Notes from the Sy'd-line: I feel fine!

Guest fan commentator Sy Saulinas gives his views on the Ravens' current predicament in another of his occasional ramblings titled 'Notes from the Sy'd-line'.

The improved effort of our team on October 31st produced a glimmer of optimism that the current Ravens season might still be salvaged. But after Sunday's performance vs. the Bengals, it is now apparent that the slimly ball of pus that is the end to all hope is rapidly approaching critical mass. Blame is being tossed about with vitriolic anger and the chaotic alacrity of custard pies in a bad Three Stooges episode. And was Ray Lewis's conversation with Chicken Little before the start of Monday Night's game a foreshadowing? (Cue REM):

"…it's the end if the world as we know it…"

Averaging just over 12 points and less than 1 touchdown per game, we have the worst offense in the NFL. And our once venerated defense, although still doing a decent job of keeping teams out of the end zone more often than not, is banged up and no longer feared.

"…it's the end if the world as we know it…"

About the only thing that we have left to look forward to is the possibly of the worst record in Ravens' history, a top 5 pick in next year's draft, and seeing which direction the water spins as we flush the season down the toilet. That way, at least we know which hemisphere of Hell we've landed on.

"…it's the end if the world as we know it…"

Instead of adding to the current apocalyptic climate, and in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, let me humbly suggest that, as I sit at my desk and write this, I can honestly look at my Baltimore Ravens and feel THANKFUL.

I AM THANKFUL for the effort I saw on Halloween night. Instead of mailing it in, on a national stage, with the whole world betting against us, our team represented our community with honor. And my God, we ALMOST pulled it out!

I AM THANKFUL that we have played 6 straight seasons where we were in the playoffs or still had a chance on the last game of the season. (And that includes one year where we were the youngest team in the NFL and were supposed to be rebuilding!) I am proud of the fact that since 1999 we have had a defense that was both revered, feared, and at times record setting.

I AM THANKFUL that the Steelers last won a Super Bowl…when? How old was I? Had I even reached puberty by then? Anytime a Squeeler fan tries to shove their multiple Super Bowl victories in your face, may I suggest the following retort: "Tell you what, Steeler Fan, when the only thing I can hang my hat on is something I did 25 years ago, then you can call me a loser too!"

I AM THANKFUL that we won a Super Bowl. I AM DOUBLY THANKFUL that we did it BEFORE the Colts had a chance too. That makes what Irsay did to us officially a favor. Even if they make it this year and win it all, (and they really are looking good) WE still won before THEY did which makes that possibility much more palatable. And, as mentioned before, if it is the Steelers vs. the Colts in the AFC championship, GO COLTS!

I AM THANKFUL that the baton of ownership has been passed to a young nouveau-riche owner with a last name that is NOT spelled S-n-y-d-e-r. Steve Bisciotti has a very competitive nature and wants to win as badly as anyone. But unlike some new owners who run their franchise like a Fantasy League team, he has enough common sense to realize that real NFL programs do not win if management is prone to knee-jerk reactions.

I AM THANKFUL that every 2nd Thursday of the month I can gather with GOOD PEOPLE who share my passion and know that true Ravens fans support their team whether we finish in first place in the AFC North or in the Matt Leinart/Reggie Bush Sweepstakes. True Ravens fans band together when the weather outside is frightful. And together we provide the umbrella so the torch will always stay lit.

And finally, I AM THANKFUL EVEN IF "it's the end of the world as we know it". Everything dies! The Patriots will lose eventually. The 49ers were possibly the most dominant team in NFL history. Look at them now! Nature is such that from death can spring new life. If it is "the end of the world as we know it", all that means is that we are clearing the way for a new world. If it is time to blow up the Baltimore Ravens as we know it, then so be it! I am MORE THAN willing to watch our team rebuild because I am not naive enough to think we will win every year. Maybe, if things had been different, if certain mistakes weren't made, our run could have been longer or we could have accomplished more. Maybe we COULD have won one more Super Bowl. But we didn't and I am not one who demands perfection from others. Instead I AM THANKFUL that we DID win ONE!

So amidst the rubble of a season that is featuring a 32nd ranked offense, quarterbacks yelling at wide receivers because "how dare they be wide open in the end zone", an almost record setting day in penalties which included a meltdown of epic proportions, when all is said and done and the book is closed on the season, I WILL STILL BE THANKFUL that we have an NFL team with a first name of "Baltimore". I WILL STILL BE THANKFUL that no matter how bad our team maybe, they are better than the team we had in 1995. And I WILL STILL BE THANKFUL that we have ownership that is sensible enough to let their football people make the football decisions.

"It is the end of the world as we know it."
"It is the end of the world as we know it."
"It is the end of the world as we know it…and I feel fine!"

"Sy Saulynas is an Information Systems instructor at a local college and a long-time member of Ravens Nest 1 where he runs rampant, forcing football pools and pickems on the unsuspecting membership. He hails from Bel Air via Catonsville and has a lifelong devotion to all Baltimore sports teams with an almost spiritual zeal for Baltimore NFL football. If you would like to comment on this edition of 'Thoughts from the Sy'd Line', email him at: .


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