You may not know this, but I am a die-hard Ravens fan.
It started in quarterback Joe Flacco's rookie year, when they made it to the playoffs. I became slightly obsessed. I started listening to sports talk radio. At first it was just during the playoffs, then it was all season long.
I have a Ravens jersey and Ravens earrings (both gifts). A Ravens stocking for the holidays and a wreath on the door with snowmen dressed in Ravens tees. On game day, I make the dog wear his Ravens jersey (he hates it).
|Sam mopes every time we put him in his jersey.|
The Ravens have been in the playoffs for four straight years, but have not been in the Superbowl since they won in 2000. Not coincidentally, we moved to Baltimore just a few months prior to that game.
When the Ravens lost tonight, I thought, we may be the only NFL team named after a work of literature, but maybe we should have picked a different work of literature. Something uplifting. Something you can get behind. Something with a more "We're going to kick butt" line than the opening of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven":
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,"
It's not exactly the poetry of champions.
While I am not proposing a new poem and name for Baltimore's football team, I did need to work out my feelings of anger, disappointment and overall nausea after the loss. To the Patriots. On a flubbed 32-yard field goal attempt.
|Ravens are purple and black -- to represent the dark circles under Poe's eyes?|
Naturally, I turned to poetry. I give you my version of Poe's poem, with apologies to its original author.
by Laura Shovan
Once upon a Sunday dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over a decision to run for a conversion on down four --
While I cried, instead of clapping, suddenly there came a snapping,
As of dying wings a-flapping, flapping on the stadium floor--
"'Tis some dream," I muttered, "a figment flapping on the stadium floor--
Not the Ravens, I implore!"
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak of winter;
And each hopeful ember dying in our hearts, now sore.
Eagerly I wished for spring; -- another team with the Superbowl Ring
And Charm City past the sting — the sting as we lost and swore--
For the rare and glorious trophy which escapes our grasp once more--
Nameless here for evermore.
And with players sad and humbler, the gleam off of each purple number
They almost thrilled me— but flubbed a tie with errors never seen before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"Not the Patriots, I’m entreating, celebrating on the stadium floor--
My eyes deceived me, the kick went through, of that I am sure;--
A bad camera angle, nothing more."
Presently my dread grew stronger; I could avoid fate no longer,
"Kids," said I, "Don’t bug your mother right now, I implore;
“The fact is I was hoping we would win and now I’m moping,
To see my Ravens choking. They were knocking on the Patriots’ door!
That I scarce can believe I heard the correct score;
It was a dream and nothing more.”
Deep into this darkness peering, long I sat there staring, fearing,
Doubting, cursing dreams a Ravens fan could have no more;
Hope is gone, our will is broken, on the team bus, no words spoken,
A deathly pall, no one dares whisper, “But we had a chance to score.”
The clock ran out. An echo murmurs through the streets of Baltimore --
Another year of Nevermore.
Read the original poem, "The Raven," at the Poetry Foundation.
Feel free to share this with anyone who is feeling my pain.