Ravens' late timeouts irritate Colts, who then air it out with 24-point lead

September 12, 2005|By PETER SCHMUCK

THE UPGRADED Indianapolis Colts defense was on the verge of pitching a shutout last night ... until coach Tony Dungy and quarterback Peyton Manning pitched a fit.

Dungy got a little irritated at the Ravens for calling back-to-back timeouts while he was trying to run out the clock on an apparent 24-0 victory, so he instructed Manning to take one more shot at the end zone. The incomplete pass stopped the clock and preserved just enough time for the Ravens to drive for a face-saving touchdown.

"We were trying to score a touchdown," Dungy said. "We went out there with the intention of running the clock out. I was a little surprised that they kept calling timeout. I'm disappointed that the defense didn't get the shutout, but you've got to play all 60 minutes."

Manning initially declined to comment about the decision to air out one last long pass with the game on ice, but eventually would all but admit it was a shot across the bow.

"We were just trying to take a knee and keep everybody healthy," he said. "The game was basically over. After they called two timeouts, I asked Tony, `What do you want to do?' He said, `Throw it,' and I said, `OK, I'll throw it.'

"I guess they wanted to get [Anthony] Wright some more throws, but you don't want to get people hurt running meaningless plays."

Obviously, it wasn't meaningless to the Ravens, who did not want to get shut out in front of the home crowd by the franchise that once bolted town in the dead of night and broke the hearts of a generation of Baltimore football fans.

It also wasn't meaningless to the Colts' defense, which was making a major statement after spending the past few years in the shadow of the team's explosive offense.

The Ravens committed $625,000 to the Red Cross last week, and that contribution rose twice yesterday when Michel and David Modell also matched the original $165,000 raised in the Ravens locker room and the Ravens matched the $195,000 that fans contributed on their way into M&T Bank Stadium last night.

The total contribution from the Ravens, their affiliated charitable foundations and their fans totaled $1.215 million.

The Orioles, meanwhile, have deferred any decision on their contribution until after owner Peter Angelos returns from Europe.

I'm fairly certain Angelos will step up in a big way, but the team's indecisiveness led to this sarcastic comment from a well-known local broadcaster last night in the Ravens' press box: "The Orioles are the only major sports franchise that reacted to the disaster slower than FEMA."

Apparently, Patrick Ramsey's luck is holding, and that isn't a good thing. The clothesline tackle by linebacker Lance Briggs ended his afternoon early, and Mark Brunell did just enough against the stubborn Chicago Bears defense to make this a very interesting week at Redskins Park.

It's going to be a big week at Hayfields Country Club, where the Constellation Energy Classic kicks off today with the celebrity pro-am. I caddied for Bruce Fleischer during one of last year's pro-am events and learned a lot about golf (most importantly, that there's a reason God created motorized carts).

Thought I did such a great job that they'd invite me back, but I heard through the grapevine that someone took issue with my attempt to rake one of the bunkers while Bruce was still in it.

If you didn't read Rick Maese's column in yesterday's paper about the Ocean Springs (Miss.) High School football team coping with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, go back and find yesterday's sports section or go to Sports on our Web site (baltimoresun.com) and click on Rick.

Heart-wrenching. Heart-warming. Truly outstanding. If the kid can write like this now, it's scary to think how good he's going to be when he grows up.

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