When I went on Ticketmaster in July to try to get some face-value Ravens tickets for the 2008 season, this game was, needless to say, not my first choice. However, it was all I could get.
I tried to ramp up my enthusiasm.
“Well, maybe it won’t be THAT cold.”
“Maybe the Jags won’t have their playoff spot locked up yet, and the Ravens can play spoilers.”
“They always play better at home. Look at last year’s final game, against Pittsburgh. Troy Smith beat the Steelers!”
“Hey, at least I’ll be at the game.” (For the atmosphere. I, like most, feel like I get a much better view of the actual ‘game’ itself when I watch on TV)
My, my, my, how things have changed. It came to pass that one of the teams on the ticket has a playoff spot (spot – get it? jaguars? nevermind.) on the line, but it ain’t the bad guys. This game turned into the culmination of the most unexpected of seasons, and is really a win-win at this point.
1. The Patriots win their 1 o’clock game. Since the Ravens can be no higher than the #6 seed in the Playoffs, this becomes their one and only home game of the “postseason.” Sure, it won’t be a REAL playoff game, but for all intents and purposes it is. The Ravens win, they keep playing. They lose, they go home. The atmosphere at M&T will certainly be that of a playoff game. (On the bright side, the Ravens are 0-2 in “real” playoff games that I attend, so maybe its for the best that this will only be a “playoff” game and not a playoff game.)
2. The Bills somehow pull the upset of New England. In this case, the Ravens can have their Playoff berth secured before the coin even flips at midfield. Festivus locked up, the playoff atmosphere at M&T will turn into 100% party atmosphere. We will be able to sit through a game with 0% stress, which is not something that comes around often.
I’ll be pulling for the 2nd scenario. As much fun as watching the Ravens throttle the Jags with everything on the line would be, being at a game that is essentially one huge celebration from start to finish just sounds too damn awesome to pass up. Ideally, the Bills will be up like 35-0 at half time or something ridiculous, and the party can start in the pre-game tailgate lots.
Now I’m just getting ahead of myself though. The point is, what seemed like an OK purchase at the time has turned into a great one, and potentially a historic one. Merry Xmas to me, from me (and the Ravens).