I was going to do one of those “Ranking the teams I’d like to see win the Super Bowl from most hated to least hated” articles before Wild Card Weekend kicked off on Saturday, but I never got around to it.
However, if I had gotten around to it, the Ravens would have been ranked 14th out of all the teams in the postseason field. In other words, they would have been the squad I wanted to see win the Super Bowl the least.
Screw the Ravens, forever more.
I don’t get the respect thing with the Ravens. I didn’t understand why so many Steelers fans on Twitter were rooting for them over the Bengals when the two teams met in a 3 vs. 6 wildcard matchup at Paycor Stadium on Sunday Night Football.
Believe it or not, I actually like the Bengals. I want them to make it out of the AFC again. I wouldn’t mind seeing them win their first Super Bowl. I haven’t always felt that way about Cincinnati, but something about Joe Burrow just does it for me. Sure, this is the same team that once employed Vontaze Burfict and Pacman Jones, but Baltimore is the same team that once employed Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. And don’t forget that this is the same franchise that was once owned by Art Modell. The Ravens also hired John Harbaugh in 2008, and they still have him on the payroll as the team’s head coach.
I don’t know why I’ve come around to liking the Bengals over the past two seasons (I’m sure I’ll go back to loathing them at some point), but I haven’t felt that way about a raven since one starred in a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe.
Remember when Lee Evans dropped that game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds of the 2011 AFC title game against the Patriots in New England? I cheered. Remember when kicker Billy Cundiff then missed the game-tying field goal? I jumped up and down as if Pittsburgh had advanced to the Super Bowl.
That’s right, I wanted the Patriots to defeat Baltimore.
In fact, if the Patriots had managed to sneak into the 2022/2023 NFL playoffs, I would have ranked them no lower than 13th in that article I never got around to writing.
I would have placed Tom Brady’s quest to win an eighth Super Bowl as quarterback of the Buccaneers ahead of the Ravens’ pursuit of a third Lombardi.
Back to Sunday night’s wildcard game between the Bengals and Ravens.
I got so much joy out of the Ravens coming within inches of taking the lead early in the fourth quarter, only to suddenly fall behind by a touchdown after quarterback Tyler Huntley’s attempt to jump over the goal line was swatted away by linebacker Logan Wilson, who managed to lodge the football from Huntley’s grasp and into the waiting arms of defensive lineman Sam Hubbard, who rumbled 98 yards for the game-winning score.
How did Harbaugh react to that play? Did it make him sad? I sure hope so.
Harbaugh, with his cutting-edge style that helped his team miss the playoffs in 2021 thanks to two failed two-point conversions. We’re talking about a man who loves to win preseason games even more than he enjoys winning in the postseason.
In fact, the Ravens are on a 23-game winning streak in the preseason dating back to 2016.
Impressive. Maybe this is what’s helped Baltimore win one playoff game since then.
Did I mention that Baltimore has won two playoff games since its last Super Bowl victory in 2012? Did you know that the Ravens have won two division titles during that same time frame?
Yes, sir, I can see why Steelers fans, as well as many local and national sports pundits, think Harbaugh is a superior head coach to Mike “Three Playoff Wins In 12 Years” Tomlin.
Lastly, I hate the Ravens so much that I wanted to see Jim Harbaugh, who makes his older brother look like the classy sibling in the family, defeat John in Super Bowl XLVII, an outcome that would have given the 49ers six Lombardi trophies long before the Patriots reached that mark.
Did I mention how much I hate the Ravens?