So, thatís done.
Between the Superdome blackout and a litany of overhyped odes to corporate America, the Baltimore Ravens won their second Super Bowl, 34-31, over the San Francisco 49ers, who, much like they did in the NFC Championship game against Atlanta, fell asleep in the early stages of the game, and didnít wake up in time to save America from the Ray Lewis Retirement Party.
But enough of that. Letís not get into ďwordingĒ about what could have been had the Patriots not gagged away the AFC title game two weeks ago. Letís not ponder the thought that Tom Bradyís fourth title may never come. Enough of the CBS bashing, even though that incompetent duo in the booth deserves every word of it. Jim Nantz is a tool, and Phil Simms brings new meaning to the word, ďduh,Ē but weíre not here to talk about that.
Yes, football is over for another season, only to return in the midst of sweltering humidity (we donít count the draft), and baseballís pennant drive, whether that happens locally or not. Good for Baltimore, which now enjoys its second sporting title since 2000. Neat.
Weíve lost track of how many titles Boston has endured over that same stretch, but itís really not fair to compare the two cities, is it? We, after all, have three more professional sports teams, four if you count the Cannons and whatever college teams plays the dirtiest. Congratulations are in order for Baltimore, home to the second-best baseball stadium in the bigs (AT&T Park has taken over the throne), which is fitting seeing the cityís inferiority complex over its beltway a brother.
Baltimore is a fine place, but itís also one that has treasured two of sportsí most overrated treasures. Ray Lewis is a Hall of Famer, but the insufferable, deer antler-spraying fella somehow skates on his questionable past. Likewise, Cal Ripken, Jr. made his way to Cooperstown simply by showing up to work every day, an overrated feat that took over his game, and brings up the questions as to just how he was able to sustain himself for so many years.
But weíre not here to deride the accomplishments of the Ravens or put down the charming city of Baltimore. I once bought a hat there, and took a cruise on the harbor. The picture of me and the woman who would become my wife sits here on my desk as I type this. I have a lot more hair in it. Itís sort of depressing me.
But this isnít about me. Itís meant as congratulations to the city of Baltimore and wondering what the odds are of a double championship year. After all, the Orioles did make the playoffs last season, and since Dan Duquette has been in charge, have been trending upward. The Rays and Orioles are the class of the American League East while the Red Sox and Yankees are old and/or broken down. Bizarro baseball.
Ray Lewis is headed to ESPN now, where the media darling will become part of the media that helped create him. He goes out like so few athletes can Ė a champion. Vomit.
OK, maybe thatís not fair. After all, this isnít about us, but what the Ravens mean for Baltimore, which has enjoyed as many sports titles in 13 years as we did in 2011 (the Cannons fit in this argument, so Iím using them). The Bruins are soaring, the Celtics are treading water, the Red Sox are about to spark the rites of spring (Truck Day!!!), and the Revolution areÖwell, going to play at some point, I gather.
Thatís not a putdown of the Revs, mind you. I enjoy the local soccer team as much as anybody. Itís just that theyíre like Framingham. A fine place, but I have no idea how to navigate it.
But weíre not here to talk about that. This is a congratulations to the great and notable city of Baltimore for winning the Super Bowl. San Francisco has gone since 2012 without a title. Boston hasnít sniffed one since the Stanley Cup in 2011.
The last time the Ravens won the title, a certain team from Route 1 followed it up with one of its own. In the end, maybe thatís about the best that can be said, or hoped for, with Baltimore winning.