The Sum Of All Holdouts

On Jan. 28th 2001 you experienced what most fans can only dream of. Football nirvana. And naturally, you've been strutting, preening and basically lording your status over lower life-form football fans like a drunken, pompous goon ever since. Or is that just me?

After XXXV you no doubt banished the unpleasant memories of Uncle Ted's bumbling '96-98 birds to the deep, dark recesses of your mind- the cluttered closet of brainpan real estate that harbors the Irsay atrocities, those weird old Alka-Seltzer commercials and a wet Daisy Duke leaning over to shammy the General Lee's hood.

Well, it's safe to trash the mental polaroids of Daisy.
She looks like your Aunt Madge now, so that's an easy call. Besides, you're much more mature and sophisticated now, as the ten+ gigs of net porn clogging your hard drive will attest.

However, you might do well to try and drudge up some of that nasty ol' Testeverde-era angst you squirreled away to help steel yourself for the likely trauma of Ravens Football 2002, because it's now official. We are replanting our once-majestic redwood forest with saplings, campers.

Rebuilding on a budget. Just like old times.
Not "re-tooling" as in replacing a couple of shop-worn vets here and there with greenies, but reBUILDING the likes of what we were forced to endure after witnessing 16 games worth of the putrefied train-wreck broke Art originally brought to Baltimore in '95.

June 1st has passed and the free agent market is quickly filling up with other team's cap-victims. But unfortunately all the Ravens can do now is stare longingly at them like John Wayne Bobbit watching that last Celebrity Boxing fiasco on the tube.

"Ahhh, if only I hadn't beaten my wife...again (sigh)"

"Aaah, if only we hadn't signed Grabass and that fragile bastard who beat his wife (sigh)"

The reworking of Peter Boulware and Ray Lewis' contracts for cap space is shaping up to be a war of attrition, and by the time it's settled (if indeed it is settled before camp) the FA market might again be as barren as a Cleveland trophy case. The agents for the linebackers are hoping the Ravens front office blinks, but the Ravens talk as if they're hunkering in with a Costco-sized bottle of Visine.

As Billick stated yesterday, "we are preparing to go with what we have now."

Gulp.

The Sams (Adams and Gash) returning? Please.
Re-upping Orlando Bobo is looking pie-in-the-sky right now.

Wanna see Antonio Freeman come home to Baltimore?
Better go hang out in front of his mom's house.

James Stewart as a J-Lew insurance policy?
Worry about keeping the premiums of your own insurance policy paid up because by week four of the coming season there's a good chance you'll be shopping and comparing anti-depression medications.

"Hmm, I'm feeling surprisingly upbeat about Redman's 8th sack.. Thanks Paxil!"

As it stands now, ex-Lion WR Herman Moore might be the only vet we stand any chance of landing, and that's because the injury-plagued 32yr old will most likely have to settle for a league-minimum salary with some incentive clauses thrown in, like say a free case of Sportscreme after every 3rd catch. A truly great receiver in his prime, but Moore's DL time over the last 3 seasons makes the equally ding-prone Stewart look like Cal Ripken in comparison.

In other words, brave Ravenfan:
Expect the worst, but hope for the best.

We still have plenty of promising talent onboard and if we can swing a healthy Jamal (dare to dream) and see the emergence of the Redman-Taylor-Heap-Baxter-Adalius Thomas nucleus of the roster then we still have a shot at an exciting, competitive 2002 campaign. Certainly stranger things have happened.

Like the 2001 World Champion New England Patsie..um, Patriots, for example.

Whatever 2002 holds for the Ravens, keep in mind the fact that it can always be worse..

You could be a Clown fan.
See? I knew that would cheer you up.

And speaking of cursed franchises you're blessed by the grace of God not to be saddled with...

Pass The Kryptonite

Did you read about Bengals coach Dick LeBeau greeting players at a recent minicamp wearing a Superman costume and lip-synching to a recording of  Little Richard's metazoic hit "Slippin' and a Slidin?"

Apparently the newly senile Le Beau rocked out for his embarrassed Bungle charges, emphasising the song's verse "I won't be your fool no more"and explaining to stunned onlookers that- you guessed it- the Bengals "won't be anyone's fool this season!"

Unlike Le Beau, who seems eager to be everybodys' fool now, and Mike Brown (aka Mr.Mxyztplk) whose been the league's head fool for last twenty years.

Still feeling sorry for your team, Ravenfan?

I didn't think so.

Motor City Badmouth

Ted Nugent, desperate to get free pub for his cookbook (I'm dead serious...oh how the Gonzo have fallen) ripping on "The Osbournes":

"It's an indictment to the soulnessness of modern man that we get a kick out of witnessing a magnificent creature reduced to a blithering hopeless idiot."

Yeah, the nation was in dire need of socio-philosophical insight from the guy who wrote "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang."

The only thing this jealous assclown knows about "magnificent creatures" is whenever he sees one he wants to impale it on an arrow. Hate on, Betty Crockett.

Email Comments to:

rmaniac2000@excite.com

Thanks to all who've written to inform me on
just how much I rock/suck. Greatly appreciated!

You are too kind/eat my ass with a ladle.

Keep it up, as your constructive missives inspire
me to keep on rocking/sucking.

Rock/Suck On!

(R.Maniac, a man, a legend, a way of life, can be found slapping down Clown, Bungle and Squeeler fans on the AFC North Rantatorium at http://citadel.ezboard.com/fnflfrm2 )


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