Remember right before the Steelers game I asked if Pittsburgh and Washington had anything that could be construed as a rivalry? The general consensus then was no, and given that the Ravens and Redskins rarely overlap on the field — Sunday’s clash notwithstanding — we could assume the same applies.
But Baltimore and Washington, considered the same place in airport names and media-market designations, seem quite separate when it comes to sports. Though the Orioles and Ravens both play in the American League/Football Conference, while the Nats and Redskins are on the National side, fans seem to have to choose one or the other. Ravens Coach Jim Harbaugh tried to make the case for supporting both teams, and commenters on the D.C. Sports Bog began to deal with the history between the sports in the two cities.
Certainly the fact that both baseball and football were absent from one of the cities in either place leads to some fan overlap, and angst. It’s a commonly held sports fan truism that you can only have one true team. But beyond that, there are always teams you want to see lose, and those you wouldn’t mind see winning as long as it doesn’t affect the true team. Given that they share Maryland, wouldn’t Ravens and Redskins be able share fan bases? Specifically, is there any reason Redskins fans should dislike the Ravens as currently constructed?
If there is, it has to be born out of Washington-Baltimore rivalry, right? Personally, the Ravens might be the AFC team I can stand the most. John is the more likeable Harbaugh, Ray Rice is hard to hate, Torrey Smith is a Maryland guy and Ed Reed is a joy to watch play the game. Unless you have some long-held thing against Ray Lewis — and I can see why you might, although I admire his passion — the Ravens strike me as a hard team to hate. Even Joe Flacco, who’s not exactly a charismatic overwhelmingly talented quarterback, sparks indifference at best. These aren’t really guys you can hate, are they?
I’m not saying you should buy a jersey. The above ode to how not-hateable the Ravens are probably won’t resonate with many Redskins fans in a week when they teams are about to face off. I get that.
I’m just wondering where most Redskins fans stand on the Ravens. If there’s a dislike there, given the nondescript four-game history between the two franchises, it has to be based on some kind of off-the-field, Washington/Baltimore hate, right? (Like in this amusing bog item, with a Ravens fan talking trash and the perfect Redskins comeback). And if not, that means you can support your local AFC just a little bit, so long as it doesn’t impact the team you hold near and dear to your heart. Right?
Floor’s yours. School us.