Archive for December, 2008

Lookalikes! Cowgirls Edition

December 16, 2008

The Ravens travel to Dallas this week, so natch (that’s what the teens Cowboys say instead of “naturally”) it’s time for some Cowboy lookalikes.  A fair warning:  they won’t be as good as last week’s, because, frankly…nobody is as stupid looking as the Steelers.  No getting around that.  Also, you won’t find any comparisons of Rowdy, their mascot, and a certain 2005 Best Picture.  That fruit just hangs too low – perhaps a side effect of those ass-less chaps?

1.  Let’s hope Marion Barber’s toe is still bothering him.  Even though nobody runs on the Ravens, a healthy Barber is no joke.  Perhaps his Doc will prescribe some medical marijuana, and he will be a nonfactor.

2.  “Aw, Tony Romo is so cute.”  You know who he reminds me of?  Unfortunately, folks in Texas will probably think this is a compliment.

3.  That’s my quarterback.  And these are Fergie’s sunglasses.

Jokes aside, the Ravens have a tall order ahead of them this week in Big D.  We’ll break it down later in the week.



Ed Reed Wins 2008 Ed Block Courage Award

December 16, 2008

Congratulations to Ed Reed, who has been named the Ravens recipient of the 2008 Ed Block Courage Award.  Each year, one player from each NFL team receives the award, which is named after the long time Baltimore Colts athletic trainer.

According to the Ed Block Foundation Website, the award “honor(s) one player from each of the National Football League teams who, in the eyes of his teammates, best exemplifies and displays courage.”

Reed, who was diagnosed with a nerve impingement in his neck at the beginning of the season, and who wasn’t even sure he would be able to play at all in 2008 (or ever again) is having a typical fast Eddie season.  After Tony Romo hands him his 3rd pick six of the year this Saturday night, his next personal award could very likely be his second Defensive Player of the Year.

Past Ravens winners include:  Samari Rolle, Corey Ivy, Dale Carter, Orlando Brown, Marques Douglas, Ethan Brooks, Cory Harris, and Anthony Poindexter.

(Refs + Steelers) 13 Ravens 9 (The REFS DON'T UNDERSTAND "INDISPUTABLE" Game)

December 15, 2008

Let me start by saying that, unfortunately, we can now add another item to THIS gut wrenching list.

The Ravens defense again folded at the most inopportune time, and allowed the Steelers to pull another one out of their asses at M&T Bank Stadium yesterday.  I’ll give a short punch-list of points from the game, because too much thinking about it will make me vomit all over the keyboard like my roommate used to do in college whilst trying to drunk IM.

  • Joe Flacco continues to struggle at home, and against good defenses.  His passes were off the mark (most notably on two possible long touchdowns to Derrick Mason), and he took a sack at the worst possible time – late in the 4th with the Ravens in FG range.
  • Great job by the offensive line keeping the Steelers pass-rush in check.  James Harrison was a non-factor. (listens to Squealer fans whining about him being held)
  • Mad props to B’More fans in general for not allowing those cockroach Steeler fans to take over our stadium.  There were far fewer of them in the tailgate lots than expected, and on TV the piss rags were few and far between.  Nantz and Simms commented several times on how loud the crowd was when Pitt had the ball, and baby ben could be seen mouthing to his coach on the sideline, “I can’t hear.”  Well, either that or, “I’m a queer.” It was tough to tell.
  • Fabian Washington continues to impress.  He had a great game, but in possibly the biggest development of the game, pulled his hamstring at the start of the 4th quarter.  This opened the door for all sorts of shenanigans, including Jayvee players Corey Ivy and Frank Walker covering Hines Ward and Nate Washington on the game-deciding drive.  Awesome.
  • Another possible result of Washington’s injury was Rex Ryan’s decision to go with a 3-man rush on that final drive.  After harassing Worthlessburger all day…he turned down the pressure.  Big mistake.  Hopefully, it really was out of necessity to protect Walker and Ivy on the back end, and not just a big, fat, brainfart caused by his downing of too many mini-crabcakes in the halftime locker room.
  • Sam Koch, as we predicted, was the Ravens best weapon.
  • Squealer fans like to point at Troy “So easy a caveman can do it” Polamalu’s play near the line of scrimmage as the reason he is a better safety than Ed Reed.  Well, let’s hope they were all paying attention when Reed-Fence flew through and took down benny boy, who outweighs fast Eddie by about 50 pounds.
  • The infamous goal line call will be analyzed ad nauseum over the next oh, 25 years.  But that call only overshadowed another terrible call by the gold-and-black zebras.  With the Ravens leading 3-0 at the start of the 2nd quarter, the defense caused what should have been a quick 3-and-out, forcing the Steelers to punt from back inside their own 30.  Gary Russell got a ridiculously generous spot on his 3rd-and-1 dive play, a spot which was rightfully challenged by John Harbaugh.  Simms and Nantz agreed vehemently with Harbaugh, saying that there was very conclusive evidence that Russell did not, in fact, reach the 30 yard line, which was needed for a first down.  Inexplicably, the generous spot was upheld…and those lucky assholes went on to score a FG on the drive.  Three more points that should not have happened, courtesy of Walt Coleman and his crew of morons.
  • Score more than 9 points at home!!
  • Finally, *($*R%($*()$*()R%#*)#*(#^!#*()*UIOJDKLF N#$U*ORI$#()U $FO($UFIOIJDFKL !!!!

