We'll get it out of the way from the start; the Ravens are getting screwed.
Not intentionally, mind you. The Orioles and White Sox have a set schedule, and neither they, nor the fans of either team, should be subjected to the whims of each other. The fact is, there isn't anything else that could have been done. Sept. 4 and the surrounding dates just don't work for the infrastructure of the City of Baltimore to host two games.
That being said, we don't see anything at all wrong with Baltimore simply getting a home game in Week 2 to celebrate their deserved championship.
The schedule is said to be released on April 16, so with that, we have five reasons why we hope the Steelers open their 2013 season against the Ravens in Pittsburgh.
Steelers wouldn't have to play them in their home opener
Ultimately, the Steelers have to play in Baltimore at least once in the 2013 season. It would just be easier if it wasn't in their celebratory home-opening game. If they're made to wait a week, too, and by "a week," we mean 10 days between Weeks 1 and 2, the team has more time to lavish Pro-Ravens sentiment and the city has a few extra days to pound beers and make the most hostile crowd for an opposing team the game has ever seen.
Playing them in Week 1 would all-but-eliminate the possibility of having to play them in Baltimore in Week 2. In fact, we'd be surprised to learn neither Cincinnati nor Cleveland are offering to host them in Week 1.
Getting a home game after two straight road games
Playing on the road in Week 1 is brutal; facing any team away from home - let alone an outstanding one like Baltimore - isn't easy in the first game. Just ask the Steelers; they've had to open on the road against previous year playoff teams the last two seasons. That seems like a trend that shouldn't last more than two straight years for any team.
Baltimore hosted Pittsburgh in 2011
Seems only fair, right? Baltimore had several months of bitterness welling up inside after the Steelers' dramatic comeback win in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoffs. The unleashed it on the overwhelmed Steelers, leading to a 35-7 rout of the defending division champs. After a disappointing 2012 season, the Steelers could have that same kind of emotion building for a re-match of that game. It'd be great TV, if nothing else.
They play twice anyway
And these games are usually fought over by the networks after the flex-week begins. Seems like a fair tradeoff, go to Pittsburgh in Week 1, and the later season game in Baltimore is almost guaranteed to be on primetime. That's a home primetime game, and they were 3-0 in those games last year. Besides, they're the defending champs, what do they have to worry about? Right?
Best option available
It's a rivalry-fueled divisional game, but being objective, they'd much rather play in Pittsburgh in primetime than in Denver. While the storyline clearly is much stronger against the Broncos (especially now with the Elvis Dumervil Saga), getting Baltimore, and the NFL, started with a big rivalry game makes more sense than the re-match angle, especially when you can allow a sacrificial lamb like Detroit to deal with the Ravens' championship wrath the following week.