By Tim Marcin
Elm Sports Editor
So the Ravens won a ring. Let me warn you Baltimore fans: they don’t come around that often. I hope you liked your parade. I hope you soaked in Sunday night. I hope you’re still reeling. I hope this Superbowl victory was everything you wanted it to be.
You see, Baltimoreans, championships don’t come around that often, let alone Superbowl wins. Ask the good folks of Detroit. Or perhaps take a trip to Jacksonville. Or come talk to me. I’m an Eagles fan and our last championship was in 1960, before the Superbowl even existed.
Baltimore, believe it or not, you’ve been spoiled. Two Superbowls since 2001 isn’t bad. A championship parade is something that you should cherish because who knows how many you’ll get to see.
Philadelphia won its last title in 2008, when the Phillies won the World Series. At the time, it ended a 25-year citywide draught (unless you count an Arena Bowl, or Indoor Soccer League title). Everything was blue skies after 2008. At the time three-of-the-four teams in the city looked poised to win a title. The Phillies were dominating with the best pitching staff in recent memory, the Eagles had a “dream team,” and the Flyers were perennial contenders.
Well, the Phillies got old and lost their grip on the NL East, the Eagles dream team was more nightmarish, and the Flyers are an enigma. There have been no championships since 2008 and quite frankly none seem on the horizon.
I must admit, I was a little bitter the Ravens won. Most of the campus supports the Ravens and it is frustrating seeing so much unbridled joy. It reminded me of 2008, standing front row, watching Pat Burrell ride on a Budweiser float, leading the parade. It reminded me of a time thinking my favorite teams were unbeatable.
The analysts seemingly thought the Phillies would have a parade every other year, that the Eagles had more talent than anyone, and that the Flyers were ready to get over the hump. Well, so much for that. What looked promising was in fact the beginning of the end. Philadelphia’s citywide success was done.
As I sat on my couch and watched Ray Lewis tear up (again) after the Superbowl, a couple friends burst through the front door. All die-hard Baltimore fans. One was wearing a Ravens flag as a make-shift cape. They came in screaming with hoarse voices. They watched Ray Lewis in admiration, while I could barely hold back my sneers (I mean come on, those tears are forced and we all know it.)
What I guess I am saying, and I cannot believe this, is truly enjoy this championship like my friends did the night of the Superbowl. Rub it in my face if you have to. Never take that black and purple #52 jersey off. Post onto every sports comment thread with unrealistic arrogance. Even go as far as to scream “WE DID IT!”, my number one pet peeve about sports fans (you sat and watched, you did not win anything.) Soak it up—because believe me it passes.
Being a fan is largely an exercise in frustration. Your team will not win it all much more than it does win it all. You hopes will be dashed far more than realized. Your quarterback will go golfing more times than he will go to Disney World. Ravens fans: remember last year, Billy Cundiff shanking the chip-shot field goal to lose the AFC Championship game? That would be the best result most NFL teams have seen in years.
Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of a Ravens’ dynasty, but I doubt it. The Orioles are getting better, but a championship is not looming. Let me just put it this way: if your next championship comes in another 12 years, that’s about half the time Philly had to wait in between rings.
I remember the feeling of watching the last float of the parade go by at the Phillies parade in ’08. I saw the flatbed truck carrying the players turn the corner past City Hall. I was a senior in high school and thought, “I’ll have to skip class to come home and watch this if they win the next four years.”
Unfortunately, I never had that dilemma. You have a full offseason of supporting the best team in the world Baltimore. Enjoy it now, for it’s a fleeting feeling. Take it from someone who knows.