Photos courtesy of ESPN.com
Photos courtesy of ESPN.com
What is a Baltimorean to do when it comes to rooting interests in the NBA, NHL and MLS? This is a question that I have long pondered and what better to forum to address it than Bohs and O’s. A place where leading Baltimore sports exports come to share analysis and ideas. A place where being bandwagon is about the worse insult once can receive. So I pose the question to the forum.
Here is my analysis of the situation. I was admittedly a bandwagon fan of the Capitals last year. I attended one game, watched a few more, but did not follow them religiously until the playoffs and have only watched one game so far this season. The Baltimore sports gods made my pay dearly for my transgressions when the Capitals lost to another team from Pittsburgh. That made two playoff losses to Pittsburgh in a 6 month span. I clearly learned my lesson.
Is it possible for us to be true fans of DC teams? Does that fact they are not from Baltimore mean are rooting interests are inherently bandwagon? They are the closest teams to us geographically, but it is not quite the same as having Baltimore on the jersey. They don’t represent us in the way that the Orioles and Ravens do. I know the Terps play just outside of DC, but they are the MARYLAND Terps so they represent us as well. How can we root for a Hockey team from DC when we despise the football team? We will never really fit in with the rest of the fan base. The Caps game that I attended last year was the Thursday before the Ravens-Skins matchup and we got in several altercations with Redskins fans. We know little about the DC and its sports history, which are vital parts of being a sports fan. How could you ever fit in as a Baltimore sports fan if you did not know the story of the Colts skipping town? Your whole mindset would not be in sync with the rest of the community.
I also wonder if I even have room in my heart or on my schedule for another team. If there was a Baltimore hockey team would be as diehard about it as the Ravens, Orioles, and Terps? Right now I have three teams whose schedules fit perfectly so I can have a team to root for at all times during the year. Maybe this is why Baltimore sports fans are so much better than sports fans from Boston and DC. Our passion for our teams is more focused and not spread out between 5 or 6 teams. If the Ravens are struggling we can’t turn NBA or NHL teams and hop on that bandwagon instead. We are stuck with our teams whether they have made the playoffs in consecutive seasons or are have 13 straight losing seasons.
Bohs and O’s contributors and readers please share with me your thoughts on Baltimoreans’ fanhood of DC sports teams. Can we ever be true fans? As Baltimore sports fans should we even try to root for DC teams or should we focus on our own teams? This may lead to the broader question of what it means to be a true Baltimore sports fan.
Thanks to your tireless efforts Boh is back at Glory Days. After being bombarded by letters from Bohs and O’s readers from around Baltimore, Glory Days has put Boh back on the menu. Your Bohs and O’s team has been on the front lines in this fight going to Glory Days weekly and ordering a Boh every time we needed a beer. This may have pissed off our waitress, Whortis, who made some snide comments, but our determination paid off in the end. And Whortis paid for her anti-Boh sentiment when we “accidentally” spilled our first Glory Days Boh in almost a year all over her stupid Redskins jersey. Hopefully that teaches her to leave the caps on the Boh next time she serves one.
Bohs and O’s is a blog of its word and we have been back to Glory Days several times to order Bohs and a bucket of wings with all the sauces on the side. Our most recent trek was for the Oakland game. I have never seen Glory Days so crowded. Unfortunately this was mainly due to the collision of the two obnoxious bandwagons for the Eagles and Cowboys. Despite the fact the game was out of reach very early they continued to scream and shout and pretend like they were actual fans of those teams. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that both those teams are perennial contenders.
Unfortunately Glory Days has long been the home of out-of-town fans and is not the optimal place to spend a Purple Sunday. As previously mentioned some of the wait staff was wearing Redskins jerseys. Unacceptable. I would recommend Glory Days for an O’s game and some trivia when the crowd is a little more subdued in true O’s fan fashion. Boh enthusiasts please feel free to enjoy Glory Days once again.
It is time for the Ravens to do what the Orioles can never do: win in Boston! A win on Sunday would almost make up for the suffering we have had to endure every time the Orioles head up to Fenway. It will almost make up for the $100 tickets that Bohs and O’s purchased to see the Orioles in Fenway only to be mercifully kicked out in the third inning. So please Ravens, go up there and beat those bandwagon bitches. And let’s make it a blowout so the roughing the passer penalty that ends Tom Brady’s career is completely meaningless.
I would love to go up there to watch the Ravens avenge all of those Orioles losses, but I am a little nervous about the stadium conditions. How similar is Gillette to Fenway? In other words, will I be in a section with complete pussies who can’t handle a couple innocent jeers about the steroid use of their fat, overrated DH? Will I be sitting behind a pole unable to see the QB release the ball? Will the ushers kick me out for no reason besides my decision to exercise my freedom of speech towards the d-bags that surrounded me? If it is at all like Fenway I don’t think it will be worth the trip.
Win or lose, it is nice to be back in the playoffs again. After a very grueling, up and down regular season it is very rewarding to be in this position. I know we are only 9-7, and maybe not very deserving of a spot, but we are in the playoffs and the Steelers are not so I am content.
