The Super Bowl champions will play on the road the following season for the first time since 1996.
The Baltimore Ravens and the NFL were unable to get the Baltimore Orioles, a baseball team with whom the Ravens share parking space with, and Major League Baseball to agree to move the start time of a game the Orioles have with the White Sox that evening, meaning the defending Super Bowl champions will be playing the league's season-opening game for the first time since the NFL starting putting the defending champs into a Thursday primetime game to start the year in 2002.
It goes all the way back to 1996, the last time the defending champs opened the season on the road. The Dallas Cowboys, fresh off defeating the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, opened the season at Chicago.
The Bears won that game 22-6.
Judging by the reaction around Twitter, some Ravens media types and fans are understandably upset. Or, are making quiet insults at the Orioles.
One thing's for sure: while Ravens are playing on TV that night -- O's will have no traffic or parking issues.— Scott Hanson (@ScottHanson) March 22, 2013
And that's fair. It's also fair to point out, though MLB has a strict policy about not scheduling day games to start a series when the visiting team played a night game the day before, or either team has to travel to the location after playing a night game.
That makes sense. Playing a game, then doing interviews and all of that, followed by a plane trip to the host city and arriving at the hotel oftentimes well after midnight, only to get up at 7 a.m. to get to the ballpark by 8 a.m. for a 1:05 p.m. game isn't the easiest thing to do.
The Orioles have nothing to do with the Ravens, certainly the White Sox have even less to do with them, and either team could very well could be in a pennant race.
Or, perhaps this is more of the reason.
Evidently, the Ravens couldn't talk sense into this angry bird. twitter.com/AndrewSicilian...— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) March 22, 2013
Maybe not, but it seems, top to bottom, it is an issue neither side could get past. It makes sense why MLB doesn't want to alter their schedule for the sake of the NFL, and by all accounts, they did try to make something work.
The Patriots are probably excited, though. They are scheduled to play the Ravens in Baltimore this year, so they won't have to take on the defending champs - a team that beat them twice last season, including in the AFC Championship game - in Week 1.
The main question, of course, is whether the Steelers will be forced to play a previous season playoff game in Week 1 for the fifth year in a row? They played Tennessee in 2009 in the season-opening game after winning Super Bowl XLIII. Atlanta visited Pittsburgh the following year. They played Baltimore in 2011 on the road, and suffered an absolute shellacking, and had to go to Denver last season to lose again to the Broncos.
For as big a draw as Steelers vs. Ravens games are, it seems far more likely the league would want the AFC Divisional re-match between the Ravens and Broncos for their showcase game. If that is too much, it seems like the big free agent-spending Miami Dolphins would be a better choice to highlight as an alleged rising power in the AFC.
The Ravens also have Cincinnati, Cleveland, Buffalo, Chicago and Detroit on their road schedule in 2013.
The league schedule is said to be released on or around April 16, so we'll wait until then to see if this will even matter.
Ed Reed's departure means that the Ravens will down 8 starters from last year's team.. 8 out of 22.— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 21, 2013