Whatever.  The Steelers got lucky.  That’s about as newsworthy as the sun rising at this point.  But hey, the rest of the world is still waiting for the ball from baby ben’s sneak in Super Bowl XL to cross the goal line too.

On to more important business.  The Ravens still control their own destiny.  Two wins to finish the season gives them a Wild Card berth.  A tough game in Dallas just became a must-win if the Ravens want to avoid needing help from the goofy  AFC East.  Saturday Night Football.  Ravens-Cowboys.  Both teams scraping for the playoffs.  Getcha’ popcorn pepto ready.

Amen, Brian Billick!

December 11, 2008

For all the things we disagreed upon during his tenure here, Mr. Billick hit the nail on the head with this one, regarding so-called Ravens “fans” selling their tickets to the game.  From his blog at

“This year, with all that is at stake, if you find yourself setting next to a Steelers fan, then you are pretty much going to know the depth of loyalty the person who normally sits next to you has for his team.  When said fan returns to his seat vs. Jacksonville two weeks later, at the very least he should buy the beer. At which point you are free to pour it on them.”

Steelers (10-3) @ Ravens (9-4)

December 11, 2008

The game we’ve been waiting with bated breath since Week 4 is finally upon us.  The Ravens get their chance to not only avenge their early season loss in Pittsburgh, when they stole defeat from the jaws of victory, but can also drastically alter the potential postseason fates of both teams in the process.  With a win, the Ravens would take the division lead in the AFC North, due to the fact that they would then have 5 division wins to Pittsburgh’s 4.  The Steelers play the Browns in Week 17, though, and unless the Brownies can pull off a small miracle, winning in the Steel city with Bruce Gradkowski/Ken Dorsey under center, the tiebreaker train for the division crown would then roll on to the next stop (if both teams have equal records, of course.)  Actually, with a win and some help over in the AFC East, the Ravens can potentially clinch a playoff spot this weekend.  We can hash out all those scenarios in due time, though.  The most important thing right now is just that the Ravens not waste this opportunity to smack the Steelers around at home.

History is on the Ravens’ side in this one, as the Squealers last won in B’More in 2002.  Yes, that’s 5 consecutive beatings (I know you Steeler fans reading this were breaking out your toes to try to count them up).

The Ravens are playing really good football right now, having won 7 of their past 8 games.  The Steelers, winners of 3 straight, are playing really….lucky football.  The Ravens have won their 9 games by a total of 170 points.  The Steelers have won their 10 games by a total of 116 points.  Seriously, I can think of at least 4 games off the top of my head that Pittsburgh could have easily lost this year:  Baltimore, Jacksonville, San Diego, Dallas.  Unfortunately, none of those other teams could finish against Pitt, so it looks as if the Ravens will just have to do it themselves.

