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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Super Bowl, Hon!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Super Bowl, Hon!

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Well, it's official! The Ravens are off to their second Super Bowl, against the San Francisco 49ers, in two weeks!

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Last night, they solidly beat the Patriots in Foxborough, 28-13, to win the AFC Championship. This was much-needed after last year's should've-been-a-victory, same team, same place. Baltimore is going wild! Here is Federal Hill last night, after the Ravens won.

 photo Ravens-fed-hill_zpsc1d73428.jpg

This playoffs preceded much like 2000's championship season did. Even though we won our division (in 2000, we were a wild card), no one thought we were going to get very far. You see, in the minds of most people, the Ravens are perpetually the underdog team, never mind that we pretty much always make the playoffs and have become something of a mainstay at the AFC Championship as well.

2000 was the year I got into football, watching the Ravens in the playoffs. I remember we beat Denver (in Denver--sounds familiar!), but according to everyone, there was no way we'd beat Tennessee and Steve McNair in Tennessee. We went on to beat Tennessee. But there was no way that we'd beat the Raiders, with Rich Gannon, in the Black Hole! Ye gods, overweight white guys wear spiked shoulder pads and Darth Vader masks there! *shivers* I remember that game very well because we watched it at the Ravens' stadium downtown, and near the end of the game, Tony Siragusa sat on Rich Gannon. The spiked shoulder pads and Darth Vader masks looked decidedly less scary as they shuffled out of the stadium. Of course, then we went on to win the Super Bowl against the Giants.

This year, we beat the Colts at home, but there was no way we were going to beat Peyton Manning, in Denver. So when we did, there was no way that we were going to beat Tom Brady, in Foxborough. Never mind that we already beat the Patriots once this season and should have in the last AFC game as well (in Foxborough). The commentators at the beginning of the game didn't think that the Ravens' defense would be able to handle Brady's no-huddle offense. Ummm ... didn't we just beat a team with a QB who uses a no-huddle offense? And a better QB than Brady too ...

If last week's game taught us anything, it is that it really ain't over till its over. We only began cautiously celebrating after the two-minute warning and not for real till the final turnover, when it became obvious that the Ravens could run down the clock.

The City Paper did an article a couple of weeks ago about the very phenomenon of dogging the Ravens no matter how good they prove themselves to be. It's always been that way and probably always will be; I don't imagine us ever being mentioned with the likes of the Patriots or the Colts or even the Steelers. Sure enough, the Ravens had no sooner taken their last knee to win the game and the announcers were already gloomily intoning how the 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick will give us trouble, how we've proven ourselves against mostly pocket passers and he's "mobile"; never mind the accomplishment of beating two of the NFL's best QBs in the past two weeks on their home fields, never mind that QBs don't generally like to take the risk of mobility when staring down the likes of Ray Lewis, already that counts for naught and we are the underdogs, there only by the skin of our teeth and not likely to be able to count on that good grace much longer.

We watched the game over my inlaws' house. Even my dad watched it! :^O We brought the Goldens but won't make that mistake again; Lancelot, a.k.a. Phil, has become afraid of loud cheering and spent most of the evening trying to climb into various people's laps. He's small for a Golden, but 68 lbs. is still too heavy for a lap dog. My Ray Lewis jersey is worn beyond recognition, so I wore my McNair jersey. (I had a moment of stupid superstition of the kind oft-practiced during football viewing if it was poor luck to wear the jersey of a dead player, but I adored McNair when he played for the Titans, adored him even more when he played for us, and so scolded myself for silliness and wore it anyway. Ghost!Steve, it seems, did bring us luck. Having been folded in a drawer for years now [I actually lost it for a while], ghost!Steve will definitely be getting some mileage in the weeks to come.) Every time we scored a touchdown, I did Steve's touchdown ... whatever that is.

 photo steve-mcnair_zps04dac07f.jpg

Luckily, I had lots of occasions to do that!

If I know Bal'more from 2000, the next few weeks will be wild. Strings of purple lights, purple spotlights, and Ravens car flags have already made their appearance. We saw our first Ravens tent in Hanover on Saturday; in 2000, a big deal was made because just about every gas station had a Ravens tent selling unauthorized merchandise on the corner. This is of course an extra huge occasion since Ray Lewis has the chance to make his last game a Super Bowl victory. What could be a better retirement gift for someone who has done so much for this city? Go Ravens!

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Someone replaced the Patriots with a different team there. That was horrible. I am hoping the Niners will stomp the Ravens tho. Yessiree.
    • Since we outplayed them at last year's AFC--they won based on a dropped pass in the endzone and a fluke missed field goal but, statistically, we outplayed them, as we did this year--and we beat them during the regular season (although not as solidly), I can't say that I agree that anyone but the usual NE Patriots showed up last night.

      I'll give you a pass on the last bit for regional loyalty. ;)
      • It is all about what happens on the day. The Pats were favored last night and see how that went. I think the Ravens played better and had some breaks.

