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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Perry Hall, MD

    The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    This was difficult to write, particularly on the anniversary of the Mile High Miracle. But in part, looking at that footage again inspired the article. Missing such moments of glory and wondering what the Ravens need to do to get back to those moments. It's long, and as always, your feedback in welcome...


    Itís been a long time coming.

    It started on February 3, 2013. Thatís the night when the lights went out in New Orleans.

    It was a happy ending that evening, but the Super Bowl 47 win, set in motion a gradual decaying of a winning franchise. It was then that the Ravens empire began to fall.

    Throughout the 2012 playoffs, Joe Flacco performed like he never had before or since. He was magnificent and for once, he carried the team on his back. Ever since heís weighed upon the back of the organization with the leagueís heaviest cap figure while performing like an average quarterback.

    Give Flacco credit. He bet on himself, rolled the dice and performed under pressure. The Super Bowl MVP cashed in, taking advantage of an organization intoxicated by its second Lombardi Trophy and the thought of a long-time franchise quarterback.

    Meanwhile there was a shift in power. When John Harbaugh hoisted Silver Betty as the cascade of purple, gold and silver confetti fell from the rafters of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, his clout within team headquarters skyrocketed. The victory, for all intents and purposes, enabled Harbaugh to shape the team the way he wanted.

    Alpha males that dominated and led the Ravens locker room moved on. Ray Lewis retired. Ed Reed wasnít re-signed. Anquan Boldin was traded. Bernard Pollard was released. Nearly overnight, the swagger that once defined the Baltimore Ravens had vanished.

    Good character in players became a highly-desired trait, seemingly trumping on-field accomplishments. This shift in personnel direction was exacerbated by the Ray Rice elevator incident, a public relations nightmare for the team, worsened by the clubís amateurish handling of its sordid details.

    Follow me on Twitter @RSRLombardi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    New York City
    Blog Entries

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    WOW, Tony that was a spot-on review. I'd just like to add that after Super Bowl XXXV, the Ravens picked Todd Heap #31 in the 2001 draft. After Super Bowl XLVII, we drafted Matt Elam 1st (followed up by Arthur Brown) in 2013. That says a lot, added to your analysis, about the deterioration of the Ravens... Bc

  3. #3

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    Outstanding piece, Tony. And sad as the funeral of a best friend.
    Not much really matters, and the rest doesn't matter at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    Well said Tony, homogenized was the correct term to use. I went to every game but one due to vacation and it was hard to stay involved in the game. My neighbor who is a long time PSL holder went to 2 games. Four years ago he was apoplectic that he missed a single game, now he doesn't know whether he wants to spend money to keep his PSL's next year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Blog Entries

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    Why not invest your cap dollars in areas where you aren’t as resourceful in the draft (wide receiver) and let the draft fill in for losses like Williams, assuming the Ravens didn’t pony up?

    I liked the signing of Brandon Williams. But this is an excellent point. It would require the Ravens to recognize and admit their draft day short comings though.

    Nice article.

  6. #6

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    TL when is the state of the ravens?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Wilton, CT
    Blog Entries

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    One of your best Tony. Great job!

  8. #8

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    All facts presented, very little opinion. Sadly, the Ravens are as arrogant and steadfast in their ways as ever.

    It reminds me of a sales guy I used to work with. He had a big year one year and for the next three years all he talked about was that big year he had. Finally a new manager came in and looked him in the eye after one of his bragging sessions and said "that's great you had a nice year 3 years ago, you haven't done shit since and from now on we're not talking about that legendary year you had three years ago".

  9. #9

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire


    I am feeling a bit plagiarized here today. You used a Back to the future reference when i literally just used that comparison today to (MM and Harbaugh) LOL.

    You also said the exact sentiments I have been saying about Brandon Williams, and all of those draft picks and focusing on the WR position when they could easily find undrafted GEMS on the DL.

    Love the artist rendering too? Who did the work?
    When am i going to get some credit for this article? LOL

    Very good read. Honestly great read and I am glad someone finally put in print what a lot of us have been saying on this board for years.

  10. #10

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    Bravo, TL.

    Among all the characteristics of high-performing organizations, the most important IMO is execution...followed verrrry closely by adaptation. Since SB47, this franchise has done poorly with both...and here we are.
    "The Ravens are not taking Jimmy Smith at 26!" -- Me, the day before the 2011 Draft

    "On their way to the podium, the Ravens FO is going to collectively step over my dead body and select...Breshad Perriman." -- Me, the day before the 2015 Draft

    BP '17 (post Maclin rev): 65 of 115 for 1050 and 8


  11. #11

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    He nailed it with this article!!
    Every freakin' word of it!!
    Will Die A Ravens Fan!!

  12. #12

    Re: The Fall of the Ravens Empire

    I think we all agree, Tony.

    Ravens have always overvalued and thus overpaid their own guys. Don't ever see that changing. CJ will soon be the highest paid MLB shortly in the NFL, and we will all be pissed off that the Ravens overpaid another one of their own. He just simply doesn't deserve it.

    I blame a lot of this on Joe Hortiz, and your buddy Eric DeCosta. They are the ones making the decisions on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd draft picks....unless you are privy to something that isn't for fans ears, like Oz with John's influence completely overriding them. Scouts just gather the information and typically are very influential when it comes to the lower round picks. Judging from the recent 4th-7th round picks, and the UDFAs, they are doing decent jobs evaluating people. The bulls eye should be that next higher level decision committee who gather the area scout info, do some scouting on their own, and ultimately make decisions on the 1st,2nd, 3rd round picks. They have completely failed the Ravens. Its either Joe or Eric. Someone at that level needs to take the fall for the recent incompetency. Instead of Eric always planting in the media so-in-so has interest for him as their GM job in order to get a pay raise from the Ravens, how about do your job and a lot better.


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