Pittsburgh, a team that has had good offense-defense balance over the years, have been winning games the old Raven way – with defense, defense, and more defense.  Their D is ranked #1 in just about everything, while baby ben and their sputtering O are #26 in the league.  You may have even heard that Slow Bill has been complaining this week about their lack of a running game.  Yes, please Steelers, try to re-establish a ground game against Baltimore…we dare you.  What does Parker average, something like 30 ypg against the Ravens?  Matter of fact, Mewelde Moore worries us more than Parker – he has been extremely effective catching balls out of the backfield for them this year.

The Steelers have been able to pull 1 or 2 big passing plays per game out of their hats (last week, Santonio Holmes caught a deep ball on 3rd-and-long when Dallas was ready to stomp their throats) that have done just enough to let the defense win these games for them.  The onus will be on the Ravens’ much-improved secondary to prevent this, and not allow another big strike like the one baby ben threw to Holmes in the first meeting that tied the game.  Hines Ward Cheap Shot (that will now officially be the only name by which Mr. Shot is recognized around here) had just 1 catch for 2 yards last week, so you know he will be chomping at the bit rice cake to rebound in a big way against his bounty-brothers.

Another area where the Ravens defense will have to focus is on TACKLING baby ben when they get their hands on him.  Too often over the years we have seen Trevor Pryce or Sizzle appear to have that big dummy dead to rights, and he slithers out of the sack and makes a play.  NO MORE!  Wrap him up, bring him down, Ravens win.

The Pittsburgh D has been a Steel Curtain again this year, there is no denying that.  The fact that Ray “First Down” Rice will likely miss this game with a shin bruise is very troubling.  If Willis McGahee (who has played like “doo doo” – his words) can’t get his act together and at least move FORWARD when he touches the ball, then moving the ball becomes near Mission:Impossible for the Ravens.  Listen, I love Le’Run McClain as much as the next guy, but I just feel a lot more comfortable with his role being to wear down Pittsburgh in the 2nd half than to be the feature back from the opening whistle – especially against that defense and ESPECIALLY given his recent issues with ball security.  Joe Flacco threw a silly interception last week, and continues to play worse in front of his home fans than he does on the road.  His secondary task (primary being, of course, keeping the chains moving) will be to PROTECT THAT FOOTBALL.  Not only when he throws it, but when he is in the pocket – James Harrison is the best in the NFL at stripping QB’s of the ball, as Flacco himself knows all too well.  Flacco will get sacked, there isn’t much question about that (Pit, along with Dallas, lead the league in sacks), but as long as he holds onto the ball, and doesn’t allow a repeat of the scoop-and-score we saw in October, sacks are not a disaster.

Sam Koch may end up being the Ravens’ MVP in this one.  One area where B’More has a decided advantage is at punter, and field position will play a huge role in the outcome of this one.  The Steelers are on like their 3rd punter of 2008, and current guy Mitch Berger is averaging only 40.6 yards per punt, nearly 5 yards less than Koch.  This would be a great game for the Ravens’ return game to finally bust out of their slump, but we’re not gonna hold our breath for that one.  Yamon Figurs is a forgotten man, and Jim Leonhard, while solid, doesn’t have the breakaway speed to be a huge factor.

One prediction I saw for this game made my head spin: Ravens 34 Steelers 31.  Maybe in Bizarro-World.  Or maybe that guy just let his girlfriend pick the score for him or something.  If you like defense, this will be your favorite game of the year.  Both teams will likely be in the ice bath until Wednesday morning.  The Ravens, though, will find a way to hold serve at home, and rip that horseshoe right out of the Steelers’ collective a$$es.

Ravens 16  Steelers 10

Ravens Links

December 11, 2008

Just some links to help tide you over until the Ravens stomp a mudhole in Shitsburgh on Sunday at M&T.

  • Thanks to Nestor over at WNST for pointing us to this video.  It is from, and is a great inside look at the Ravens-Redskins game.  Those of you who, like me, really miss “Ravens Wired,” will especially appreciate it.
  • My man Dewey over at Blogimore Ravens lists the “Top 10 Steelers Fans.”  Someday, I hope to be half the blogger that Dewey is.
  • Mike Freeman over at CBSSports says that Ed Reed is not only an NFL MVP candidate this year, but that he is better as a safety than even the great Ronnie Lott.
  • The Ravens are finally getting some respect in the Power Rankings.  They come in at: #7 at, #7 at Sports Illustrated, #7 at Fox Sports, #6 at CBSSports, and #6 at Sporting News.

