Hundreds of Ravens fans who have been transplanted to Denver over the years have created a meet-up group for watching games that has turned Chopper's Sports Grill into a Ravens hot spot on game days. The group is gearing up for the Ravens game Saturday against the Broncos.
Well, it seems like forever that I typed out my column for this paper. It hasn't been forever, but it has been nearly a month. This, my first column of the new year, is a work in progress as I sit here. There's nothing that has grabbed me over the past week or its just that I don't have enough info on a particular subject to fill the space
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday.
When the Indianapolis Colts come to Baltimore on Sunday for the wild-card playoff game, they'll find a few fans amid an otherwise Ravens crowd. Some date to when the Colts were Baltimore's team, others are younger, but feel that they're carrying on the team's storied tradition here.
Don't misunderstand. Barry Krauss loved Baltimore — from the crabcakes to the Inner Harbor to the rich provenance of the NFL team that picked him sixth overall in the 1979 draft. But five years later, the Colts' move to Indianapolis proved a godsend for the players, said Krauss, a tough linebacker who played 10 seasons with a horseshoe on his helmet.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced Wednesday that he would retire at season's end. He is one of the greatest linebackers to lace them up. Here is what other media outlets are saying about Lewis this morning.
When the Ravens made Ray Lewis their second-ever draft pick, they knew they were getting a highly productive player from the talent-rich University of Miami. What they could not have known is that Lewis would become arguably the greatest middle linebacker in history and one of the faces of his NFL generation. Through 17 seasons of controversy and excellence, Lewis' Baltimore ride has never been boring:
When River Hill's Austin Altman was at a football camp during his sophomore year, someone pointed out that ¿ with his droopy eyes and easy smile ¿ he resembled future Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. The youngster didn't get upset. Instead, he went out and did everything he could to make the nickname "Manning" stick.
When the Indianapolis Colts traveled to Baltimore for the Ravens' playoff opener in January 2007, fans greeted the city's former team with a vengeful intensity rarely seen in these parts. Six years later, the Colts are coming back to town for another playoff contest. But it remains to be seen whether old hatreds will bubble up as violently as they did the last time.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees stuck with an aggressive approach, blitzing defenders and using unusual alignments. He lined up safeties James Ihedigbo and Omar Brown as edge pass rushers lined up outside the tackles and shifted outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw to nose guard.
It would have been easy for Joe Flacco to walk off the field after Sunday¿s terrific performance and turn up his nose at all the people who have called him out and questioned his standing among the NFL¿s top quarterbacks.
I did not think Sunday-afternoon football, one of the great pleasures of my life, could get any worse than watching the CBS team of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf calling the game back in October with Houston Texans whipping the Baltimore Ravens.
The Denver Broncos embarrassed the Baltimore Ravens on their home field, beating them 34-17 and sending many of the 71,317 in attendance heading to the exits long before the end of the game. It was the most lopsided home loss of the John Harbaugh era.
Even though Peyton Manning arrived at M&T Bank Stadium in new colors with a new organization, Sunday's game sure felt familiar to the Baltimore Ravens. With Manning pointing at their defenders before the snap, then picking them apart once the ball was in his hands, the Denver Broncos rolled to a 34-17 win.
In this game-day staple, blogger Matt Vensel makes four sometimes-courageous predictions for the game. All he asks is that you don't hold it against him whenever those predictions end up being embarrassingly wrong.
When Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning goes under center Sunday, starts barking out calls and then takes one final glance across the line of scrimmage, what he sees will bear very little resemblance to any Ravens defense that he's ever faced.