It’s hard to remember the last time our two Baltimore sports franchises grabbed the National spotlight at the same time, but the 2012 Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles are doing just that. Normally, the Ravens are always the topic of conversation in October; but, these upstart Orioles have been playing the role of underdog better than Rocky Balboa. This weekend was a wild one for Baltimore sports fanatics such as myself.
It started on Sunday afternoon, as the Ravens won an ugly, low scoring, 5 field goal game. The defense gave up over 100 yards rushing in the first half alone and the offense was plagued by penalties and dropped passes all day long. Like last season, the Ravens high-powered offense has not looked good on the road this season; but they always seem to make the big play when they need it and secure the win. That’s the mark of a great team, no matter how bad it gets, they always find a way to get the win in the end.
Happy after a Raven win, Sunday night marked the return of playoff baseball at Camden Yards. What a great feeling…football weather….electric atmosphere….and Orioles’ baseball. It’s been 15 years since I’ve seen a playoff game at the Yard and it was awesome seeing a packed house of orange and black (not blue and white…for once). The fans were loud and the orange towels waiving all game long brought an additional flare to the game. We played the Yankees tough for 8 innings and unfortunately we lost it in the ninth, but the crowd was in it until the very end.
Last night, the crowd was rabid. It’s the loudest I’ve heard the fans since the night Cal Ripken broke the streak way back in 1995. The underdog Orioles who used 52 players on their active roster through the course of the season went toe-to-toe with the Yankees. Yes, those same Yankees who have 11 current gold-glovers, All-Stars at every position and the highest payroll in baseball…they lost to the Orioles 3-2. Now it’s onto New York where the Orioles need to win two more games to get to the American League Championship Series.
Let’s hope we can talk about more Ravens and Orioles wins this time next week. Whatever the outcome, it has been an unforgettable baseball season for the Orioles and they are to be applauded. Even though we are only five weeks into the football season, the Ravens have had their share of ups and downs already. Yet, they are 4-1 and have a game lead in the always tough AFC North division. The Ravens just need to keep doing what they are doing for a little longer as help is on the way. Terrell Suggs is eligible to come off the PUP list next week and there is hope that he will start practicing soon after. Here’s hoping for a few more ‘wild weekends’ this October for our beloved Baltimore teams!