Ravens Could Open 2009 at Home

From the Baltimore Sun:

The Ravens aren’t expected to kick off the 2009 season at the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, but they could be in line for a season opener at M&T Bank Stadium.

There were rumors the NFL would begin this season with Ravens-Steelers, a rematch of the AFC championship game, for its Thursday night game. But the Ravens asked not to be considered for a prime-time game at Heinz Field this season when they submitted their scheduling requests to the league, a team official told The Baltimore Sun.

The Ravens have played a nationally televised game at Pittsburgh three of the past four seasons, including the past two years. In comparison, the last time the Steelers had to play a night game in Baltimore was 2003.

There is a possibility the Ravens could start the season at home. Because the Orioles are away Sept. 13, the Ravens would be able to host a Week 1 game (the Orioles are home Sept. 14, which likely rules out a home Monday night game).

The Ravens, who opened the 2008 season at M&T Bank Stadium, have not kicked off consecutive seasons at home since they moved to their downtown stadium in 1998.

At first I had the same reaction that a lot of fans did. I was a bit upset and embarrassed that my team would shy away from a challenge. Plus it just gives Steeler fans something to crow about, as if beating the Ravens three times and winning a championship wasn’t enough.

But upon closer inspection this isn’t a bad move.

First, it appears that the league has listened and the Titans will now open in Pittsburgh instead. Fine. Let the Titans deal with all the hoopla of opening the season and watching the Steelers get their rings. I’d rather not.

Second, Pittsburgh hasn’t come to play a night game in Baltimore since 2003. This wasn’t a bad way to remind the schedule makers to be a bit more equitable when dealing out the special games.

Third, it’s not as if the Ravens told the league they didn’t want to play Pittsburgh. Both teams are in the same division and wil play their two times a season and maybe once more in the playoffs. So the move is more about fairness in scheduling than anything.

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One Response to “Ravens Could Open 2009 at Home”

  1. SIXBURGH says:

    Hmmm, wonder why the Ravens wouldn’t want to be on national TV against the Steelers?

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