Today I will be spending the first half of my favorite day of the week at M & T Bank Stadium. Why is a Broncos fan spending going to a Ravens game you ask? To celebrate Ray Lewis’ induction to the Ravens Ring of Honor. I love Ray Lewis, and I loved the old Ravens team of 2000-2001 (the Shannon Sharpe years) – except when they were playing the Broncos.
In his 17 years with the Ravens, Ray Lewis was selected to 13 Pro Bowls, named Defensive Player of the Year twice, appeared in two Super Bowls, and named MVP of Super Bowl XXXV. Lewis becomes the 16th member of the franchise’s Ring of Honor joining former Ravens Jamal Lewis, Matt Stover, Jonathan Ogden, Peter Boulware, Michael McCrary, Earnest Byner, former owner Art Modell as well as former Baltimore Colts Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore, Art Donovan, Gino Marchetti, John Mackey, Jim Parker and Ted Hendricks.
It was the game everyone had been talking about. The playoff rematch of one of the most exciting games in recent NFL history. Thursday night was the NFL Kickoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos. The Ravens were defending their Super Bowl championship, and the Broncos were looking for revenge for their heartbreaking, season-ending loss. The game did not disappoint, unless you are a Ravens fan. Peyton Manning’s record-tying seven touchdown passes led the Broncos to a 49-27 win over the Ravens. Guess you don’t need the highest paid quarterback in the NFL to win – just the most talented.
Besides being a much anticipated game, this Ravens-Broncos rematch also brought much controversy. Historically the Super Bowl Champions open the season at home, but the Ravens played the Broncos in Denver because the Orioles had a game in Baltimore. The NFL tried to appease Ravens fans by having the Kickoff Celebration in Baltimore rather than in Denver, the actual host city of the game. Meanwhile in Denver, Broncos fans were annoyed that their stadium was adorned with a picture of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. The same quarterback who squashed the Broncos Super Bowl hopes in January with a last second, game-winning, hail mary pass in double overtime. The NFL mandated pictures of both quarterbacks, Manning and Flacco, also lined the streets of downtown Denver. NFL vice president of corporate communications, Brian McCarthy, defended the banners saying, “think of this game as more of an opening ceremony, a celebration of the new season for the entire league.” Hypocritically, the NFL Kickoff Celebration in Baltimore was more like a Ravens rally than a ‘celebration for the entire league.’ But that is alright because karma is a bitch and the Denver Broncos got their revenge when they embarrassingly massacred the Baltimore Ravens 49-27. Click here for the glorious highlights.
All year I have heard that the Ravens will defeat the Broncos when they play in Baltimore this season because the Broncos have never beaten the Ravens in Baltimore, and the Ravens are such a great team. Even though the Denver Broncos won 8 in a row and have MVP players like Peyton Manning and Von Miller, they said they haven’t proven themselves as a Superbowl-bound team because they’ve had an easy schedule, and haven’t played any great teams. They said if the Broncos can defeat the Ravens in Baltimore, then they will have proven themselves as a great team. Well maybe now the Denver Broncos will finally get the respect they deserve because they defeated the Ravens 34-17 in Baltimore in front of many Broncos fans, including myself! It was an amazing day!
The Denver Broncos Fanclub – DC Chapter organized a tailgate in lot J at M&T Bank Stadium before the Broncos-Ravens game yesterday. We arrived around 10:30, and the tailgate was in full swing soon after. It was great to meet everyone including Will, Rick, Ryan, Brandon, Mie, Dell, Ron, Dan and John. It was just so amazing to finally be hanging out and celebrating with fellow Broncos fans. We drank and ate and talked about how great the Broncos are, then we headed into the game.
What a great game it was! We kind of new in the first quarter after that Flacco fumble and Broncos scored a touchdown that it was going to go our way. And after Harris intercepted Flacco for a 98-yard touchdown, we knew it was over. With only 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter, we moved down closer to the field so we could all sit together. Broncos win 34-17! Looking across the field behind the Broncos bench, it was a sea of orange where most of the Denver fans moved down to celebrate together. Elvis Dumervil tweeted about it saying, “We had a ton of fans out in Baltimore….s/o to our great fans. Great team win but still a lot more more work to get done.”
The Denver Broncos have won 9 in a row, with an 11-3 record and a 2nd seed in the playoffs. So now the DC Chapter of the Denver Broncos Fanclub is talking about going to New Orleans in February. Let’s book our rooms!
Living back home in Maryland means I get to go to Ravens games with my dad again. I’m still a Broncos fan, but will root for the Ravens whenever they are not playing Denver. Just because I live in Maryland doesn’t mean I’m automatically a Ravens fan. I don’t change loyalties that easily. I’ve been a Denver Broncos fan since 1986 and will always be a Denver Broncos fan, no matter where I live. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite, so I wore my Shannon Sharpe Ravens shirt (he played for Denver) and my Orioles hat to the Ravens game today, although I did sneak in my Broncos bracelet.
Dad and I took the bus from the park and ride in Catonsville and were at the stadium by noon to watch the Ravens – Bengals game. The last time I was at M & T Bank stadium was June 22 for the U2 360 show. I enjoyed being at the game, but I would much rather be there for a U2 show. But I did get to hear 3 U2 songs while I was there. The Ravens are introduced and run out on the field to Where the Streets Have No Name, Sunday Bloody Sunday was played in the first quarter and Vertigo was played at halftime.
Even though Ray Lewis didn’t play (first time since 2007), it was a good game. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 31-24. The Baltimore defense had 3 interceptions. I saw the Bengals defense tackle Ravens #82 Torrey Smith by his hair – pulled him down by his hair. I always said they should make them tie up their hair and tuck it into their helmets. George Clooney (a Bengals fan) was at the game with his girlfriend, Baltimore native Staci Kiebler – I did not see them. Matt Stover got his name on the Ravens Ring of Fame. He is the lead scorer in Ravens history, and he was a kicker. I remember the season the Ravens won the Superbowl, Stover was the only one who scored when the Ravens went several games without a touchdown. My friend and I used to call Stover ‘hairspray’ because his hair was always perfect, even after he took off his helmet. And today was no different – not a hair out of place.