Ravens Fail To Shine Under Lights
By Joe Platania
Recently, Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King wrote that no team gets up for the national prime time spotlight like the Ravens.
When considering Baltimore's lifetime record under the lights, including the debacle in Pittsburgh on Monday, one has to wonder what team he was watching.
Including last year's playoff loss to Indianapolis, and this season's turnover-filled losses at Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, the Ravens have lost five straight nationally televised games, seven of their last nine and eight of 11 going back to the beginning of the 2004 season.
Corey Ivy and the Ravens defense struggled to overcome the good field position the Steelers got as a result of four turnovers.
The mediocre numbers don't stop when isolating how Baltimore has performed on certain nights of the week.
On the league's Sunday night telecasts, the Ravens are a mere 7-7 with a visit from Indianapolis coming Dec. 9. On Mondays, the Week 10 loss at Pittsburgh dropped the team to 4-5 with the Dec. 3 New England visit looming.
Also, the Ravens have never won a regular season game played on a Thursday or Saturday night, going 0-3 on those occasions.
The Ravens are not scheduled to appear on the NFL Network's Thursday-Saturday package this year and are not slated to play in either of the two traditional Thanksgiving Day games in Detroit or Dallas through 2009.
However, the NFL Network began its own Thanksgiving package last year, selecting two random teams for each year's game without regard to traditional venues. It's possible the Ravens could end up in that game in the coming years.
"THE COWGIRL AND THE COLTS"
Many longtime Baltimore Colts fans can point with pride to the kinds of things that made going to Memorial Stadium so special.
Orrsville. The Big Wheel. Loudy. Unitas-to-Berry. The marching band's fight song...and on and on.
You can put Dixie right alongside all of them.
For the uninitiated, Dixie -- the first female mascot in NFL history -- was the horse ridden around the sidelines after every Colts score, which probably meant she ran the length of two Preaknesses every Sunday.
Carolyn Clark, the daughter of longtime Maryland jockey Wilie Clark, rode Dixie, and now the pair is the subject of Paul Travers' new book "The Cowgirl and the Colts."
"It is a compelling drama about a tragic death, a grieving jockey, a vintage football team, a forgotten marching band, a group of Hall of Fame cowgirls and a fading author," Travers wrote in an e-mail. "Her story is a look at professional football, horses and rock and roll as seen through the eyes of a preteen idol in the Fabulous ’50s."
Eventually, Carolyn Clark -- who was an old hand at riding by the tender age of 10 -- got to realize her dream of founding a horseback riding academy to benefit handicapped children. That and many other stories are weaved into this interesting tapestry of a book.
MODELL MAKES FIRST LIST
Art Modell is one of 124 players, coaches and league contributors who have been placed on the preliminary ballot for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The list will be pared down to 25 names next month, then cut again to 17 for deliberation by the 44-member Hall of Fame electoral board on Saturday, Feb. 2 in Glendale, Ariz. -- the day before Super Bowl XLII is to be played there. It takes a 75 percent vote of the electorate (33 of 44) in order to be inducted. The Hall of Fame's induction class is comprised of no less than four and no more than seven people.
Each year, the Senior Committee's recommendations are usually locks for induction. This year, former Chicago Cardinals two-way player Marshall Goldberg and ex-Kansas City defensive back Emmitt Thomas are the nominees.
That means that Modell and 123 others are fighting for what amounts to five spots in the 2008 induction class. Modell has only made the final list once, in 2002.
Issue 2.45: November 8, 2007