Some people are fans of the Baltimore Ravens. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Baltimore Ravens. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here. And buy Drew’s new book here.
Your team: Baltimore Ravens
Your 2015 record: 5-11
Do you know how nice it is when this team has a lousy season and I don’t have to see them in the playoffs? I had no idea life could be so pleasant. It’s like taking in fresh mountain air for the first time. The sun shines a little brighter. The birds sing with a little bit more cheer. The water tastes just a bit crisper. No one gets stabbed to death. You guys should lose half your starters to injury more often. It’s fun to watch you morph into the leisurewear New York Giants.
Your coach: John Harbaugh. This team was subjected to some of the worst officiating in history last season, including a blown false start call that undeniably cost them a victory. Do you feel bad for them? AHAHAHAHAHAHA OF COURSE NOT. No one feels bad for John Harbaugh when he gets fucked over. I have about as much sympathy for him as I would for Peter Thiel getting cut off on the freeway.
The best part is that Harbaugh is still so bitter about the Patriots beating him with creative formations two years ago that he can’t let it go. First, he tried to use the same tactic against Arizona, only to have the officials (wrongly) deem it illegal. I swear the refs brought the play back just to see the look on that asshole’s face, and I don’t blame them.
And then, in the offseason, the team formally proposed that eligible linemen be forced to wear a fucking pinnie out on the field. That’s how unwilling the Ravens are to take the L. It’s remarkable. In this way, Harbaugh is just like Ravens fans: spoiled brats who harbor the worst inferiority complex on the East Coast; a bunch of purple camo-clad buttholes who keep grudges for so long they have to bequeath them to their surviving loved ones. Their paranoia is a self-fulfilling prophecy because they bitch ENDLESSLY about everything, which in turn compels the rest of the world (officials included) to want them cold and dead in the ground. If I were officiating a Ravens game, I would trip Joe Flacco myself.
Your quarterback: Joe Flacco. Imagine winning a Super Bowl and being remembered for a meme instead. At least Michael Jordan got to bask in the glory for a few decades before the Internet turned him into a crybaby.
Flacco, who tore his ACL last season, was just handed a three-year contract extension with $44 million in guaranteed money. Why hand that much money to a semi-elite monobrow with a gimpy leg? Well, thanks to Flacco’s LAST contract, he was due to take up nearly $30 million in cap room—cap room that could be used to, I dunno, purchase a lineman or two to keep his knee from being vivisected. So the Ravens ponied up $44 million just to free up $6 million in space. All told, Flacco has received over $96 million in guarantees in just eight seasons on the job. I dare you to find a more boring rich person. $96 million and this guy has probably spent ten bucks of it, all on oatmeal. What a fucking loser.
Behind Flacco is the notorious Ryan Mallett, who was cut last season by a team that couldn’t afford to cut any quarterbacks. He is a life raft with a giant hole in the side.
What’s new that sucks: REEFER MADNESS! Yes, after building a statue of Ray Fucking Lewis outside their stadium, drafting a guy who starved both his pet dog AND his pet alligator, and cutting ties with Ray Rice only after the rest of America discovered what he had done, this team has suddenly found religion. They openly admitted to passing over consensus No. 1 lineman Laremy Tunsil in the draft because they were scared off by his gas mask bong (they drafted Ronnie Stanley instead).
Then, in June, they cut lineman Eugene Monroe outright after he openly advocated for medicinal marijuana. He also sucked, but still: I dare you to find an organization outside of the Redskins that is clumsier when it comes to pretending to be ethical. Even Roger Goodell is more deft at hiding his shitbaggery. You’re not fooling anyone, Ravens. You are pure evil, and managing your roster like a scandalized soccer mom won’t erase the fact that you have built a lasting franchise identity around a guy who obstructed two murders and can’t dance.
In other news, the team signed Eric Weddle (good), Trent Richardson (AHAHAHAHA) and Mike Wallace (not good). Mike Wallace is a go route spoiled. And Breshad Perriman hurt his knee again. I worry that he might have chronic pain from all those knee injuries. Know what might help alleviate the pain?
Also, one of the cornerbacks died.
What has always sucked: Frankly, I’m still not over the fact that this franchise shouldn’t exist. Here we have a town that was robbed of its original team and, in a supreme act of tone-deafness, compensated for it by fucking over an even more beloved franchise. And what are we left with? The New Browns are a hideous impostor team that is terminally unable to stop shitting on its own shoes. And the Ravens are one of the most despicable franchises in sports. Did you know they even started their own pandering ladies fanclub called Purple? Yes, nothing bonds women together like burying the Ray Rice elevator video.
