffs, win a division series, but lose in the championship series. Before that it was the 1983 world championship season.

It was following that 1997 season that Manager Davey Johnson resigned after reported disputes with owner Peter Angelos. That, the leaving of broadcaster John Miller and a couple other things, is what turned me a little sour against Orioles baseball.

Since those back-to-back playoff seasons in the 1990s, the Orioles haven't had a whole lot of success. A stellar start in 2005 (leading the division for 62 straight days), ended with a 74-88 record and 21 games out of first place.

Interestingly or oddly enough, it was the fall of 1996 that the Baltimore Ravens made their debut in their new Baltimore home.

So, looking back, the Baltimore sports fan had the best of it. The Orioles in the playoffs and NFL football back in Charm City, at least for a short bit of time.

As expected, the Ravens first few seasons were not of playoff caliber, which came as no surprise. Compounding the problem, the Orioles, as we know, were not too good.

Baltimore though, celebrated a Super Bowl title in 2000 and the Ravens have given fans hope for most of the years since then, though falling a game or two short a couple of times.

Bringing things to modern day, life is good for Baltimore sports fans, right? The Orioles are in a real playoff race with a good shot of playing some October baseball and the Ravens are no worse than any other team in the AFC North Division.

On Monday, I substituted in the Harford County Legion Golf League and I was a bit shocked. I saw a handful of fellow golfers proudly wearing Orioles caps. I'm not sure I saw a Ravens hat at all.

Now, had the Ravens won Sunday's game with Philadelphia, maybe things (hats and such) would have been different. I hope not.

I'd like to think those wearing the Orioles hats were doing so for the love of the game, not as an escape from wearing the purple of the Ravens because of a loss.

I don't know, but this is a time for Baltimore fans to be excited. I think many of you are, but I also think the Orioles deserve a little better.

I said when they made the change this year back to the cartoon bird, that I liked it and wanted a hat. I haven't gotten one yet, but when I do, it's not because they're winning. I like the hat and the look.

That said, I am and will root for Orioles baseball as we go. You should, too.