- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
This weekend is one of the most, if not the most, important sports entertainment events in the United States: the Super Bowl.
While other sports have taken a backseat view of Super Bowl Sunday, fans and non-fans of American football will be glued to the television this weekend, quite possibly more in this area of the country than others, as the Baltimore Ravens will represent the American Football Conference, and the state of Maryland, against the National Football Conference champions, the San Francisco 49ers. East vs. West, a storied-franchise versus a recently (by NFL standards) formed franchise looking to add prestige to its brief history.
San Francisco is married in sports history to NFL Hall of Famers such as Jerry Rice, Joe Montana and Steve Young. The 49ers have earned five Lombardi trophies in the team’s 63-year history.
The Ravens, in its brief history, is married to a legendary author in Edgar Allen Poe (named after one of the writer’s most famous poems), a retiring, energetic and exciting, but controversial, first-ballot, Hall-of-Fame linebacker in Ray Lewis, an oftentimes maligned quarterback in Joe Flacco and a star tailback in Ray Rice. The Ravens, despite their short history, have had the success of one Super Bowl victory.
Here lies the quandary: Washington Redskins fans felt a surge of promise this year, mostly due to a talented run-and-gun, first-round draft-pick addition of the charismatic quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Griffin was injured while scrambling for a first down during the come-from-behind overtime victory against the Ravens earlier this football season; backup quarterback Kirk Cousins stepped in for a then-hobbled Griffin and helped lead the ’Skins to victory over their neighbors to the Northeast. For some, Griffin’s injury during the game led to a debate about the quarterback’s toughness and decision-making, along with the coaching staff’s ability to properly and responsibly develop him into a franchise player for the next 10 to 15 years. For others, it led to debate as to when, if ever, Washington fans should root for the Baltimore team — under any circumstances.
Some in Calvert County are already Ravens fans, and others see no reason not to root for the home-state team this year as it aims for its second Lombardi trophy. But some remain steadfast in their loyalty to the team they have — and the team their families have supported for generations — in the Washington Redskins.
There is nothing wrong in supporting Maryland’s team, but the struggle to embrace them as a Washington football fan is understood. The team arrived in Washington in the 1930s and has been here ever since. During that time, the team has won five world championships, three Super Bowls and has seen numerous players inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Even the recently disbanded Hogettes, have gained national attention and notoriety for not only their unique attire, but for their charitable fundraising efforts.
But this is not to take away from the Ravens’ moment to shine. Maryland has received a lot of attention as the Baltimore team has worked its way through the media circus in New Orleans.
Everyone loves a winner. Baltimore has earned the attention this year. Who knows? Maybe one day the two teams will face each other on the biggest sports stage in the United States. That would really make for an interesting time in this area.