The existence of the Ravens is a wrong that will never be properly righted. The Browns are a comical mummy franchise, but the Ravens are a bunch of spoiled turds who win titles for a city that is most famous for letting cops use paddy wagons to play a real-life version of Mario Kart. If you need a clear sign that the world is a rotten place that isn’t worth fighting for, here you go. Fuck this team. You guys make the Steelers look like Pope Francis by comparison.
And you know what? FUCK DAVID SIMON, TOO. That’s right. I’ve had just about enough of that guy appointing himself Guardian of the Amendments. It was just a TV show, man. You are the rich man’s Nic Pizzolatto. Get the fuck outta my face.
Also, this defense is still an aging trainwreck. I think I spotted Terrell Suggs’s Achilles tendon on sale at a pawn shop last week.
What might not suck: You will not find a more obvious bounceback candidate for this coming season. If Stanley ends up being worth a shit and Flacco stays clean, the Ravens are a lock to win ten games and swipe a playoff spot from a cooler team. I hate them.
Let’s remember some Ravens:
- Vinny Testaverde
- Bam Morris
- Travis Taylor
- Peter Boulware
- Jermaine Lewis
Hear it from Ravens fans!
I was in the Ravens Marching Band from their inception until 2000. Yes, the year we won the Super Bowl. The same year we went 5 games in a row with 0 touchdowns. During that lovely drought, Art Modell himself showed up at our practice camp (The beautiful, and not at all shit-smelling ‘Cow Palace’ at the Howard County Farigrounds) and giddily told us that he was proud of us, that we were part of the team, that we mattered to the fans, and that (and this is the most important thing) that if, now or in the future, if the Ravens ever made it to the Super Bowl, that he would pay to fly the band wherever it was being played. He was quick to remind us that we probably couldn’t get tickets to the game, but he would damn sure get us on the Media Day walk through Radio Row, and he would put us in a hotel, and make sure that hotel had a banquet room set up for us to watch the big game.
Well, we all know what happened, the Ravens rallied to make (and win) that Super Bowl. A week before the game, at our shit-smelling practice facility, while we were practicing our marching drills for Radio Row, that COCKSUCKER Modell sent an assistant to inform us that there was simply no room for the band, and he was sorry to get our hopes up. Couldn’t even shit on our hearts in person. We should’ve known Modell would stab us in the back.
Needless to say, myself and many others quit the band on the spot, cursing Modell until the day he dropped dead. I watched that whole Super Bowl victory through “I should’ve BEEN THERE” drunken slurs. My friends put me out on a screened porch with a 19” TV so they wouldn’t have to listen to me bitch. I deserved that.
I also saw a grown man (in zubaz, not jorts) give an enthusiastic middle fingered, “Fuck You!” to a baby wearing a Steelers onesie. That made me feel good about our fans.
Our quarterback is Bert from Sesame Street.
Our season sent so poorly last year that the front office felt signing Trent Richardson could be an improvement.
During the debacle that was last season, we had a huge press release about how we were getting rid of the turf at M&T Bank stadium. They blamed the turf for the billion injuries we had last year, which is fine, whatever. The team made a big deal about the resurfacing like it would cleanse us from the evil of last season in a baptismal like fashion. The team, however, went way overboard in embracing the change and started making the most absurd statements about how natural grass embodied the GRIT of Baltimore. John Harbaugh’s statement on the subject physically hurts me to read: “To me, it’s Baltimore. It epitomizes what Baltimore is all about, the history of football in Baltimore. To me, a Baltimore football team should be playing on a grass field, ultimately. It’s a recognition of that.” It’s a bunch of fucking grass from North Carolina!
We moved the statue of an NFL legend in order to make room for a statue of man convicted of obstruction of justice in the death of two men.
We lost to the fucking Jaguars AND the fucking Raiders AND the fucking Browns
Eat shit Joe Flacco.
Here is a photo of the Ravens first round draft pick with Donald Trump.
It’s simply the fans. These people gave Ray Rice a standing ovation during his first practice back after Mayweather’d his wife. If this sport had any real drug testing in place, Terrell Suggs would test positive for every element on the periodic table as the man was obviously mainlining stem cells for koala fetuses two years ago as he somehow made it back in record time from a torn Achilles. How he has eluded national scrutiny for some of the shit he’s done that the locals know about is something I’ll never figure out. In the past twenty years, has any team had a more unlikable collective roster? ISIS has a more congenial list of characters.
