The Ravens Light Rail Issues

I always take light rail in for the Ravens games because I am cheap and don’t want to pay for parking. Light rail would be nice and convenient if they would fix issues that lead to long waits, crowded trains and irritated people. Here are some ways I think they could fix this.

1. Number of trains – There have been two games this year where the Ravens won big, which means everyone leaves early. In the past, this meant those of us who stayed until the end of the game had no lines for the trains. Unfortunately, this year all of the people who leave early are still there waiting for a train 20-30 minutes later when the game actually ends. Once can only assume that this means they are running fewer trains. I understand that on a typical Sunday, fewer trains makes sense, but not on a game day. If you know the schedule, there should be a way to run trains more frequently on game day. Also, when there is a Sunday night game and service is officially over why not have all of the trains stacked downtown so they can fill up and leave as soon as the game is over? Why have long waits between trains? If it is a money issue, you would think the Ravens make enough money they could chip in to pay for more trains to make the game day experience more pleasurable.

2. Crowd control – This is not an MTA issue. This is a stupid people issue. People get to the platform at the end of the game and stop immediately. There is always room for more people at the end of the platform, but they can’t get there because of all of the people crowded at the very start of the platform. This causes the line to stretch up the ramp unnecessarily and makes loading the train slower. There are plenty of MTA people around. They need to take a more active role in moving people down the platform. Also, once people get on the trains and it is standing room only, people crowd by the doors and won’t move to the middle of the train. This prevents more people from entering the train and causes the lines to remain long. There are plenty of times the trains leave with space for 10-20 more people per car, but they can’t get on because people won’t make the room.\

3. Staff the ticket machines – It was much easier to get tickets and get on a train when you purchased them from a person at the station. The same people who are too stupid to move down the platform are too stupid to buy tickets without help. You can miss several trains waiting in long lines caused by people unable to operate the ticket machines.

4. BWI/Cromwell – I get on the train at North Linthicum and can take either the BWI or the Cromwell trains. There are a large number of people who can’t take the BWI train. Unfortunately, those people are all standing on the platform while those of us who would love to get on the BWI train can’t get to it. I’m sure some BWI trains leave not even close to full because of this. Maybe you can figure out a way to have a BWI only platform area with access from a roped off area?

5. Consistency – At the very least make sure customers know what they are going to get. Yesterday trains were a little closer together(though 20 minutes between trains is still bad) but some days you can stand there for 30 minutes or more waiting for a train. Consistent service, even if not adequate, is better than inadequate, but also inconsistent service.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure anyone with MTA, the Ravens or the city of Baltimore care enough to fix it.

Ravens Off Season Thoughts

Now that the Ravens are done for the year, it’s time to start looking ahead to off season moves. We will be saying goodbye to some familiar names this year. I think the following will not be on the team next year:

Michael Oher – too inconsistent.

Arthur Jones – too expensive

Jacoby Jones – too expensive for what he does

Ed Dickson – We have Pitta and Dickson can’t catch

James Ihedigbo – Elam will move to strong safety and they will bring in a free safety.

I think Suggs will restructure and stay with the team. If he refuses, I believe they really will cut him.

I think the O line will be addressed via free agency, while the WR and safety positions are filled mainly via the draft.

I think the team would really like Caldwell to get offered a job so they can bring in another OC.

I think they will pick up another young RB either late in the draft or free agency in case Rice/Pierce don’t improve.

Other veterans I am not expecting to leave might be cut.

Fans are Stupid

In lieu of my normal post where I pretend like I know something about football, I would like to talk about the stupidity of fans.  The Ravens are 3-4. This is not a good record and the team is not playing well. There is a very real chance they will not make the playoffs this season.  The fans are not happy. I admit that I don’t enjoy watching them lose and that I did say that if they are going to miss the playoffs that I would almost rather them lose every game so they could get a high draft pick. I still, however, plan to go the the home games, watch the away games and cheer for them to win. I will also be disappointed when they lose, but I won’t stop watching and I will never boo them.  Others have already started booing the home team. That is never acceptable.

