Ravens: 4 things we learned from the team’s preseason opener

Ravens, Tyler Huntley (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Tyler Huntley (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Ravens, Trace McSorley Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

4. It’s starting to feel like Ravens football again

Let’s be frank — there’s a reason that ratings plummeted for the “2020” Olympics in Tokyo. Okay, there are several reasons, but there’s one key reason — the lack of fans in the stands.

Sports on television just aren’t the same without the sight and the sound of cheering crowds to underscore the action. It’s why television networks go to the effort to insert fake crowd noise in the first place.

The bulk of last year’s NFL season felt largely the same — empty and joyless, like watching The Big Bang Theory with the laugh track removed.

Last season, the Ravens only allowed fans into M&T Bank Stadium for one game — the November matchup against Pittsburgh, where 3,000 “lucky” fans watched a heartbreaking 28-24 loss to the archrival Steelers. No spectators were allowed in the stadium for the rest of the season.

For this season, all NFL teams have had their seating capacity restrictions lifted, and Ravens fans have taken full advantage of it so far. Officially, the paid attendance for Saturday night’s game was 70,035 — just barely under a capacity crowd at M&T Bank Stadium.

That’s how eager fans are to finally be able to attend an NFL game in person again, even if it is a relatively meaningless preseason game where the home team’s star player never even took the field.

Next. Ravens: 3 pleasant surprises from training camp so far. dark

While humanity is not even close to coming out of the pandemic woods yet, the return of crowds to NFL stadiums should serve as an important step in the healing process.