Steelers-Ravens game preview coming tomorrow at the Nest.

Lookalikes! Squealers Edition (Repost)

December 9, 2008

In honor of black-and-gold bashing week here in B’More, we thought it appropriate to repost our Lookalikes: Steelers Edition (with some new ones):

It’s time for another edition of Lookalikes! This is going to be an All-Squealer version, because….well, because those are the stupidest looking bunch of goofs in the entire NFL.

1. You ever watch that big dummy QB of theirs play in the rain? He has to wear a big, gay, glove. We’re not sayin Ben runs a youth football league out of his bedroom backyard, but the similarities are eerie.

2. When a picture of Shitsburgh linebacker James Harrison flashed across the screen in the Sunday night game, I couldn’t quite figure out who he reminded me of. Suddenly, it hit me so hard I was almost as cross-eyed as Harrison for a second. Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey, and Jaime Foxx all got their start in the late 80s on a show called “In Living Color.” It was the funniest show on TV, and anyone who remembers it will agree. One of Foxx’s characters was named “LaWanda” or “Ugly Wanda” or something like that…anyway, throw a curly blonde wig on him, and Harrison is the spitting image of Jaime Foxx trying to be as ugly as possible.

3. Brown Stains’ QB Derek Anderson killed the teams’ hopes in that game by throwing an interception at the Squealers’ goal line in the waning moments of the first half. Somehow, he failed to see that ridiculous looking neanderthal-jungle man lurking in the secondary.

4.  This one isn’t quite as fun to hate on, because, well, all ‘yins hate him too.  Unfortunately for them, they’re stuck with him. So away we go.

5.  Here is safety Anthony Smith, the one who ran his mouth last year about the Steelers being better than the Patriots, right before the Pats smashed them 34-13.

Oh, and of course, Mike Tomlin = Omar Epps.

That’s all the ugliness we can take for now. As always, if you have any lookalikes of your own, send them to us at!

Ravens 24 Redskins 10 (The READY FOR PRIME TIME Game)

December 8, 2008

The Ravens finally busted out of their night game bugaboo that had plagued them since 2005, and won a prime time contest, besting the Redskins 24-10 at M&T Bank Stadium.  Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed split the “Horse Trailer” players of the game award from John Madden, and deservedly so.  It was Suggs’ pressure on Washington QB Jason Campbell on the Skins’ first drive that led to Reed scooping the interception from the tops of the blades of FieldTurf.   The Ravens offense capitalized, going 55 yards on just 5 plays as Le’Ron McClain bowled the final 8 yards to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead, one they would never relinquish.

But Eddie was just getting started.  Reed, who would seemingly love to see the Redskins on the Ravens’ schedule every year, thrust himself towards the top of the NFL MVP discussion just 3 minutes later when he came up with a play that was amazing even by his lofty standards.  Washington RB Clinton Portis took the handoff and appeared to have picked up a Washington first down when Reed and Jim Leonhard finally got him wrapped up.  Reed though, was not happy with just a tackle, and swiped the ball as Portis fell to the ground, getting just enough of it to jostle it loose before the back’s body was on the ground.  Reed scooped up the loose ball and was in 3rd gear racing towards the end zone by the time the other 21 guys on the field realized what was going on.  Samari Rolle put a great block on Campbell at the WAS 5 and Reed sidestepped Santana Moss before basically moonwalking into the end zone to give the Ravens a 14-0 lead just 5:30 into the game.

Ed Reed, the best damn safety to ever play the game.  Think that guy from the Squealers is even close?  Check out these stats my man Dewey threw together and get back to me.

