Riggins has a new show on MASN, and to hype it up, he filmed a commercial at a generic football field. Problem is, it's not so generic: it's M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens.
Most fans, when they saw the spot, shrugged it off. Sane people realize that not everything in the world is a shot against their team. Ravens fans have never been accused of being sane people.
Glenn Clark is a morning guy on WNST, a Baltimore sports talk radio station. And on his blog, he launched into a spittle-drenched screed against everything Washington. Because to him, a harmless commercial is akin to an insult to everything he stands for.
The fact is, there's nothing okay about filming a John Riggins commercial at M&T Bank Stadium. There's nothing okay with mixing purple colors and Washington Redskins highlights. There's CERTAINLY nothing okay with using an audio clip that is CLEARLY designed to sound like "Hail to the Redskins" on top of a commercial that includes a stand-in that just so happens to be a dead-ringer for Art Modell.
The fact is, no one in the District of Columbia will care or be offended by this commercial one bit. Mostly because the handful of real sports fans in DC are indifferent to the Ravens. The handful of real sports fans in DC hate the Dallas Cowboys, but don't much care about other teams. The majority of sports fans in DC are transient; and root for more than one team. It isn't particularly surprising to bump into a sports fan in the District that wears a Tigers hat and a Red Sox shirt.
That's just the way their market works. Certainly, they care about the Skins much more than they care about any other franchise in their city-but there are a number of folks in the District, Northern Virginia and Prince George's County that would admit that they probably follow the Ravens as their 2nd team, and pull for the Ravens after the Redskins season ends. (Not a low blow Redskins fans, just a fact.)
It goes on like this for a while. I'll spare you, but his gist is that Redskins fans could never know what it's like to be passionate about their football team. Certainly not like Baltimoreans, who have been rooting for the Ravens for all 14 years of their existence.
But what I WON'T accept is what a slap in the face the John Riggins M&T Bank Stadium commercial is to fans in Charm City.
We AREN'T transient. We DON'T root for the Redskins when the Ravens aren't playing.
In fact, judging from the response to first annual "I Hate The Redskins" show on AM1570 WNST last year (we'll be doing it again this year, trust me); I'm not the only man in town whose attitude of the team that wears Burgundy & Gold is one of absolute rage.
John Riggins is walking around M&T Bank Stadium in front of the purple seats that are owned by the people of Baltimore. Those are seats that are owned thanks to unbelievably hard work by folks in a blue-collar city. Redskins fans could never possibly understand that.
Yep, this degenerated into a socioeconomic debate. When something that starts as an innocuous filming location becomes about city rivalries, I'm inclined to chalk it up to "little man syndrome" or a "Napoleon Complex."
Call it "little man syndrome" or a "Napoleon Complex" or whatever you want; but it's just a fact. We aren't okay with Washington or the Redskins here. They're not welcome, and we will NOT celebrate them.
Oh, okay, then.
While Glenn Clark continues to beat his keyboard in a paroxysm of second city rage, I'll just mention the actual reason why Riggins's commercial was filmed at M&T Bank Stadium. MASN has a partnership with the Ravens; they couldn't film Riggins's commercial at FedExField because the Redskins have a deal with Comcast SportsNet.
So blame Comcast; the same Comcast that sponsors Glenn Clark's morning show, and pays his salary.
Riggins MASN Commercial Is Absolutely Unacceptable [WNST]
Baltimore rages at MASN's Riggins ad [DC Sports Bog]