Courtesy of Alex Tsironis
(Editors Note: I’m completely aware this might not be the best time for this article but it is what it is)
A couple people have asked me why I dislike the Baltimore Ravens. Here’s the story…
I never had any issues with the Ravens prior to the 2000 season. In fact, when they came to town, I thought it was pretty cool. I remember buying Vinny Testaverde and Bam Morris Ravens jerseys my sophomore year of high school for $9.99 each at Sports Authority just because they were so cheap (these were current players, so the low price was because the Ravens didn’t really have many fans buying merchandise). I gave those two jerseys to students that were Ravens fans a few years back.
I viewed them just as I viewed any other non-NFC East team, except I kind of wanted them to win because they were in the state where I was born and raised. During their first Superbowl run, I was happy that they destroyed the Giants.
That’s where it all changed…
At that point, my favorite team (the Redskins), had already experienced about a decade of mediocrity since winning their last Superbowl. People that were once “fans” of the Washington Redskins were suddenly fans of two teams (something that goes against everything I’ve ever known as a fan of professional team sports).
For the decade that followed, the Ravens continued being a successful organization, while the Redskins were well below average. Much like a wife that found her husband in bed with a younger woman, I was scorned by these once loyal fans that jumped ship and hopped on the Ravens bandwagon. I heard insults about an owner (most people “hated” Dan Snyder for reasons unbeknownst to them), I listened to people mock my team/boast about a team that didn’t even exist when those same people first became fans of the sport, and I witnessed my team lose a decent percentage of fans because some other team was successful (the true definition of front running, bandwagon riding fans).
Have they remained fans of Baltimore? Of course. Baltimore has been one of the best teams in the league for the better part of the last decade or so, why would they jump ship? I witnessed a couple Ravens fans this year talk about how they “might be coming back to the Redskins” now that RG3 was leading them into the playoffs. That was when it seemed the Ravens were headed for an early elimination, and before the ACL tear heard round the world. These are the same fans that painted their face purple and bragged about how their Ravens were going to beat the 49ers in the Superbowl.
I don’t fault any Baltimore native for immediately becoming a Ravens fan once the city got a team again. I am, however, disgusted (as a football fan) at those who have been given a pass when they SWITCHED their favorite team (in most cases, from a team that wasn’t doing well to a team that won the Superbowl).
Am I a “hater”? Call it what you want to call it, but the types of fans that I mentioned above have certainly led me to disliking a team that I once didn’t mind at all. If you have any kind of proof that you were a fan of the Ravens before their first Superbowl (2000 season), then I have no qualms with you…but if you are one of the people that jumped ship (from ANY other NFL team), then I don’t think you are a true fan. You can give any excuse you want about a “bad” organization/owner, but there is no excuse for deserting one team and supporting another.
If you moved to a new city with your spouse and met a more attractive, younger person, would you leave the person you went through so much with just because they didn’t look as good as they used to or because you didn’t like your mother-in-law (owner)? Thousands of people move into the DC area and bring the love they have for their teams with them…moving to Baltimore doesn’t mean you drop your team and pick up the local, more successful team.
A big part of being a football fan is talking trash. Whether it is overused and unfunny terms like Deadskins and Cowgirls, or more specific words about players personal lives and the area the team represents, it is just talk to make the competition more fun. I don’t actually hate the city of Baltimore, I think it’s alright. My favorite baseball team, the Orioles, play there…and I enjoy going there to watch them play.
You’re free to like any team you’d like, this is only the opinion of one