Starkey: Oh, Those Arrogant Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens remind me of another absurdly arrogant Beltway team — the Washington Capitals.

Both behave as if they have won something of signficance when everybody knows they haven’t.

Not unless you go back 11 years, anyway, and the only player left from the Ravens’ 2000 Super Bowl team is Ray Lewis.

Check that. I’m sorry. The Ravens did win a Super Bowl recently. You probably saw the footage. Their coach giddily flapped his arms during the final minutes of the blowout win. Players laughed and danced on the sidelines.

I would have sworn the Ravens popped champagne and threw a ticker-tape parade, too, until I remembered one key detail: The game took place in early September.

It was the first game of the season.

Even now, eight weeks after their 35-7 victory over the Steelers, the Ravens obviously need a reminder that seasons aren’t made before Thanksgiving.

Check out this quote from running back Ray Rice, as his team prepped for a visit to Heinz Field: “If we win, we’ve swept them. We don’t have to worry about Pittsburgh no more the rest of the year.”

Really? Somebody should tell Rice that even with a win, the teams would be separated by a single loss with two months left in the regular season, to say nothing of a possible third meeting in the playoffs.

The biggest games are yet to be played, but it would be silly to minimize the importance of this one. Especially for Baltimore.

Forget about their sour playoff endings, this is the victory the Ravens have been unable to secure under John Harbaugh– the critical regular season win that could help earn them a bye and some home playoff dates.

Though the Ravens tout their 4-3 road playoff record under Harbaugh, it’s more of a blemish than a badge. That many road games prove they haven’t taken care of business in the regular season.

Three factors traditionally ruin the Ravens:

1. The Steelers.

2. A self-destructive offense.

3. A lack of humility.

Taking the last issue first, you might remember some Ravens players laughing and waving to the Heinz Field crowd as they ran off with a 21-7 halftime lead in last year’s playoffs.

Or you could simply refer to the season-opener. Have you ever seen the Steelers celebrate a regular-season win — let alone one in September — like that?

The Steelers were mum on the subject this week, but they are often mum on such topics until after the fact.

Exhibit A: Last year’s AFC Championship, when Mike Tomlin played nice all week with Rex Ryan, who said the game “wasn’t personal” to him, as opposed to the previous week’s game against the Patriots.

Well, there was Tomlin afterward, greeting his players outside the locker room and shouting, “Maybe next time it’ll be personal!”

You know he pounded the disrespect angle that week.

All you need to know this week is what Hines Ward said after the loss in Baltimore: “We’ll remember everything.”

Not that there was much love between these teams, anyway. Steelers tackle Max Starks is no fan of Baltimore’s boastful style.

“It’s just a different type of demeanor down there in Baltimore, amongst their players,” Starks said. “They have their way of doing things. Fine. But I don’t condone it.”

As for the Ravens’ offense, well, some things don’t change — even if Baltimore did break out a no-huddle attack to beat woeful Arizona.

I asked linebacker Terrell Suggs on Wednesday the same question I asked him before last year’s playoff game: Why should anyone believe the Ravens’ offense will finally rise to a critical occasion?

“That’s a good question,” Suggs said. “Why should anybody believe it’s going to be different, until we show it?”

I’ll believe it when I see it. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco was alleged to have shed his Steelers demons last season, when he finally won at Heinz Field. Four months later, he disintegrated on the very same patch of grass.

After the season-opener, it was “Flacco finally beat Big Ben and got the monkey off his back.”

Not exactly.

I mean, until he finds a way NOT to kill his team when it matters most, Flacco will have done nothing more than shoo a baby orangutan off his back. The gorilla’s still there.

Nobody should be shocked if the Ravens offense implodes again, in a game that should go a long way toward deciding the AFC North. The Steelers, remember, still have their secret weapon: Baltimore offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

On the other hand, it is entirely possible the Ravens exploit a wounded Steelers defense and win the game.

And then carry Harbaugh off the field.

More from Joe Starkey

One Comment

  1. johnny ringo says:

    Well said brother. They may well win, but they’ll embarass themselves in the process. As Billy B says, need a little slice of “humble pie.” Makes for a real good guy vs. Bad guy atmosphere.

  2. Jeffrey B. says:

    Oh my god, shut up. This is a terrible article.

