First, what a game! I would have been upset if the Ravens had been blown out, or if they had made a number of bonehead plays. (Although I could have done without the long pass in the final minutes that resulted in an interception. Had it been fourth down, maybe, but there was no need for that.) Instead, those two teams went back and forth and back again in an incredible match up. All I can do is tip my hat.
One of the things I have heard said about Baltimore sports fans, on both the local and national levels, is that we are intelligent sports followers who can appreciate good play. I take that as an incredible compliment, and see it myself in my fellow fans. As much as it sucked to see it happen against the Ravens, the backwards pass play that Tom Brady made to his receiver who then threw it down the field was an excellent play. Again, all I can do is tip my hat. Well done, boys. Whether or not I will cheer for you next week is still up in the air, but still, well done.
All I feel at this moment is an incredible love and gratitude for this past months of sports seasons in my beloved Baltimore. First the Orioles had an amazing run in the playoffs, losing a number of close games before being eliminated. Again, would I have loved to see them in the World Series, sure, but I was so proud of them. What a season that was! Then I got to watch my alma mater, the University of Maryland College Park, shock everyone in their debut football season in the Big Ten. Everyone expected them to get annihilated, and I loved seeing them shut those people up. Actually, how can I forget that the Terps (that's the U of M, if you are confused) baseball team made it to the post season as well! Then to have the Ravens make the playoffs and manage to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh was nothing short of amazing. For those of you non-NFL fans, the Steelers don't lose at home in the postseason. It just doesn't happen, and yet the Ravens pulled it off. Again, I am so proud of all of those teams, and now I'm loving watching both Terps basketball teams right now. I expect another fantastic run come March, and I can't wait. The men are doing better than they have in years, but if you aren't watching the women's team, you need to be. Now.
I have lived all over the US, from California to Colorado, then Kansas to Alabama, but I love living in and saying "I'm from Maryland." While I technically live about twenty minutes outside of the city in the suburbs, I love Baltimore. It is such an amazing city. We have interesting neighborhoods, local pride, art, history, science, some of the best medical minds in the country, fantastic cuisine, and incredible sports teams. If you have never eaten an Old Bay sausage while sitting in Camden Yards, you need to fix that soon.
The history in the city is amazing. To be frank, the city and people of Baltimore saved this country's tail. During the War of 1812 the British troops were chugging their way northward up the East Coast, laying waste to everything in their path. Who stopped them? Who said, "Oh hell no!" to that nonsense? Baltimore. When the dust cleared and everyone waited to see which flag would go up over Ft. McHenry, it was Baltimore who put a stop to the British. The stars and stripes went up, and poem was written about it, and we still sing it today. Baltimore kicked ass, and still does.
I've heard many times that Maryland is the USA in miniature, and it's incredibly true. We have mountains and ski resorts, but we also have oceanfront beaches. We have cities, suburbs, but we also have miles of farmland. We even have islands, though to be fair, Hawaii has us when it comes to volcanoes. You know what, good for them. We get all four seasons, from below freezing temps and feet of snow to 100+ days in the Summer, plus flowers in the Spring and amazing Fall colors. We have history and culture that brings the tourists, but it still feels like a home town.
I love my home, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
Congrats to the Ravens for an amazing season. I can't wait until next year.
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