Ravens put on the red light for the Police

The Baltimore Sun

Now just wait one minute. Fans ask so little of the Baltimore Ravens. Every season, there's only one thing we expect.

Win the Super Bowl.

So, it seems selfish to ask for one more teeny, tiny favor from the hometown team. But there are times in life when desire trumps selfishness.

Here is the predicament: A Ravens preseason scrimmage scheduled this summer conflicts with an available date on the reunion tour of the Police. The band, which reunited to perform at the Grammy Awards Feb. 11, has announced a 15-city tour that, to date, does not include Baltimore because of the Ravens' schedule.

It's almost as if football comes first with the Ravens. Maybe that's not fair to say, but that's how it looks.

Their little scrimmages aren't even real games.

The Police will be in striking distance of Baltimore. They are scheduled to play New York City on Aug. 1 and Aug. 3. An area concert promoter, Seth Hurwitz, offered to broker an agreement that would bring the band to M&T; Bank Stadium. But the best date for the group was Aug. 4, the day the Ravens plan to scrimmage the Washington Redskins. "We were chasing a dream" to get the Police to Baltimore's football stadium, Hurwitz says. "But that date doesn't work for the team."

For the unspeakably young, Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers were the Police. In 1984, the British band broke up after a heap of hits including "Roxanne," "Every Breath You Take," "Don't Stand So Close To Me" and "Who Let the Dogs Out." (That last one might not be right.) The group disbanded the same year the Colts left Baltimore so, in a time-warped convoluted way, you could say the Police owe Baltimore a tour stop.

After last week's news of the scheduling conflict, one Marylander declared, "I hate football." After a moment to calm down and reconsider, she said, "I hate football."

But the subtext of her vague response was: "I love Sting."

The beloved Sting launched a successful solo career after the band imploded. In football parlance, he was given a franchise tag. Sting is also Tantric-trained, which might be a factor in his popularity.

Some people have more closely followed the career of the dashing pop star than, say, the career of Ravens long snapper Matt Katula. These people would prefer spending an August afternoon at the stadium listening to the music of the Police than watching the art of long snapping.

But the Police and the Baltimore are probably not meant to be this summer. It's all because of the scrimmage-hungry Ravens.

Win the Super Bowl, and we'd likely forgive you.


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