I also don’t have the short memory that other fans apparently have. Since Harbaugh and Flacco have been with the team they have not missed the playoffs once. They just won the Super Bowl last season. at 3-4 this year people are already saying they should bench Flacco and start Tyrod Taylor. Are you insane? Flacco was the Super Bowl MVP last year and you want to bench him after 7 games the next season? I think Flacco has done a pretty good job considering he lost Boldin and Pitta, had no run game and faces pressure on almost every play. People need to take the time to look at all aspects of the game instead of thinking everything is always the quarterback’s fault. I will be happy to have Flacco as the Ravens’ QB for many years.

I heard some people this morning starting to talk about Harbaugh as the problem. Maybe we should get a new coach. Are you insane? He has taken the team to the playoffs every year as the coach and won the Super Bowl last year. Do you remember the shape the team was in when he got here? He has done an excellent job as the coach of the Ravens. So I think he’s made some questionable decisions, especially this season? Yes, I do. Do I think he’s still the best man for the job? Yes, I do.  It’s really stupid to stat questioning a coach’s ability to coach seven games removed from a Super Bowl win.

I would much rather the team be 7-0 or even 4-3, but I’m not going to give up on players and coaches because of a bad start. I won’t even give up on Flacco and Harbaugh if they go 3-13. I won’t be happy, but I will trust them to figure out the issues and gt better next year and I will still never boo them.

Monday Morning Quarterback, October 14, 2013

The Ravens lose a close one to the cheese heads 19-17. Here’s the good and bad.

The bad:

The offense still can’t score early and they started from behind again.

The run game is essentially nonexistent.

The offensive line is still really bad.

The defense gave up big plays at really bad times.

Questionable coaching calls like going for it on 4th and goal when down 3-0

Stupid “fans” who boo the team and now hate Rice, Flacco and assorted other players because they are 3-3. I hate fair weather fans.

The good:

Jacobi Jones looked good in his return as did Marlon Brown.

The defense did a good job of making it a winnable game.

The only major injury was to the team photographer.

We don’t wear dairy products on our heads.

Monday-morning quarterback

The Ravens got the win in a close one yesterday. I have to admit that a road game against a team with a winning record worried me. I was also worried about the fact that the only three receivers they had were Doss, Thompson and Smith. I was pleasantly surprised by the win.

The good:
the run defense was very good

Once again, the defense pressured the QB a lot and sacked him several times as well

The defense, in general is very good this year

Ed Dickson and Tandon Doss learned to catch

Justin Tucker is very good.

The run game looked better.

3-2 equals a tie for first place.

The bad:
Bryant McKinnie

The pass protection in general. Flacco is very good, but he needs time to throw.

Koch is looking a little shaky this year.

No Monday Morning Quarterback

I wrote one, but it was intercepted by the Buffalo Bills. Actually, there is no real one today because I was only able to listen to most of the game. Everything I know about the game I got from Sandusky, Q and Stan White. If I base a post on what they said, it will be even dumber than normal. What I will say is that, yes, it was a bad game. 5 interceptions is bad, but so is having a receiving corps that can’t catch and an O line that can’t run block or give the QB time to throw the ball.  I know the defense gave up a lot of yards on the ground, but if your offense turns the ball over 5 times and you still have a chance to win, the defense is obviously doing something right.

We just won the super bowl last year and people are still unhappy. If you are ready to jump ship at this point, you are not a true fan and won’t be missed.

Monday morning quarterback – week 2

Final score yesterday was 14-6. People at the game seemed to forget every Ravens/Browns np game tends to be an ugly low scoring game. Already heard one moron saying we should bench Flacco. Football fans are stupid. Here are the good and the bad from the game.

The good:

We won. That is always a good thing an ugly win counts the same as a blowout.

The defense didn’t give up a TD and shut them out in the 2nd half.

Marlon Brown continues to impress me and looks like he will be a major contributor on offense.

Brandon Stokely. Looks like he will be a good 3rd down option for Flacco.

5 sacks.

The bad:

The running game still can’t get going.

Rice is hurt.

The play calling was very Cam Cameron-esque.

Our safeties still look bad.

Tight end production is sub par.

The people who sit behind me are still annoying.

Friday Morning Quarterback

I have decided to start proving I know nothing about football by posting my thoughts after each Ravens game.

