You win some, you lose some. The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, but because of an unlucky break, they won't get to celebrate that victory with a special Thursday night home opener on NBC in September. Baseball's Orioles play that night and it was announced last week that the NFL and MLB couldn't figure out a way to avoid a scheduling conflict for the season opener in the Charm City, thus forcing the Ravens to become the first defending champion to take their Week 1 show on the road since the Buccaneers were forced to begin their title defense in Philadelphia 10 years ago.
Over the last decade, the Thursday night home opener has become a prize awarded to the reigning Super Bowl Champions. The team is given a national stage to celebrate their championship and begin the next season. Ravens fans have the right to be disappointed, but let's calm down. This is only a nine-year-old tradition, and your team still gets a semi-bye week following the opener. This isn't a good break, but it's hard to get too upset about a scheduling quirk when you've just won the Super Bowl.
And don't shed tears for NBC, either. Not a soul that would have tuned in to the opener in Baltimore will opt against doing so because the game is in Denver or Pittsburgh or Chicago. It may not be the same television spectacle with a banner being unfurled, but you'd have to make quite the leap to suggest the network will be hurt by this decision. Nobody loses here except those who would have attended the game and the players, who would certainly prefer to have a championship tribute in Week 1.
It'll still happen, but just a week later most likely.
And don't blame the Orioles, who play the night before on the road. Same with their opponent, the White Sox. It's not totally fair to ask them to move their game up several hours when they have no incentive to do so. Baltimore's baseball team also has home games scheduled on that Sunday and Monday, which is why the Ravens can't hit NBC or ESPN at home for Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football (it also seems as though the Ravens prefer this over that). And keep in mind that the MLB schedule is released months before a Super Bowl champion is crowned, so shenanigans weren't a factor. Realistically, looking at all of the factors in play, there was no other option but to send the Ravens on the road in Week 1.
The O's were in the wrong place at the wrong time and they get the right of way here. I understand why you'd be frustrated if you're a Ravens fan or an NBC executive, but in the grand scheme of things, the success of the Thursday night opening game will still be there no matter what city the defending champs open the season in.
Blame the city of Baltimore that cannot accommodate a baseball game and a football game on the same night. Most cities can do that, even Cleveland can!
Is there some reason the NFL game couldn't be played on Wednesday, when the Orioles are out of town?
Still not sure why the Orioles couldn't have played a day/night doubleheader on Saturday (or Friday, but Saturday would produce better attendance), with the NFL writing a check to compensate for the inconvenience. The only arguments would be a disruption to the pitching rotations and regulars having to play two games in a day. However, it's not like this never happens and like I said, I can't believe the NFL wouldn't have written MLB a check to accommodate this.
It still hurts that the Ravens fans can't attend the game. Some may be able to attend if it's in Pittsburgh, but not many considering it's a Thursday night game.
@chrishorvatits Parking and money. No one would go to the O's game and the stadiums are adjacent so no room to put all the cars.
@blaise_20: I'll give you the parking, but what will the attendance be for that O's game anyways? Thursday night? Not high.