A third string undrafted rookie outside linebacker getting his wisdom teeth out would be bigger news to the jorts-wearing fucks in this town than if Orioles third baseman, Manny Machado, was to win the MVP, Nobel Peace Prize, Congressional Medal of Honor, Mega Millions powerball, and die all in the same day. Fuck this fanbase full of the least self-aware people on the planet so fucking hard.
I spent the last two months of my deployment to the Middle East last year during the first two months of last football season. I was so much happier in a hostile foreign land than being around Ravens fans. If the brightest of Ravens fans were to gather at the Greene Turtle, Ralph Wiggum would be most qualified among them to land the coveted position of Glen Burnie/Pasadena chapter president. The 10th layer of Hell would reject them and their purple camo pants. They have the wisdom, intelligence, and decision-making skills of Andy Dwyer. Fuck em all, right square in the dicks.
Every third call into Baltimore Sports radio consists of some jackass from Dundalk, with an accent that no merciful god would curse someone with, trying to make the argument that the Ravens organization are idiots for not resigning Ray Rice.
True to Ravens fashion, they’re gonna follow their terrible season by winning 13 games this year, all while keeping the underdog bullshit going. Since their first SB win in 2000, they’ve followed all three sub-.500 seasons with playoff berths, so Lonny from Dundalk won’t have much to bitch about, but that’s not gonna stop him from calling WBAL and raising hell anyway.
On the way to our tailgate lot, you have to stop at a red light right off I-95 where the homeless, and other unsavory sorts, have used the overpass as the cathedral ceiling for their makeshift hostel. I’ve seen and heard it all at that stoplight over the years. A mugging, drug use, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, other various mouth-to-body-part acts, a woman in labor, more than one arrest, offers to “make me a man”, and just about any other stereotype you can think of. I’ve noticed that over the last few seasons I’ve come to look forward to this red light more than the game itself.
P.S. Breshad Perriman is a myth.
P.P.S. Even without seeing his face since Week 1, I still know that Terrell Suggs is still the ugliest human on earth.
Donald Fucking Trump said Joe Flacco is elite. and, God forgive me, I liked the man for half a day.
The receiving game is what sucks. The Ravens spent their offseason praying for Breshard Perriman’s knees and acquiring an average Mike Wallace five years too late. On top of that you’ve got 85-year-old Steve Smith Sr. who is also coming off of a major knee injury. We’ll have to rely on names like Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown for consistency with playing time. And even if that isn’t bad enough you have about eight different tight ends that are all just good enough to BE on NFL teams, but not good enough to start on NFL teams.
Benjamin Watson is going to start at tight end for this team. Benjamin Watson has to erase his search history on his computer to hide the fact that he has been researching the benefits of an AARP membership, not because of PornHub. Not to mention Dennis Pitta’s hips will be sure to implode a few weeks into the season as we hopelessly tell ourselves this whole situation will be okay, and Ozzie does know what he’s doing.
Ravens fans were so spoiled by watching two of the best defensive players in history play together for 10 seasons that they can’t understand how the team isn’t able to draft this well (lucky) again. Also, they forget that the offense carried those aging stars in the Super Bowl run in 2012. If I have to hear “Defense wins championships and why can’t they build a D like when Ray and Ed were here” one more time I may drown myself in terrible Natty Boh (yeah I said it, it’s shitty beer brewed in North Carolina, stop acting like it is some awesome local brew). Man that feels good, Go Ravens.
I was at O’Hare Airport once for a layover and was in the bathroom washing my hands when a large man walks in. He was wearing a Ravens jersey that, I shit you not, said “Elite” on the back. I was wearing a Ravens shirt and he gives me that “Hey, you’re a fan of my team, you’re cool” nod, and then proceeds to immediately throw up in the sink next to me. He hurls multiple times for a good 15-20 seconds (stereotypical throw up sounds, it was disgusting) and then turns to me and says “Got a little too fucked up last night” before laughing. He then proceeds to walk out (without rinsing his mouth or the sink out or anything!) like nothing happened.
Fuck this franchise and this fan base.
I was all prepared to write something about how John Harbaugh is a toned down but probably the more crazy of the two Harbaughs, or how Ravens fans shit unnecessarily all over the best QB the city has had since Johnny U, or how much of a piece of shit Suggs is, or any of the myriad things the franchise has done wrong over the past 20 years. But, honestly, I don’t care. The NFL is such a monstrously shitty entity that I’ve gone past hate to apathy. Pointing out all this stuff isn’t even fun anymore. It’s like making fun of a clown. What’s the goddamn point?
That said, fuck Lee Evans.
Submissions for the Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: San Francisco 49ers.