  3. Karen says:

    Could not have said it better. Well done. That guy must be a ravens fan. Didn’t know they had any ! Oh wow watch that mouth, but typical.

  4. EGGGHHHhhhh says:

    So now has Flacco “got the monkey off his back”?

    I’m assuming this guy would still say “no” because he doesn’t like Suggs or something….

    I just hope one day the Ravens can be as classy as Ben Roethlisburger. His respect throughout the league and the country is indeed second to none.

    1. Keisha says:


      1. EGGGHHHhhhh says:


    2. steelers losers says:

      let me guess twenty something tons of steeler shirts gets dresser up on game day thinks he actually is a steeler lmao gets really excited when he actually sees a steelere tells all his friends about it like hes something special grow up loser

  5. Gino Luigi Micheli says:

    You know you are nothing more then a joke as a writer ! SOUR GRAPES !!!!

    1. lois says:

      So true! Sour grapes to the max. And another thing, what football player doesn’t have attitude and arrogance, that’s what makes them football players!

  6. Winter Sky says:

    Eating crow (ha) Mr. Starkey? steelers are just like every other team in the NFL. They don’t walk on water, now do they? Ravens won, squeelers lost… happens and it makes Ravens’ fans happy. Actually, any steelers loss makes Ravens’ fans happy.

  7. Derek says:

    If this isn’t a textbook case of sour grapes, then I don’t know what is. It’s simple, the Ravens did to the Steelers what has been done to them in several of the last meets: They came back and won. After the crushing defeats they’ve suffered in the past at the hands of the Steelers, they were certainly due a celebration when they finally swept them. In their own house nonetheless. Any celebration should be seen as a compliment, excitement about sweeping a worthy opponent. But how do you read it Starkey? Certainly not like someone who is looking at the game objectively. Enjoy the rest of your season.

  8. bill says:

    Pittsburgh’s going down this season, on the ice and field.

  9. John says:

    I have to agree that Mr. Starky is not much of a writer,I sure hope this is not typical of all people in Pittsburg,they got beat,get over it,by the RAVEN’S,a team they dislike.I am glad to see Hines Ward got a good taste of Ray Lewis,Ward is such a crybaby.As for Ben,the sex offender,he is far from any class act.

  10. Steve says:

    I’m not sure Hines Ward remembers anything this morning.

  11. Keisha says:


  12. Laurie Lugenbeel-White says:

    This made me LMAO! Dang Starkey – you are SUCH a poor sport! Not only did your team lose, but now you’re whining about it. Get over yourself. Get over your Squeelers – they’re NOT unbeatable! (and does Torrey Smith rock, or what!?!?!?! 😀

  13. Chris says:

    Haha. I just live in pittsburg but I don’t support either team. Read this article and after watching the game last night all I can think about is how arrogant this article really is. I’m all for hometown reporting but all I heard throughout the broadcast is about how much each team respects each other. This guy actually wrote an article that says we are better than you because we don’t act like we are better than you…

  14. Johnny P says:

    Hey Joe, the Squeelers lost, DEAL WITH IT!! Of course I liked your little disclaimer in at the end of your article about how we might win because of the “wounded” Pit defense. You’re laughable (like every Steeler fan is)!! By the way, one question: What was the body count of Squeeler fans that threw themselves off the Smitfield Street bridge last night??? hahaha

  15. patrick says:

    I love it when the Pittsburgh writers/commentators/homers all evoke that the first game of the season was Baltimore’s Super Bowl. Looks as if Sunday Night’s loss was Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl.

  16. MB says:

    What a GREAT BIG CRY BABY!!! Boo hooo! The Steelers lost…AGAIN!
    I have NEVER in my life read such an awful write up for a home team.
    Are you a journalist? Seriously….this article was awful on multiple levels.
    I grew up reading the Washington Post and watching DC local news…maybe my standards are too high….
    seriously…you stink. You should seriously think about a new profession….maybe daycare given you tendency to whine…you’d fit right in…..

  17. willie joe says:

    Steelers suc donkey dic.

  18. Nolan says:

    Steelers have the most cry-baby fans in the league.

    1. steelers losers says:

      they all think they are steelers bunch of losers just like the team oh am i the only one who thinks ben fatboy rothleshamburger looks like a grown up larry mondello lmao

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Play It
Get The All New CBS Local App

Watch & Listen LIVE