March 07, 2004

Ravens will never get fair shake from NFL

John Eisenberg contributed a well-written and thought-provoking story in last Sunday's sports section ["Muddied Image: How much will the Ravens' reputation suffer because of the Jamal Lewis indictment?"]

However, my conclusion after reading the piece was: Who cares? While it's natural for the Ravens' organization, its fans and the local media to be interested in the perception of the team from a national viewpoint, I'm puzzled that anyone would think we'd ever get a fair shake from the league or the national media, no matter the circumstances.

No football fan in Baltimore needs a history lesson, but, for Pete's sake, we had to steal one of the most storied franchises in the history of the sport just to re-enter the NFL.

Then the holier-than-thou national media - after making excuses or turning a blind eye to boorish behavior by professional athletes for decades - collectively chose to ignore due process and became Ray Lewis' judge, jury and executioner in Atlanta.

Then this same group of "journalists" was aghast when Brian Billick had the nerve to - correctly - remind them that it wasn't their job (nor were they qualified) to re-try Lewis during the pre-Super Bowl hypefest.

And every year we watch Art Modell inexplicably snubbed from enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Ravens have been called the Raiders of the East Coast, but even the universally despised Al Davis is in the Hall of Fame.

And now we're supposed to beg for acceptance? Reach out to the same group who stood idly by when the Colts were stolen from us, then rigged expansion to keep us out of the league?

The Ravens' very existence is a black eye on the NFL, and something Jamal Lewis may or not have done four years ago (before he was even under contract with the Ravens) isn't going to make that situation noticeably worse, and who cares if it does?

Do any of us really expect anyone outside of Baltimore to recognize the Ravens for what they truly are: one of the best-run organizations in all of professional sports?

Marc Bouchard Phoenix

Hall needs a new wing for `enhanced' athletes

I have a problem acknowledging the so-called accomplishments of some of our contemporary baseball players.

Should the names the likes of Barry Bonds go into the record books without the proverbial asterisk hovering next to their accomplishments? I think not.

Let's establish a new addition at Cooperstown for those who got there with the assist (or crutch) of performance-enhancing steroids. Perhaps we can call it the DOPE (Done on Performance Enhancements) Wing.

Patrick R. Lynch Parkville

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.