        Niners all the way! :)
  • I'm barely a fair weather Pats fan (Go, Broons!), but still... *obligatory Pats whining here*. ;^)

    Congratulations, Ravens! It's time for Bal'more to have your moment in the NFL sun.

    • Thank you! It couldn't be a better year, with Ray Lewis retiring! :) I'm happy he gets to go out on a high note.
  • Throughout most of the fourth quarter, there were several "Well, Ravens win!" eliciting moments here! But of course, we didn't have to worry about jinxing anything saying that aloud. ;)
    • The fourth quarter was pretty awesome from our perspective in the Bal'more 'burbs. ;) I was worrying the wheels would fall off. We can be pretty good at times at letting the wheels fall off. ;)
      • Oh, I am well acquainted with the "FFS someone tell them the game is FOUR quarters long!" feeling. *groan* ;)
        • Flacco seemed to be confident-bordering-on-cocky, throwing into double coverage (out of necessity), and I was dreading the interception I was sure was coming ...

          But Joe Cool didn't let me down! *pats Flacco*

          Here in B'more, I think we will be forever traumatized by the long years when Trent Dilfer was the best QB we ever had, we had a single season of brightness with Steve McNair, and many long, dreadful years of horrible pass offense under the likes of Kyle Boller, Chris Redman, and *shudders* Elvis Grbac. So I always expect to see those wheels bouncing merrily down the street! :D
          • The Steelers seem pretty honest* about whether they're going to win or not... Either they play or the SUCK.

            *By which I mean, either I spend half the game virtually slapping them in the face, or the whole game!

            College football, however... CSU I am sure goes into the locker room at halftime congratulating themselves, "Yeah, we won!"
            • CSU I am sure goes into the locker room at halftime congratulating themselves, "Yeah, we won!"

              Do I ever know that frustration! At halftime yesterday, when we were losing, I said, "You know, I feel a lot better about our chances going into halftime since we're losing than if we had a lead." We have an almost uncanny ability to throw away (literally and figuratively!) a healthy lead at halftime. Or getting sorely beaten by teams that end up not defeating a single other team all season but us.

              That's why I don't mind that we're perpetually the underdogs. Gods, if people started talking about us like they talk about the Patriots, we'd probably never win again! :D
              • "You know, I feel a lot better about our chances going into halftime since we're losing than if we had a lead."

                Lol, too right!

                Of course, given how SF didn't show up until the second half yesterday, hopefully the Ravens don't suffer this problem in the Super Bowl...
                • True that. I don't know much about SF at all. I kinda forget that the NFC exists until the Super Bowl rolls around. (Probably 'cause I don't start watching football till the playoffs!)
                  • I don't know anything about them either. Mostly I just yell at the tv. ;)
                    • Me too! That's why I don't watch football often. I eventually become self-aware and think, "One in five U.S. children goes hungry, the polar ice caps are melting, and young people are being shot in Baltimore at an alarming rate ... and the thing that got my blood pressure the highest today? An effing football game!" ;)
                      • I try to think of it as a healthy outlet for aggression and frustration. I can't fix all the world problems that anger and frustrate me... but I CAN scream at someone who makes $$$$$ for dropping a pass I could have caught! consequence free! ;)
  • Congrats! Enjoy the next two weeks of hype. It's fun. We Steelers fans will be rooting for Baltimore, just so the Niners don't get six SB wins! NO ONE ELSE can have six!
    • We're glad to have the extra good mojo! :D I was in college when the Ravens went to (and won) the Super Bowl in 2000, and I have very strong memories of all the hoopla leading up to the big game and, of course, the uber-celebration afterward. Looking forward to it again! :D
  • Congratulations! I'll be the first to admit that I don't understand a thing about American football and normally don't give a damn about it, but still, I'm happy that "your" team won an important victory. Good luck with the Super Bowl!
    • Thank you! :D Baltimore has always been a football city. We had a team, the Colts, for many years, until the early '80s, when they picked up in the night and moved to Indianapolis. So the Ravens have made us here feel that all is again right with the world. :D
  • I was really hoping for a SF/Ravens Super Bowl. I'll be parked in front of my TV, munchies and dinner (all horribly bad for me but oh so good to eat) at the ready. This will be a good game.

    Since I didn't have my beloved Broncos to cheer for, I cheered for your Ravens instead :-)

    - Erulisse (one L)
    • It's the Har-Bowl! ;) (I was saying that all week before the news commentators all started using it, having--of course--copied off of me. ;)

      Hooray for cross-country mojo! :D So who are you going for in the SB?
      • Oh, I'm going Ravens all the way. I have friends on both coasts, but I like the Ravens just because they're the underdogs and, as a Denver fan and Minnesota Vikings fan, I have to love the underdogs - LOL.

        - Erulisse (one L)
        Perhaps leaving the Goldens home when you go elsewhere for the Big Game might be the wisest course of action? Just sayin'....
        • The Goldens are most certainly not attending any future football parties. I don't care who wants them there! The older Phil gets, the less noise and excitement he is able to tolerate without becoming unbearably annoying.
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