When they say this, they really mean to say this

September 28, 1996|By Rob Hiaasen | Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF

Bye weeks are beautiful. Football fans can honestly say the Ravens haven't lost since the summer.

Way back then, the Houston Oilers drilled the Ravens. We forget the score, it was so long ago. The point is Baltimore football fans don't need to be reminded it's a long season, etc. We have patience. We are loyal -- up to a point.

If the Ravens do beat the New Orleans Saints, the Ravens run ZTC their fall record to 1-0. If they lose tomorrow to the 0-4 Saints, be prepared for the Agony of Quotes. These are the very quotes quoted by coaches and players who have lost an athletic contest. You've read them before, you'll read them again because no sports quotes are new.

After the Oilers loss, Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda said, and we quote: We had too many mistakes today.

Meaning just what it says.

We made more mistakes than we should have.

This variation suggests a few mistakes might have been acceptable.

That was the thing that hurt us.

See: Mistakes.

We can't give the football up that often.

We should keep the ball in our possession for the appropriate duration, culminating, ideally, in a score.

We can't miss tackles.

Our preference, as a team, is to "tackle" opponents in possession of the football.

We've got to get back to basics.

No more abstruse football postulates.

You have to bounce back.

If not bounce, a good hopping back would do.

This team has to click on eight cylinders.

Some of you girlie men have been running on six cylinders. Unacceptable.

We'll play better as the season goes along.

Because we feel "playing better" has advantages over "playing worse."

We're hoping to get everybody to make a total commitment.

At least we've asked them to, nicely.

It was a total team loss.

Together, we were all losers.

After that summer game, Ravens quarterback Vinny Testaverde promised fans he'd never have a day like that again. He also said: Today they were the better football team.

The day before, it was a tie.

We've got to get better as a football team.

Because getting better as a lacrosse team doesn't really make sense.

We're going to bounce back.

Or hop.

It wasn't one of my better days.

Enough said.

Pub Date: 9/28/96

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