Ravens notebook: Will you sell your ticket?

OWINGS MILLS -- Between the Baltimore Ravens' bleak situation and the first-place Pittsburgh Steelers' resurgence, it seems logical to assume that a lot more black-and-gold clad fans will be in the stands than usual Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens (2-7) are in last place in the AFC North, and financial inducements have already prompted some Baltimore fans to sell their tickets to Steelers fans. It's a phenomenon that tends to closely mirror the teams' records.

"Everybody can be bought," Ravens coach Brian Billick said Thursday. "Hell for the right price, I'll sell my tickets. You can't afford it, but I do have a price just like everybody else.

"I hope you're not trying to present that our fans have thrown in the towel and will sell their tickets cheaper here than they have in previous years. Our fans are smarter than that and they are too street savvy. So, if you're going to sell them, baby, get a premium price."

It's hard to derive a specific number of how many Steelers fans will be in attendance, but Billick noted how few showed up in 2003 to watch Baltimore win the AFC North title.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said selling tickets to Steelers' fans will reveal a lot about some fans' character.

"We know the true fans are going to be in the stands," Suggs said. "That's who we're playing for, not the ones who jump off the bandwagon."

TRAINING ROOM: Running back Musa Smith (lower leg), cornerback Dale Carter (thigh), safety B.J. Ward (hip) and cornerback Zach Norton (ankle) were upgraded to probable from questionable.

Steelers running back Willie Parker (ankle) was upgraded to probable.

CRITICIZED: Although former Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe essentially condemned embattled quarterback Kyle Boller this week by saying he's convinced that the third-year starter can't play and will get a coach fired, he apparently hasn't burned his bridges with Billick.

"God love Shannon, Shannon will come back into this building like nothing has been said," Billick said. "It's nothing personal, just business. We'll sit him down, give him a burger and we'll have a great time. Those guys get paid to have those opinions whether they truly believe them or not.

"The more inflammatory, the more outlandish they can be, the more money they are going to make. God love him for having a career. You just can't take it personally."

QUICK HITS: Informed of feisty offensive tackle Orlando "Zeus" Brown's vow to [mess] people up by inflicting violent blocks on opponents the rest of the season, Billick quipped: "Oh God, which Zeus are we talking to? As long as it's not with us, I'm with him all the way." ... With little to play for besides job security since a playoff berth isn't going to happen, the Ravens' motivation has been questioned. "Sometimes, I get the feeling that you all want us all to hang our heads and go, ‘Oh gosh, we're just not going to do this anymore and not show up,'" Billick said. "Of course we're not going to do that. We had a hell of a practice. We were upbeat and flying around. Why? Because it's better than the alternative of feeling sorry for yourself."

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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