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‘Hard Knocks’ and title fights: A streaming guide for Ravens fans waiting out the coronavirus

You’re stuck at home, bored, not cool enough to figure out what a TikTok is. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing might as well be your middle name. You can’t go to the gym, can’t go to the movie theater, can’t stand to hear anyone cough without seeing your life flash before your eyes.

So you turn to ESPN, then Netflix, then Hulu and Amazon Prime and Disney Plus. You scroll and scroll. Nothing catches your eye. You envy the friends and family members who have a dog.

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Suddenly, you remember — the Ravens! The NFL season might be long over, and most of the top free agents already know where they’re going, but YouTube — well, YouTube never forgets. From game broadcasts to training camp footage to informative breakdowns, there’s enough streaming content available to make you forget about the national emergency and the 5 pounds you’ve already packed on.

When you come to grips with the fact that it’s OK to watch something besides “The Office,” here are a few options worth your time.

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For the Ravens fan who wants to party like it’s 2012 (or 2001)

“Super Bowl XLVII: ‘The Harbaugh Bowl’ aka ‘The Blackout’ | Ravens vs. 49ers | NFL Full Game" (2 hours, 39 minutes)

The bad Harbaugh puns, the early Ravens lead, the midgame power outage, the second-half 49ers rally, the goal-line stand, the postgame interviews — this full-length broadcast of the Ravens’ last NFL championship has everything but the commercials. (OK, so it doesn’t have everything: You’ll have to look elsewhere for Beyonce’s memorable halftime show.)

If you’ve got another three hours to burn, the Super Bowl XXXV broadcast is also available.

For the Ravens fan feeling nostalgic for Joe Flacco

“Flacco’s Hail Mary | Ravens vs. Broncos 2012 AFC Divisional Playoffs | NFL Full Game” (2 hours, 42 minutes)

Sorry, Rahim Moore. Lest we forget, maybe the most memorable performance of Flacco’s career — 331 passing yards and three touchdowns against the top-seeded Broncos in freezing-cold Denver — didn’t end with his 70-yard shot to Jacoby Jones, or even in the first overtime period. It wasn’t until the Ravens’ third overtime possession that kicker Justin Tucker nailed his game-winning 47-yard field goal. Which means there’s a lot to watch.

If you’ve memorized that game by now, go one season back for more vintage Flacco. Two under-the-radar candidates: a Week 1 home blowout of the Steelers in 2011, or a last-second Week 9 rally at Pittsburgh later that season.

For the Ravens fan who never got to know Tony Siragusa

“The First Ever Hard Knocks Episode | 2001 Baltimore Ravens Episode 1 | NFL Vault” (52 minutes)

The Ravens have been featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” just once — in 2001, as the defending Super Bowl champions and guinea pigs for the cinéma vérité docuseries. The idea of embedding with a team through training camp was so novel that NFL Films paid veterans like Ray Lewis and Rod Woodson $8,000 to cooperate.

The resulting six episodes, all available on YouTube, established a compelling template for the long-running series. There are Shannon Sharpe impressions and shots of Todd Heap shopping for a cellphone and so many bucket hats. There’s also Tony Siragusa.

"Why do guys go to BYU?" the Ravens defensive tackle asks a coaching intern in the premiere.

"Why do we go to BYU?" responds the poor intern, who starts to respond before he’s cut off.

"You can't have chicks in your room. You've got to have both feet on the floor when you have a girl in your room. Can't drink. Why do you go to college? To study? You actually study?"

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“Yeah.”

For the Ravens fan who couldn’t make it to church

“Unexpected | Ray Lewis | TEDxYouth@VHS” (22 minutes)

These are tough times. People are dying, the economy is sinking, social distancing is distressing. The future is uncertain. If you need a pick-me-up, consider this 2016 TED Talk. As with most Lewis productions, it’s not for everyone — the speech is essentially a sermon inspired by his football career, the good times and the bad — but the themes are universal. “Learn to appreciate the occasional storms that come in your life,” Lewis says at the end. “That’s the ingredient of how you really deal with pain.”

For the still-scarred Ravens fan

“What Happened to Lamar Jackson? Ravens vs Titans Playoffs” (43 minutes)

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing NFL Network Brian Baldinger’s film breakdowns had just a little bit higher production values and a much longer runtime, look no further than J.T. O’Sullivan’s YouTube channel, “The QB School.” With the wisdom of a former journeyman NFL quarterback and the accessible coherence of a current high school football coach, O’Sullivan breaks down everything from the Wonderlic test to offensive game plans to passing-game route combinations.

Last season, Jackson’s play was a popular subject. Unfortunately for Ravens fans, O’Sullivan’s longest video yet on the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player will also be the hardest to watch: an extensive analysis of Jackson’s highs and lows in the Ravens’ season-ending playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. If you have the stomach to watch all 43 minutes, you’ll come out a lot more informed on just what went wrong. If you don’t, O’Sullivan has far more ecstatic options.

For the Ravens fan with a Browns fan in their life

“Every Browns Penalty from Week 1 | NFL 2019 Highlights” (5 minutes)

Because sometimes you just need to laugh.

Honorable mention

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

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