Friday, September 12, 2014

Football Season Gets Personal

Baltimore from M&T Bank Stadium
The young NFL season entered its second week last night with the Ravens hosting their arch rivals, the Steelers, at M&T Bank Stadium near the heart of Baltimore.

I was there. 

The weather, although thunderstorms were predicted, was warm and very pleasant. It was a huge contrast to the game I attended last Thanksgiving where temperatures hovered just above freezing. Football is much more enjoyable in summer-like conditions.

I was impressed by the view from the stadium looking out across the sea of parked cars in the parking lot. Baltimore is a beautiful city and even more so at night.
Ravens-Steelers, September 11, 2014

But, the main event was in the stadium--the game. The fans, the food, the drinks, and the sport against the backdrop of the media circus revolving around the League's handling of the Ray Rice affair.

The game went on--and the Ravens overcame a stunning loss on Sunday against the Bengals to win handily 26-6. Almost everyone I talked to before the game was convinced that it would be a blow out--we just didn't know which team would be the winner given all of the distractions. 
The Stadium from the Parking Lot while Tailgating

My own personal observation found the Ravens fans much more subdued than the game I attended last year. The vile comments aimed at Steeler's fans, and Jeremy who accompanied me in his Steelers jersey, were far fewer than last Thanksgiving. I noted the mood during the tailgating preceding the game and it continued into the stadium for the game. It made attending the game much more enjoyable.

And the Ravens are in the win column! 

Tonight? Baseball of course as the team which shall remain nameless from the north comes to Baltimore for a doubleheader.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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