Sports Outside the Beltway

Remembering championships past

For some reason my favorite memory on the Orioles 1983 World Championship season was the Orioles victory over the KC Royals (then not quite so hopeless) after being no-hit for 7 innings by Gaylord Perry. When I mentioned this on the Orioles mailing list, I was reminded that I had mis-remembered the wrong staring pitcher for the Orioles. It was not Mike Flanagan, but another lefty, Scott MacGregor.

Also for some reason that’s the game I remember not the more incredible game less than a week later against Toronto in which Tippy Martinez stopped a Toronto rally in the 10th by picking off three straight base runners at first while John Lowenstein played second, Gary Roenicke Third and Lenn Sakata caught. More incredible: Lenn Sakata hit the game winning 3 run home run. (The next night was pretty crazy too.)

Well maybe I didn’t remember things so clearly because that was over 20 years ago. But it turns out the my memory of the Ravens championship season were not all that clear either.

I seemed to remember that the Ravens turned their season around in 2000 against Tennessee in a crazy game. While there were a few lead changes the game wasn’t nearly as crazy as I remember. I thought I remembered a critical Ravens interception, but it appears that there were none. The Ravens did have a late scoring drive that put them into the lead by a point that stood up, but that seems to be the extent of the Ravens’ miracles. (Al Del Greco missing his first point after in seven years was a Titans miracle; a negative though.)

It wasn’t exactly the team’s turnaround but it was the second of six consecutive wins with which the Ravens closed out the regular season to end up 12-4.

I don’t know if there’s going to be a signature game for this season. Though I’d guess a lot of people would consider either the Atlanta or the first Pittsburgh game. The Ravens beat Atlanta 24-10 November 19 sacking Michael Vick 5 times. The next week they shut out Pittsburgh Steelers 31 – 0 and sacked Ben Roethlisberger nine times. Or the turning point might just be after the bye week when Coach Billick fired Jim Fassel.

This year it looks like the most serious challenge to the Ravens getting to the Super Bowl is San Diego. (Indianapolis and New England are looking less intimidating.) Though I’m getting ahead of things a bit, if and when they win the Super Bowl, which game will the fans look at as the turning point?

Crossposted on OTB Sports and Soccer Dad.

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