Last night was the big NFL Kickoff night. It started as the big NFL Weather Delay. I was not in Denver, so I can’t say for sure if the delay was actually necessary, but apparently, the NFL people making the decision weren’t either, so I guess we are equal there. The meteorologists I follow on twitter thought it was an unnecessary. What was also unnecessary were the Ravens taking the field late after the delay. What was the point of that?

When the game finally started it looked like it was going to be an exciting close game. Unfortunately, the 17-14 halftime lead for the Ravens disappeared faster than Haloti Ngata’s Royal Farms chicken. The final score was the Denver Mannings 49 and your Baltimore Ravens 27.

The good:

Marlon Brown looks like he will be a very good receiver.

When the starting offensive line is on the field, Flacco has plenty of time to throw the ball.

Sacking Manning 3 times makes me think our pass rush will be good this season.

Run defense looked OK.

Flacco looked good when he had a little time and receivers that could catch.

Webb looked good in his return.

We don’t play Peyton Manning again.

The bad:

Our TE’s can’t catch the ball.

All it takes is for one O lineman to go down to break down protection of the QB.

Safety play  was not good.

Secondary play in general, with the exception of Webb, was sub-par.

Brynden Trawick is apparently legally blind.

The defense looked confused at times.

It is only one game. The team has many new starters. It may take time for the team to gel. Denver at Denver is a bad place to test a new defensive team. Things can only get better.

 

 

 

Franchising Flacco

I will start today on a topic concerning a team at the top, the Baltimore Ravens. Coming off of a Super Bowl win, the Ravens now have to make some big personnel decisions. The first decision that will impact the rest of those decisions is what to do with Joe Flacco. The best thing that could happen is a long term deal that is in the best interest of both Flacco and the team. A contract with the money he wants, but with a structure that allows for the team to stay somewhat intact next season. Unfortunately, that looks less and less likely to happen and the franchise tag comes into play. There are two different franchise tags, the exclusive and the non-exclusive. The exclusive guarantees Flacco will be on the team next year, but will cost $20 million dollars and will result in several cuts of veteran players. The non-exclusive costs less, but allows Flacco to negotiate with other teams.

Personally, I am it a fan of dismantling a team in order to make one player happy, regardless of the player. Would I love to have Flacco back? Yes, of course, but I don’t want him back if it means we tear the team apart. If Flacco and the team can’t come to terms on a mutually beneficial long term deal, I hope the team uses the non-exclusive franchise tag and allows Flacco to negotiate with other teams. If another team is willing to break the bank to pay Flacco, I would take their first round picks, offer one of them to the 49ers for Alex Smith and his 8 million dollar salary and move on. If Flacco wants to be a highly payed player on a crappy team, API would prefer he do it away from Baltimore.

The Ray Lewis Debate

With the Ravens run to the Super Bowl coupled with Ray’s Last Ride has come more talk about the murder case from Atlanta 13 years ago. Many people who are not fans of the Ravens or Lewis jump into any discussion of the team calling Lewis a murderer and saying he should be in prison not the NFL.  I was not with Lewis in Atlanta, so I can’t say for sure what happened, but I can give an informed opinion.

What everyone know is that there was a fight and two people died. Ray Lewis was in the vicinity of the fight and with people who were involved in the fight. There are no witnesses that testified that Ray Lewis was involved in the actual fight. Ray Lewis did make the mistake of caring more about protecting himself and his friends than doing the right thing and helped his friends flee the scene of the crime.  He did eventually agree to testify and plead guilty to obstruction of justice. The two actually involved in the fight were acquitted by the jury for reasons of self-defense. If the two who actually did the stabbing were acquitted, why should we think Lewis should be in prison?

Is it a horrible thing that two people were killed 13 years ago? Yes, it was. Was Lewis wrong in his initial decision to protect his friends instead of doing the right thing? Yes, he was. Do I think Lewis actually killed a man? No, I don’t think there is any evidence of that. Do I think this was a wake up call for Lewis and the reason he turned his life around? Yes, I do.Do I believe the family has a right to still be upset and want someone to pay for the death of their family members? Yes, I do. Do I think people who weren’t there and have no idea what happened should shut up about it? Yes, I do. Do I think the reason they aren’t is because they are bitter fans of other teams and/or seeking attention?  Yes, I do.

Now, let’s move on and focus on the football.