The rout should have been on at that point, but the Ravens offense struggled to get anything going aside from that first drive they put together, all the way until their final game-sealing drive in the 4th quarter.  Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco seemed equally perplexed by a Redskins defense that broke character and showed zone looks all night long, as opposed to their usual man-press D.  Compounding the problem were the case of dropsies that was sweeping through the Ravens’ backs and receivers, the wind causing Joe Cool’s passes to sail, and the rusty mess of crap that has become Willis McGahee.  McGahee, instead of coming back fresh and rejuvinated as we had hoped and (half) expected, was about 2 steps slow all night, dropped a pass and a pitch, and had a costly fumble that gave Washington their only signs of life all night.  He found no holes against the Skins, and finished with 32 yards on 11 carries, with a measley long of 6.  Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain appear to be much better options for the Ravens going forward, although we’re not ready to completely give up on Willis just yet.  His services will still probably be needed if the Ravens are to make a January playoff push.

Luckily for us B’More fans, the Ravens defense did their best to make 14-0 seem like 47-0.  They would not allow a point until the 4th quarter, when they also allowed their first touchdown in 46 opponents’ drives (a club record), and not until they had now scored their THIRD touchdown since the last they had allowed.  They pressured Jason Campbell relentlessly, as the Skins seemed completely confused by Rex Ryan’s blitz packages all night.  Even before they lost 2 of their starting O-linemen to injury, they were not moving the ball at all, but those guys going out pretty much sealed the deal.  The secondary was superb again, and those guys really seem to be finding their stride.  Fabian Washington had his best game as a Raven.

It doesn’t seem right to nit-pick too much after such a satisfying win, but for the Ravens to get an even MORE satisfying (and more important) win next week against the horseshoe-up-their-ass Pittsburgh Steelers, they will have to be a little closer to perfect.

  • The stat sheet says the Skins were only 3/14 on 3rd down, but didn’t it seem worse than that watching the game?  One particularly frustrating sequence occurred in the middle of the 2nd quarter.  Washington had 3rd-and-1 at their own 19, then shot themselves in the foot, picking up consecutive false start penalties to push it to 3rd-and-11.  A draw play picked up FIFTEEN (!) but the Skins were flagged for holding and now faced 3rd-and-15 instead.  So what do the Ravens do?  Blitz 6, and this time, the Skins gain TWENTY-FIVE on the WR screen.  That ish isn’t going to fly next week – if we have Pit backed up to their goalline facing 3rd-and-long, we have to force punts.
  • Will the Steelers take a page from the Redskins’ playbook and go with zone defenses?  It seems doubtful because the Steelers are so good on defense that they probably feel they don’t need to change for anybody.  If they do though, Cam and Joe need to be much better prepared to change game plans on the fly.  Let’s not let this turn into a how-to-stop-the-Ravens blueprint.
  • The Skins had at least 5 plays of 16 or more yards.  Nothing too terrible, but didn’t it seem like they were gashing the Ravens just enough to make you a little uneasy?

It was a great win, but like we said, a win next week would be even greater.  This should be a really fun week here in B’More as we gear up for what some are calling the biggest regular season game in Ravens history.

Oh, yeah – Ed also had another interception to drive the final nail into the Skins’ coffin.

You’re next, “Ben.”

Redskins (7-5) @ Ravens (8-4)

December 4, 2008


The Washington Redskins visit M&T Bank for the first time ever for a regular season game this Sunday, making them the final NFL team to visit Charm City.  The Ravens lead what little of an all-time series there is between the two teams, 2-1, but all three previous meetings were in Washington another part of Maryland.  This latest clash is very critical for the playoff hopes of both teams.  The Redskins, at 7-5, have lost 3 of their last 4, and now find themselves outside looking in as far as the NFC playoffs are concerned.  The Ravens, meanwhile, have won 6 of 7, and are holding strong to the final Wild Card spot in the AFC, 1 game up on New England and Miami, and currently holding tiebreakers over each.

The Redskins #1 offensive weapon is running back Clinton Portis, who trails only Adrian Peterson in rushing yards this season.  Portis, however, has been banged up of late, and may or may not be in the lineup Sunday night.  Washington is no offensive powerhouse though, Portis or no Portis, having failed to put up 30 points in any game so far.  Quarterback Jason Campbell, who was impressively interception-free for the first 8 games of 2008, has struggled lately, throwing 4 picks over the Skins’ recent 1-3 skid.  Their West Coast style offense, which was productive at the start of the season, has really sputtered recently.  Wide receivers Antwaan Randle El and Santana Moss are a very formidable duo, and tight end Chris Cooley one of the best pass-catching TE’s in the league – they just have not been clicking like they were early on, when the Redskins got off to a 4-1 start, with big road wins in Dallas and Philly.