The clinching victory was a great way to start off 2010 which with any luck will be a great sports year. Hopefully the Ravens will make a run in the playoffs, the US will give strong showings at both the winter games and World Cup, the Orioles will flirt with .500, and the Terps will make the tournament.
Continuing on the theme of All-Decade lists, today we’ll look back at the greatest Ravens of the past 10 years by position:
Quarterback: Joe Flacco (Honorable Mention: Steve McNair)
Running Back: Jamal Lewis (Honorable Mention: Willis McGahee)
Fullback: Alan Ricard (Honorable Mention: Le’Ron McClain)
Left Tackle: Jon Ogden
Left Guard: Edwin Mulitalo (Honorable Mention: Ben Grubbs)
Center: Mike Flynn (Honorable Mention: Jason Brown)
Right Guard: Bennie Anderson (Honorable Mention: Keydrick Vincent)
Right Tackle: Orlando Brown (Honorable Mention: Tony Pashos)
Tight End: Todd Heap
Wide Receivers: Derrick Mason & Qadry Ismail (Honorable Mention: Brandon Stokley)
Defensive Tackles: Tony Siragusa & Sam Adams (Honorable Mention: Kelly Gregg & Haloti Ngata)
Defensive Ends: Michael McCrary & Rob Burnett (Honorable Mention: Trevor Pryce)
Middle Linebacker: Ray Lewis
Outside Linebackers: Peter Boulware & Adalius Thomas (Honorable Mention: Jaime Sharper & Terrell Suggs)
Cornerbacks: Chris McAlister & Samari Rolle (Honorable Mention: Duane Starks)
Free Safety: Ed Reed
Strong Safety: Rod Woodson (Honorable Mention: Will Demps)
Kicker: Matt Stover
Punter: Sam Koch (Honorable Mention: Dave Zastudil)
Kick/Punt Returner: Jermaine Lewis
Everyone in the media has been spending the past few weeks coming up with their “_______ of the Decade” lists in given areas of expertise. I thought I’d start off this last week of 2009 by going through the Orioles of the Decade. I can tell you that tackling this subject was no small feat. Considering this was a team that averaged less than 70 wins during the decade it’s not a particularly impressive group of players. Hopefully when I make this list again in 10 years we’ll be able to recount the heroic play of Wieters, Reimold, Matusz, and Tillman and relive our World Series Championships. Until then we’ll have to live with the likes to the following:
Catcher: Javy Lopez (Honorable Mention – Ramon Hernandez)
First Base: Kevin Millar (Honorable Mention – Aubrey Huff)
Second Base: Brian Roberts (Honorable Mention – Jerry Hairston)
Third Base: Melvin Mora (Honorable Mention – Tony Batista)
Shortstop: Miguel Tejada (Honorable Mention – Chris Gomez)
Left Field: B.J. Surhoff (Honorable Mention – Larry Bigbie)
Center Field: Jay Payton (Honorable Mention – Adam Jones)
Right Field: Nick Markakis (Honorable Mention – Jay Gibbons)
Starting Pitcher: Erik Bedard (Honorable Mention – Rodrigo Lopez)
Relief Pitcher: B.J. Ryan (Honorable Mention – Buddy Groom)
I don’t even think the Royals or Pirates would have an all-decade team that looked so bad. With only a month and a half until pitchers and catchers report let’s not take too much time to dwell on one of the worst decades by a professional team in history and look forward to what could be a decade of reemergence for our beloved Orioles.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Baltimore. The Washington Monument has been lit, 34th street is bustling, Santa has returned to the Inner Harbor, the trains are running at Kenilworth, and the Ravens have another huge game with the Steelers. The only thing that is strange is the two feet of snow outside my window that will provide Baltimore her first white Christmas in several years.
It is about this time that one needs to start thinking about his or her Christmas wish list. What am I going to ask Santa for this year? Every year I always ask for the same thing, an Orioles World Series. I guess I must have been on the naughty list for the past 13 years because each year I get about the exact opposite. Or maybe Santa does not have control over Major League Baseall outcomes. Now that I think about it how could he? There is no way those little douches in Boston have been good enough to receive anything but coal. If I can’t have an Orioles’ World Series than I guess I will settle for a Ravens Superbowl. But maybe that is beyond Santa’s control as well. Could I just have a win over the Steelers on Sunday? That’s not asking too much is it? Oh and as a stocking stuffer I will take the Baltimore Grand Prix.
For those of you who are looking for something a little more tangible to put under the tree for your Baltimore bro you have come to the right place. Now what you get them depends on how nice they have been this year. Did he continue going to Orioles games in September or did you catch him trying on a Red Sox hat at the mall? Is he always clutching a Natty Boh at the bar or did you catch him ordering a Miller Lite because it has fewer calories? Is he always taking advantage of any opportunity to Stalk or did you catch him trying out his new graphic tee at Mad River?
Evaluate his behavior and choose appropriately. Please post all of your Baltimore Christmas wishes as well. Santa is an avid reader and posting will help your chances of getting your wish. Merry Christmas Baltimore!