The Baltimore Ravens And The Chip On Their Shoulders
Pack your defense and your running game. Your carry on is the chip on your shoulder. These are the elements that have always made the Ravens successful.
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The Baltimore Ravens are the bad guys. It’s the Ravens against the world, and that’s how we like it. The Ravens are that physical team that just doesn’t go away. Every time the Ravens are counted out they have become contenders.
In 2002 the Ravens went 7-9. The team lost big chunks of their Super Bowl XXXV roster. The purple and black were supposed to be in rebuilding mode. That didn’t stop the Ravens from winning their first division title in 2003.
2007 was a disastrous season. The Ravens went 5-11. The Ravens were thought of as a rebuilding team. In 2008 the Ravens were not supposed to be good. They won 11 regular season games and went to the AFC Championship Game.
In 2012 the Ravens were supposed to bow down to Peyton Manning. Manning was supposed to be on his way to another Super Bowl. The Ravens were the villain, that slayed the playoff dreams of the NFL’s main character. The Ravens are the bad guys to everybody but Ravens Nation.
While it is not rooted in X’s and O’s, the number one ingredient for the Ravens is a chip on their shoulder. They won Super Bowl XXXV rallying around two things. First the Ravens rallied behind Ray Lewis. Lewis was fresh off a murder trial and many football fans were not satisfied with the not guilty verdict. This brought the team together. The Ravens also rallied behind their underdog status. They were the team that was winning on defense. People counted them out in every round of the playoffs and the Ravens proved them wrong.
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The Super Bowl XLVII team also had two things that gave them extra motivation. When Lewis announced his retirement the Ravens had to win it all. They had to give “The General” a glorious retirement party. This was also a team desperate for redemption. The Ravens were a Lee Evans catch away from going to the Super Bowl in the prior season. This team knew they could get to the big game; this team would accept nothing less than a Lombardi Trophy.
At the end of the Ravens second Super Bowl parade, Steve Bisciotti said “I don’t know how many more times we can do this, bringing championships home, before Baltimore loses that chip on their shoulder. I hope that never happens.” What the Ravens owner said rings true. The Ravens and their fans have always had a need to prove themselves.
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The worst moments in Ravens history have spurred on the best moments. The “rebuilding” years have often been more like contending years. The NFL should fear the Ravens. Many are counting the Ravens out, but they might just sneak up on the entire league.