Ready for some football? Are you kidding?

Ravens-Jets trash-talk fest finally ends tonight

September 12, 2010|Kevin Cowherd

Can they stop all the yapping now and play football?

Is it finally time for the big game, Ravens- Jets on "Monday Night Football" from the New Meadowlands Stadium? Or will this trash-talking Woodstock just go on and on?

Will Jets coach Rex Ryan hold another press conference right before game-time to take one more shot at the Ravens?

And will Ray Lewis erupt like Krakatoa again and behead some poor Jets running back in response?

"Sounds like we're getting under Ray's nerves," Ryan said a few days ago.

Which was kind of confusing. Don't you either get on someone's nerves or under their skin?

Oh, you gotta love these two teams, don't you? I haven't heard this much bad-mouthing since Larry King's last divorce.

But it should be a doozy of an NFL opener for both teams in the swamps of Jersey, Tony Soprano territory, which is only fitting given some of the hits we could see tonight.

This much I can tell you: the Ravens flat-out don't like the Jets.

And it isn't an act, either. It isn't some World Wrestling Entertainment skit where everyone laughs and high-fives each other and goes out for a beer together when it's all over.

No, the Ravens are sick of hearing about how good Jets' cornerback Darrelle Revis is, sick of all this "Revis Island" business.

They're sick of all the woofing the Jets have been doing about going to the Super Bowl and not being afraid to say it, like (wink, wink) other teams are.

They're sick of being asked about "Hard Knocks," the HBO show that purports to give a real, behind-the-scenes look at the Jets training camp.

(Again, for the umpteenth time, I ask: how "real" can any of these shows be when there are 10 TV cameras following everyone around? Wouldn't you tend to act differently if someone was filming every move you made? )

And the Ravens are very, very sick of Rex Ryan's act, too.

Sure, Ryan was a beloved figure when he was the D-line coach and defensive coordinator in Baltimore from 1999 to 2008..

But he's quickly getting on the Ravens nerves with his non-stop mouth and bigger-than-life swagger.

When John Harbaugh is asked about Ryan's latest wacky pronouncement, the Ravens coach invariably tries to muster a smile. But the smile soon gives way to a sigh and a weary, here-we-go-again grimace.

Harbaugh often acts as if he's amused at the big lug's antics. But only in the sense you'd be amused at someone who keeps ringing your doorbell at 2 in the morning and running away.

Asked the other day if he would prefer less talking leading up to this game, Harbaugh sighed and said: "I don't care. We can't control what someone else says. It doesn't matter to us. We understand how all that works. We know what we're hearing. We've heard it all before."

Translation: yeah, we're sick of it. But there's only one way to make the Jets shut up.

And that was no act from Ray Lewis the other day when the All-Galaxy linebacker went off after a reporter asked his reaction to negative comments Ryan made on "Hard Knocks" about Lewis' ability to call defensive plays years ago.

I was standing about four feet from Lewis when he went into his tirade about how Ryan should just shut up and coach his own team.

Ray-Ray was so genuinely worked up I thought for an instant he was going to take it out on the media. In which case I planned to throw Mike Preston in his path and make a run for it.

So all of this will come into play tonight when these two teams meet at the Jets shiny new stadium.

You go ahead and tell me what you're hoping to see from the Ravens in their season opener.

Me, I'll be looking to see this resurgent passing game we've all been talking about for months.

I want to see Joe Flacco go downfield to Anquan Boldin. And to Derrick Mason. And to the new guy, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, assuming Housh has the playbook down already and doesn't inadvertently line up next to an usher in Section 20.

I want to see the Ravens attack Revis Island. And I want to see how well the Ravens' no-huddle offense does against the Jets, who had the top defense in the NFL last season.

On a personal note, here's what I don't want to see tonight: Ray Lewis' new Old Spice commercial.

You know, the one where he steps out of the shower encased in, um, soap bubbles? And shoots off into the sky atop a gigantic raven making cawing sounds?

I'm surprised Rex Ryan didn't go after him for that, too.

(Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with Jerry Coleman on Fox 1370 AM Sports.)

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