The talk over today's game between the Ravens and the Colts is growing thick on the Web, with bloggers and members of sports forums laying out scenarios, placing odds and - of course - talking trash.
This is new territory of a sort for Ravens fans. During Baltimore's last postseason appearance three years ago, most sports boards were a fraction of the size that they are today, and blogs had yet to make their pronounced cultural impact.
But if Baltimore supporters are suffering from inexperience in online post-season smack talk, it hasn't shown. Ravens fans are proving that they give as good as they get.
"Another week of Raven fans complaining about how Indy stole their team records away," jabbed a Colts fan on the Scout.com sports boards recently, which prompted a quick reply from a Ravens supporter:
"We can't wait for you!! I love a good [Peyton] Manning choke. This will be the sweetest retribution for what your city did to us."
Similar exchanges peppered discussions on ESPN's popular sports forum, boards.espn. go.com.
"God Bless [former Colts owner] Robert Irsay for getting the Colts out of that godforsaken city of Baltimore," wrote a Colts fan.
"The only thing we ask is that you return our name, colors, tradition, and history to the city where all those things were made," retorted a Ravens fan.
The Colts' abandonment of Baltimore for Indianapolis was the dominant theme in many Web discussions, even though a good chunk of online fans likely don't remember that March night in 1984, when the Colts stole away.
A 35-year-old Perry Hall man, who goes by the online name Da Stallion, attempted to keep the bitterness alive while educating the younger masses in a post on his MySpace blog, myspace.com/edstallion.
"A lot of you who read this are probably too young to remember the Colts leaving our city in the middle of a snow-driven night, but I remember it like it was yesterday," he wrote. "It was one of the saddest days in the history of the city of Baltimore."
"The NFL hates the city of Baltimore for whatever reason and doesn't even recognize the Colts as ever being in the city of Baltimore," he added.
"It was the BALTIMORE Colts that beat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl 5 not INDIANAPOLIS!"
Those sentiments didn't impress Colts fans.
"Apparently the city of Baltimore hates the Colts, but we could really care less about [Baltimore] since they're not the Patriots," wrote Larry Swank on his site, LarrySwank.com. "It's similar to the way that the Orioles hate the Yankees and the Brewers hate the Cubs, but both teams are largely ignored by the objects of their animosity."
But such dismissiveness only served to rekindle hurt feelings in Baltimore.
Galen Sevinne on the profootball24x7.com forum recalled how his lifelong love for the Colts ended in 1998 when Indianapolis came to town to play the Ravens: "As we sat up close that day for pre-game warm ups I remember watching the Colts begin to take the field," he wrote.
"The crowd around us was booing and a Colts' player came up to the section and heckled the fans. ... I watched the Colts for 12 freakin' years, living and dying every game. I saw the plane crash at the stadium [in 1976]. I saw the Ghost to the Post [the legendary 1977 pass that helped set up an Oakland playoff win over Baltimore]. I saw [quarterback] Bert Jones walk off holding his shoulder in pain and come back from the locker room to run a play. I listened to my grandfather and the old men tell stories for 12 years about the '50s and the '60s ... and you are going to heckle me??? in Baltimore???"
But beyond the barbs and bitterness, there were also plenty of festive sentiments to go around - after all, a playoff appearance and home-field advantage are things worth celebrating.
In that vein, daveko69 on the Extreme Ravens forum (forums.extremeravens.com) posted a YouTube video of himself doing Ray Lewis' legendary pre-game bird dance (youtube.com/watch?v=7guum 8gimMw) in slow motion and set to music, a sight that drew howls from fellow forum members.
Even non-football forums were eager to get in on the Ravens action. A poll on a golfing board had 56 percent of participating members predicting a Ravens win, compared with 32 percent favoring the Colts. Thirteen percent, however, stayed true to their forum and voted for: "Who cares? I need a new driver!"
And indeed, for all the online Ravens talk, not everyone was quite ready to jump on the bandwagon.
A Timonium blogger who works as a delivery guy admitted to his ambivalence toward football in a posting titled: "Happy Festivus from a fair-weather Ravens fan."
"My fondness for [the Ravens] extends on two levels," he wrote on his site, malnurturedsnay.net. "The first, a certain required `hometown' loyalty for the team. Second, greenbacks. Seriously. The better the Ravens do, the better my tips are."