 Campbell Loves to Throw Picks

A sputtering offense does not spell happy times for rookie head coach Jim Zorn and his boys as they make their way up 95 for this nationally televised game.  The Ravens defense, currently ranked 2nd in the NFL, has now SCORED 2 touchdowns since they last allowed one.  Really, you ask?  Yes, really.  In the two games since getting smacked around at the Meadowlands by the defending champs, the Ravens defense has allowed: 0 points vs. Philly (special teams let up the Eagles’ only score), then 3 in Cincy, so they have now gone 9 quarters without allowing opponents to reach the end zone.

On defense, the Skins are equally strong against the pass and run, ranking 7th in each.  The Joe Flacco show, which has put up 30.6 points per game since October 19 (best in the NFL), will have their work cut out for them.  We would expect to see the return of missing running back Willis McGahee this week, as the Ravens will likely need all 3 heads of their strong backfield to wear down a Washington defense that allows just 90.8 ypg on the ground.  Flacco has played better on the road than at M&T Bank this season so far, but with 3 of his 4 remaining regular season games at home, now would be a great time for Joe to start to get comfy at the purple palace.  Can Mark Clayton, coming off a career game against the Bengals, continue his increased production (he has TDs in 2 straight games) against a talented Washington secondary?  Clayton’s emergence, if he can sustain it, gives Flacco a good weapon to spread the ball around to, as he has always had exceptional after-the-catch playmaking ability.

At this point in the season, these 2 have had a handful of common opponents.  While it is obviously not a fool-proof predictor of things to come (any given Sunday, yadda yadda yadda), it is still interesting to see how these two have faired against teams that appear on both their schedules.

Cleveland: The Ravens waxed the floor with the Brownies twice this year, winning 28-10 and 37-27.  Washington barely scraped by Cleveland, 14-11, at home on October 19.

Pittsburgh:  B’More snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Pittsburgh in Week 4, losing 23-20 in overtime, in a game they controlled until midway through the 3rd quarter.  The Steelers had no such trouble with the Redskins, whomping them 23-6, again at FedEx field, and with Byron Leftwich at QB for most of the game, no less.

Philadelphia:  The Ravens demolished the Eagles 2 weeks ago at M&T Bank, 36-7, and set off a national media frenzy by persuading coach Andy Reid to pull Donovan McNabb after a dismal first half performance.  The Redskins outscored Philly 14-3 in the 2nd half in Week 5, to secure a 23-17 win in Philadelphia.

New York Giants:  The Ravens were steamrolled by the G-Men in Week 11, losing 30-10 at the Meadowlands.  In their 2 games against NYG, the Skins have lost 16-7 (Week 1), and 23-7 (Week 13).  This tells us nothing, except what we already knew:  The Giants are really good.

Washington seems to be playing their worst football of the season right now, while the Ravens are playing their best.  The end result:  B’More knocking the Skins out of the playoff race in front of Al and John’s Sunday Night Football Audience.

Ravens 20 Redskins 9

Who do you hate more? Steelers or Redskins?

December 2, 2008

The next 2 weeks of Baltimore football could be 2 of the best ever, perhaps second only to the AFC Championship – Super Bowl wins in early 2001.  Why so much potential?  Well, over the next 12 days, the two teams that the majority of Ravens fans absolutely HATE the most are not only on B’More’s schedule back-to-back, but they are both coming here, to Charm City, to get their asses handed to them in consecutive games.

On top of that, the Ravens could land a brutal 1-2 punch to “Warshington” and “Pissburgh.”  A win over the 7-5 Redskins this week will pretty much end their playoff hopes in the NFC.  Then, if the Dallas Cowboys can do us a solid and take out the Steelers prior to Ravens-Skins kickoff this Sunday, then the aforementioned Ravens win will set up what will in all liklihood be the defining game of the AFC North in 2008, when Baby Ben & Co. come to town on December 14 and both teams sport equal 9-4 records.

