So the Baltimore Ravens got into a full-team brawl. So what? It’s not a sign that the John Harbaugh era is ushering in discipline and passion to the Ravens. That was already there. What is does mean is that despite a horrible regular season in 2007, quarterback controversy, and more unknowns than guarantees going into 2008, the Ravens are starting the season off fresh.
Just like every other team in the National Football League.
Brawls are what you get when you mix the drive to make an NFL team, and unfinished business from the season before. The Baltimore Ravens left more on the field in missed opportunities, injuries, and distractions than any other team in the league last year, and these are the mean attitudes that they hope will justify this season’s end come playoff time.
There’s something to be said about the perspective from fans and pundits because of a pre-season fight. But that’s exactly what football is; an organized, equipment-protected, fight. To expect otherwise diminishes football’s very nature, and to be surprised diminishes the pride that the Ravens, and mostly every football player has in themselves and in their teammates. It would be a bigger story if the Ravens didn’t fight, because it would probably signify that they had none in them.
But the theme of this off-season is fight. The quarterbacks are fighting to see who will start. The tight ends are fighting to get off injury reserve. Jonathan Ogden is fighting the desire to hang it up, and Ray Lewis is fighting for his last shot at Super Bowl glory.
The coaching staff is fighting for respect, the fans are fighting for league-wide legitimacy, and we all are fighting the urge to count them out. So when the Ravens fight, it’s not that surprising.
Just par for the course this season.