BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 11: Ryan Clark #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers breaks up a pass to Ed Dickson #84 of the Baltimore Ravens during the season opener at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens lead the Steelers 21-7 at the half. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Maybe it's not the frequency, but the message he's sending. He seems to be taking a path that might suggest pure insanity. Ryan Clark doesn't really, actually, hate the Baltimore Ravens.
You're 10 miles north of Crazy Town now, Ryan.
Fine, he may not hate them, but his comments to NFL Network Wednesday show he's clearly paying attention to them. The Ravens doused head coach John Harbaugh in Gatorade after they defeated the Steelers 35-7 in Week 1 of the 2011 season. They did it again after Baltimore defeated San Francisco 16-6 in Week 12, when Harbaugh defeated his brother, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
"When I'm not playing the Ravens I'm not thinking about the Ravens," he said. "This organization, we worry about winning championships, we don't focus on beating one team. There won't be Gatorade baths because we beat the Ravens, won't be parties, won't be bottle-popping and confetti, it will be one game on our journey to win the Super Bowl and I always look at it like that."
He allowed himself some self-indulgent hate when he pointed out an ember of animosity did flare up at least once last season.
"I will say this about the Ravens: that first game last year watching them dance on the field, seeing them fake an extra point while up 27 already, it allowed me to understand how much they actually dislike us as an organization as a coaching staff," Clark said. "So it brooded and stirred up a little hate in me."
Fair point, and it should make him upset. At his own team, though, and not the Ravens. Baltimore saw in the playoffs in 2010 exactly why any team should always try to score at the absolute bare minimum through the first half. The Steelers came from behind in the second half to defeat Baltimore 31-24 after leading 21-7 at the half.
Stands to reason Baltimore hated Pittsburgh after that. And to Clark's point, that's probably where the Gatorade bath came from.
The Ravens look to defend their Week 1 championship this year on primetime Sept. 10 against Cincinnati, while the Steelers travel to Denver Sept. 9.