Not much could be better for us football fans here in B’More than knocking the Skins out of the playoff picture, then taking first place from the Squealers all in the span of 8 glorious days.

Sure, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, but as fans, that’s pretty much our M.O. A scenario this sweet may literally never come around again, so we need to take the time to savor it.

It begs the question, though, which team do you hate more?  The Redskins or the Steelers?  I decided to break down the hate into 4 categories and give scores to figure out the answer, at least for one Ravens fan.

Steelers vs. Redskins: The Hating Game

Category 1: Past History

The football history between Baltimore and Washington goes back to well before the Ravens were around, so I thought it best to break history into 2 categories.  This first history lesson begins back when the Baltimore Colts were still the darlings of Charm City.  Any Colts fan who was forced to work in an area of the great state of Maryland that was heavy with ‘Skins fans was subject to endless ribbing, especially in the later years when our Horseshoes absolutely stunk.  Now, I wasn’t around for any of this, but the men in my family were, and as a result I was raised with a deep hatred of all things burgundy.  I was around, however, in the ensuing years when Baltimore was devoid of an NFL franchise (I have the Baltimore Stallions CFL Championship T-Shirt to prove it), and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, and basically anybody living south of Anne Arundel County thought that I and all other Baltimore-area football fans should just get over it and adopt the team with the closest geography, the damn Redskins.  The problem was, anyone who was originally a Colts fan, or who was raised by someone who was, would have rather taken a swim in the disgustingly polluted Anacostia River.  No way we were ever going to be caught dead cheering for the Redskins.

Adding to my own personal hatred was that one of the teachers in my elementary school, a woman who was loud and obnoxious by nature, was even more loud and obnoxious when it came to professing her love of her dear “Ray-ed skiyuns.” It was an annoyance that had my pre-pubescent self hating her long before I had the great fortune of having her as MY teacher the year the “Ray-ed skiyuns” last won a Super Bowl, 1992.  As evidence, I can probably name more players from that team than from any other early-90’s era Super Bowl Champion (Gary Clark, Mark Rypien, Gary Sanders, Darryl Green…ugh, STUPID BUFFALO BILLS!)  It doesn’t take much to get a 9-year-old boy to hate something, and this Redskin hate was now something that would be engrained for life.

As far as the Steelers back in the day, I was told that “they used to kick our asses,” all the time, but for the most part, Baltimoreans didn’t carry over any Steeler-hating from our old team to our new one.  (If any of you disagree, please, let me know in the comments).


Category 2: Recent History

Redskins-Ravens is quite a bare history, actually.  The two teams have played only 3 times, with the Ravens winning in 1997 and 2004, and the ‘Skins beating the eventual Super Bowl Champs in 2000.  As a matter of fact, due to odd scheduling idiosyncrasies, this is the VERY FIRST time Washington will make their shortest-possible road trip for a (real) game against the Ravens, making them the final NFL team to play the purple-and-black here.  Weird.

Do we really even need to go over recent Steeler history?  Baltimore-Pittsburgh has evolved into one of the fiercest rivalries in the league over the past decade, but especially since the latest realignment made them half of the AFC North.  While the Bengals are always the Bungles except for a glimmer of hope here and there, and the new edition of the Cleveland Browns can’t get a firm grip on anything, it’s been up to the Ravens and Steelers to keep the division respectable.  Either B’More or ‘Burgh has won the division in 5 of the 6 years it has been in existence, and this year will obviously see more of the same.  The two teams are constantly in the top 5 defenses in the league.  Pittsburgh denied the Ravens a chance to defend their Super Bowl title, outing them in the Divisional Round in 2001.  Since 2003, the season series has been the ultimate back-and-forth, with the Ravens winning 6 to the Steelers 5, with the only sweep over that time coming in 2006, when the Ravens throttled Pittsburgh 27-0, and 31-7.  There is absolutely no love lost between these division rivals.


