Morning Pixels: Ravens and high schoolers

January 29, 2013

I wrote a story for Tuesday’s paper about the areas in Maryland that are split between Redskins and Ravens fans.

Now, many of you will hate it, and me, because of your blind seething irrational hatred for any Washington Post copy that includes the word “Ravens.” Fine, whatever. But I tried to avoid the cliched “should Redskins fans root for the Ravens” story line, instead focusing on a community that was equally divided between the two teams.

I settled on North Laurel, a Howard County spot just over the Montgomery and P.G. County borders. But before I chose that spot, I called several area high school athletic directors, figuring they would be pretty well clued in to the rooting interests of their students.

Ravens execs have often said that they’re not targeting Redskins fans for conversion, but rather newcomers to the area and undecided kids. And judging by the ADs I talked with, those efforts are working. Obviously this is not scientific data in any way, but here are what some school staffers told me about the breakdown of their students.

Hammond High in Columbia: 70-30 Ravens fans.

Urbana High in Ijamsville: “We’re closer to D.C., but there’s definitely more Ravens fans than Redskins fans here.”

Damascus High in Montgomery County: 50-50.

Clarksburg High in Montgomery County: “I’d say close to 50-50, but we lean Redskins.”

Paint Branch High in Montgomery County: “We’re close to a split, but I think a little bit more Redskins.”

Of course, today’s high school seniors were not born when the Redskins last went to a Super Bowl; they would likely remember 21 or so Ravens playoff games, and 6 or so Redskins playoff games.

“Kids are frontrunners; they’re not the most loyal group,” one local AD told me. “They come out for winners, and they heckle the losers.”

Which is why everyone I talked to suggested that RGIII has already shifted the equation. Still, there appears to be a generation of kids well within the Redskins’ traditional geographic borders that is now used to rooting for purple. Weird.

(Meanwhile, if you want the cliched story, here’s the Baltimore Sun: Redskins fans torn about rooting for Ravens; Plenty have hopped onto the bandwagon, but others having a harder time)

BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER

* After everyone started secretly thinking about the playoffs, the Wizards lost to the Kings at home.

* Michal Neuvirth is already staking a claim to the Caps’ top goaltender position.

* Tracee Hamilton on the Racing Presidents: “My dad was in the hospital during the Nats-Cards series, and when he saw the Rushmores, he asked me, ‘What the hell are those?’ I think he was afraid his meds were too strong.”

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Jayson Werth on the 2013 Nats, to Wagner:

“I think we got the best team in baseball,” he said Saturday at the team’s NatsFest. “If that’s your mind-set going in, no one else matters, you just have to take care of yourself.”

 

TWEET OF THE NIGHT

Niles Paul is living in a different world than I am. Sounds like a fun world, though.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

The Caps are in Ottawa at 7:30 on Comcast SportsNet. All TV/Radio listings are here.

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT

Michael Lee covered the Miami Heat’s trip to the White House on Monday. Somehow, that led to this.

FICK-YOUNG PODCAST

Former Nats legends Robert Fick and Dmitri Young are debuting a podcast on Tuesday, called the FYI? podcast. “F,” I assume, is for Fick, and “Y” for Young, and “I” for “I hope there’s never a day when I have to transcribe this podcast.” (Via @cnichols14)

NICKLAS BACKSTROM GARDEN GNOME

The Caps are giving away a Nicklas Backstrom garden gnome. I have no garden, but I’d like a Nicklas Backstrom garden gnome.

REDSKINS TREE MISTAKE BECOMES FREE FIREWOOD

Tree drama just can’t quit the Redskins. “Richmond city leaders are trying to make the best of situation that uprooted suspicion and anger in many city residents,” WTVR reports. “A newly proposed plan would give the trees removed from the new Redskins training site to a volunteer group called project WARM, short for the Wood Association of Richmond Metro.”

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Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Sarah Kogod · January 28, 2013

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