“It should have been us…” Tough to be on the outside looking in to the Super Bowl when you got so close…
As Ravens fans turn their reluctant attention to the Steelers-Packers SB 45 on Sunday, the sloppy realization has begun sinking in for this blogger that the 2010 season is over. Interesting ride it was, for sure…and disappointment abounds…but I know a team in Carolina with a fan base that would still be celebrating hard for the year the Ravens had. So lift a glass with me this Sunday, and toast your 2010 Ravens one last time. And hey, 13-5 ain’t all that bad… and we’ll get back to the Big Dance soon enough, you’ll see.
Meanwhile, I’ll just glean for you some current events and unfinished-story headlines to help with the mental house-cleaning, so you can relax your Raven brain just long enough to enjoy watching the Super Bowl:
The Ravens share a connection with the Green Bay Packers and Walt Anderson, who is the referee for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Anderson was the referee for the Dec. 7, 2009 game in Green Bay, where the Ravens and Packers were called for 23 penalties for 310 yards (the second-most in NFL history). There were a combined nine pass interference penalties in the game. ( Ravens Insider )
There’s no deal close with Jared Gaither after the agent for the offensive tackle spoke with the Ravens on Wednesday, a source confirmed. It was the first talks between the sides since the season ended. Gaither didn’t play a snap in the preseason or the regular season because of a back injury. A day after the Ravens’ playoff loss at Pittsburgh, a source told The Sun that Gaither wasn’t expected to be retained if he was an unrestricted free agent this year…
It seemed as if agent Drew Rosenhaus talked to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome Wednesday only about the status of Jared Gaither. In fact, Newsome talked to Rosenhaus about running back Willis McGahee and receiver Donte’ Stallworth as well. All three are represented by Rosenhaus. “When an agent has multiple clients they like to sit down, and talk about them, usually early in the offseason,” Newsome said. “In some cases, like with our kickers, their agents called and we told them we’d like to get something done early. In other cases, we just have to wait and be patient.” McGahee has one year remaining on his contract, and Stallworth is an unrestricted free agent. According to current rules in place, Gaither is a restricted free agent and Newsome said he plans on offering Gaither a tender. Last year, Gaither was paid $2.396 million from a tendered offer. ( Ravens Insider )
The NFL Players Association is disputing the NFL’s contention it can apply a franchise tag to players whose contracts expire at the end of the 2010 league year, which throws into question the Ravens’ ability to tag defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. A statement from the NFLPA’s legal and salary cap departments said the union had “received reports that the NFL is advising clubs” they can use the franchise tag on unrestricted or restricted free agents.
There have been a lot of rumors swirling about the Ravens offering linebacker Ray Lewis a financial package to retire, but Lewis laughed about that option, and Newsome also said it wasn’t true. “We just had our personnel meetings this week, and Ray hasn’t told any off our defensive staff he was retiring,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “The last I heard from Ray he stood up at the end-of-the-year meeting and told his teammates that he had already begun to prepare for next season.”
Finally, this little gem from Associated Press: The Ravens’ stadium playing surface dropped to No. 8 in a player poll ranking the best artificial fields in the NFL. The artificial turf at M&T Bank Stadium ranked No. 7 in the 2008 poll. The players’ union takes a survey on fields every two years. The drop in rank is surprising considering the Ravens just installed a new SportExe field before the 2010 season because the older surface had begun to lose its softness. SportExe features 1 billion blades of green synthetic fiber, with a base of sand and granular rubber.
That should help catch us up a little with some things Raven…at least enough to where we can view the Super Bowl hoopla without feeling too guilty about leaving our home team in the lurch for a football Sunday..a Sunday unlike any other.