Category 3: Team Itself

I don’t know about you, but I really can’t say I HATE anybody on the 2008 Redskins.  Hell, I can probably only name as many of them as I could of that ’92 Super Bowl squad.  Clinton Portis cracks me up on those “Eastern Motors” commercials, Jason Campbell seems like a nice enough guy, and Jim Zorn makes me giggle with his 2nd-grader’s haircut and stupid “hip-hip-horray” chants.  I guess I hate that they signed DeAngelo Hall and we didn’t.  I definitely hate the egg they laid against the Steelers a few weeks back.

Do I hate the Steelers’ personnel?  Wow, who don’t I hate?  My hate of all things Baby Ben Roethlisberger, from his big, dumb, meathead personality to his drama queen “I’m soooo hurt, but watch me play anyway” act to football announcers fawning all over him on a first-name basis like he is their own son is the stuff of legend.  Of course there is Hines “Cheap Shot” Ward, who would probably tackle me as I looked at the screen typing this if given the chance, and who is hated pretty much universally throughout the league.  Troy Polamalu, bouncing around like a little sprite, makes my blood boil, especially when people are dumb enough to try to compare him to Ed Reed.  I hate Santonio Holmes for stealing from his grandmother.  I hate Dick LeBeau for not going off to be a head coach somewhere (again).  I hate Mike Tomlin for inheriting a really good team and acting like he has something to do with it.  Former Coach Bill “Spittle” Cowher was always incredibly easy to hate, and if reports surrounding the Cleveland Browns are accurate, we may soon get another chance.  I hated Jerome Bettis (did you know he was from Detroit?). I hated Joey Porter.  I hate them all the way to their stupid, gay mascot.


Category 4: Fans

While the Washington team may not be that easy to hate, that certainly does not go for their fans, whom I can think of several reasons to despise.  Many Redskins fans live in the affluent suburbs of D.C., and look down their noses at Ravens’ fans, whom they see as blue-collar, beer-swilling hillbillies.  Note that I said “many,” not “all,” but I’m sorry, when I think of a Redskins “tailgate party,” I think of red wine, cheese, and caviar.  Of course, I could be wrong (Ed: Thanks to Chop for finding that video for us).  Also, there is this:  Many, many ‘Skins fans are our kindred spirits during the Summer months, our brothers and sisters in the misery that has become the Baltimore Orioles.  But then, once the leaves turn, we go our separate ways as they shun B’More’s football team.  To me, that’s unacceptable.  Either you are a Baltimore (Orioles AND Ravens) fan, or you aren’t.  Sure, you didn’t have a team for a long time and we let you borrow ours.  Fine.  But now that Peter Angelos has failed in his bid to keep the MLB out of D.C. (like Cooke before him trying to keep the NFL from Baltimore – hey, maybe our hate would be better directed to rich white men in general, but that’s another can of worms), if you want to root for the Redskins, you get the Nationals and that’s that.  Keep your damn Clinton Portis jerseys the hell out of Oriole Park.

As for Steeler fans, there isn’t a group of people on this earth on whom I would more willingly wish a collective non-anesthesia aided root canal.  They are truly the cockroaches of the sports world.  “Oooooh, they travel soooo well,” the stupid ass announcers tell us as we watch another stadium become inexplicably swamped by ugly piss-yellow retard rags.  Apparently, as we have gone over here before, all it takes is for your entire city to lose their jobs just as the football team is really good to produce a national infestation of ‘yins (You blew your chance, Detroit Lions. Hard.)

And is it just me, or do there seem to be even MORE of these towel-waving idiots since the refs Steelers won Super Bowl XL?  The networks gladly bow to their mind-bogglingly large fan base, shoving Pissburgh games down our throats with Nationally-broadcast games at a rate rivaled only by the Dallas Cowboys.   Steeler fans seem to think it is their birth right to win not only the division every single year, but the conference and Super Bowl as well.  Read any message board and marvel at the shock and outrage spewing from Squealer fans at anybody who dare say their team isn’t the absolute best.  Man, I can’t wait for another towel-burning festival in the parking lot after the Ravens stomp them on the 14th…


Well, there you have it.  According to the ratings, I have to say that I hate the Steelers more.  Please, share your thoughts in the comments.  Do you hate the Steelers more too?  Or are you still too bitter about being told you should be a ‘Skins fan to let it go?  Or, do you just think I need some anger-management therapy?