Professor Coldheart’s Keys to the Game
Ravens games don’t usually get picked up by New England stations. I could go to a sports bar and ask someone to switch a TV over, but this doesn’t always go over well. Also, it ties me to that particular bar for three hours and twenty dollars worth of drinks. Of course, this would not have been an issue this past Sunday – when the Ravens played the Patriots at GIllette Stadium – except that I would have been the only guy in the bar in a Joe Flacco jersey. Even the usual crew who I can plead to come watch a Baltimore game with me (Fraley, Hawver, Michelle) would have spurned my treachery.
Streaming Internet radio saved the day, though the only station I can reliably get online is Washington DC’s Air America affiliate. They do great game day coverage, picking up the WBAL broadcasters live: a more competent crew than four of the last five Monday Night Football lineups. So I sigh when Air America does its “roll call” every hour, running down a list of local businesses that want to advertise their progressive values. A slew of farmer’s markets, massage therapists and small law offices, announced in alternating sing-song.
My Ravens played their hearts out this past Sunday, leaving two men on the field – Jared Gaither and Brendan Oyanbedejo – and keeping it close throughout. Joe Flacco played like the Tom Brady of four years ago, going 8-for-11 on third down. And Baltimore shut down New England’s running game. Unfortunately, several bad ref calls, as well as competitive play by Brady, Maroney and Welker, cost Baltimore the game.
I still submit that the Patriots winning this game earned them less cred than the Ravens lost by losing. The Ravens are now a 3-1 team, eminently respectable with a sophomore QB and coach, and stayed within one touchdown of a well-favored team. The Patriots clawed their way to 3-1 in a close game today, still not having won by enough of a margin to reaffirm the world’s faith in Brady Christ. The power dynamics of dealing with low-status rivals plague even the canniest diplomats.
Hail, Alma Mater
I saw my first (and probably only) Boston College home game of the season this past Saturday, watching the Eagles scramble past FSU. Casey O. and I screamed in frustration at Spaziani’s prevent defense, stared at each other in shock when BC scored and tried to keep the fans around us classy.
Limited success on that front: a BC Superfan got in a shoving match with a Seminoles fan one section over. Two ambitious, collegiate pushes: both arms to the flat of the chest, no follow-up punch. Stadium security came by and summoned the cops. I didn’t hear the ensuing discussion, but I saw the Seminoles fan shaking his head. The cops left without ejecting the BC pugilist, who slumped into a seat two rows away next to his embarrassed girlfriend and stared somberly at the field for the remaining quarter and a half, his dignity shredded beyond repair.