Friday, August 15, 2008


Harbaugh Era Goes Public in Ravens First Home Preseason Game

Place: M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, Maryland
Kickoff: 7:30 pm
Weather: 75F, clear, full moon
Line: Baltimore (1 ½ , 34 O/U)
MEDIA: TV: WMAR, Channel 2; MASN, RADIO: WBAL, 98 Rock

Where’s Oprah Winfrey? It’s the “Color Purple” on the south side of Camden Yards as the Ravens (purple & gold) battle the Vikings (purple & yellow) in the first of two preseason conflicts at M&T Bank Stadium. Fans will be treated to a bonus as local hero’s final Olympic performance will be broadcast live over the stadium’s huge video displays giving the hometown crowd a big downtown Saturday night party to celebrate their home boy racing for his final gold medal half a world away.

This will be Baltimore Ravens’ fans first chance to welcome new coach, John Harbaugh, and Offensive Coordinator, Cam Cameron to town. All reports out of their Westminster training camp at McDaniels College indicate the days of Camp Cupcake are over. The country club atmosphere has been replaced with boot camp regimentation. While players lick their wounds and clear their heads, the “Big Bird’s Nest” awaits the results.

The big story for Saturday night’s contest is Troy Smith starts at quarterback. In the Ravens first game, although they did win against the New England Patriots, most saw the same-old, same-old from Kyle Boller. Troy Smith showed potential in limited action at season’s end last year. Folks who saw the Ravens’ sophomore QB play in the Big Ten for Ohio State saw an intense, resourceful, obsessed competitor who came just short of leading the Buckeyes to a national championship en route to a Heisman Trophy season.

Put your money on Troy Smith taking snaps from Center when the Ravens open the season against the Cincinnati Bengals. To be determined, who wears the headset and handles the clipboard and who will be the holder for field goal attempts as Quarterback of the Future, Joe Flacco, is groomed for future starting duties.

Of concern are injuries to premier running back, Willis McGahee, who has fingers crossed whether he’ll be ready for opening day.

Here’s the complete injury situation direct from

Preseason games are supposedly about individual performances, assessing talent for who stays, who goes; who starts, who substitutes. Still, nothing beats winning; otherwise, they wouldn’t be keeping score. The Ravens first practice game on home territory will arouse much more interest from the Baltimore faithful.


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