Yes, it is week 8. No, I am not (that) dumb. I’m just speaking facts.
There are a lot of great football teams out there, some better than the Ravens and Steelers, but when I say football is about to be played for the first time this weekend, I mean that true football is about to be played. I mean the type of football where half the teams end up on the injury report the following week. I mean football where people aren’t buddy buddy after the game, where every hit feels personal. I mean Ravens vs Steelers football.
Save me your, “But the chiefs are the best team in the league! Have you seen Russel Wilson this year?” arguments. Russel Wilson would not have the career he’s had if he played in the AFC North his entire career, and Pat Mahomes has yet to take a hit where you genuinely think, “Oh Fuck.” Either of those guys start and finish their careers in the AFC North and who knows if their stories are the same. Wanna know why? Because when you get hit, you get hit hard. When you let up a touchdown in the second quarter, that could be an insurmountable amount to comeback from. Because when you show up to a rival’s stadium (pre-covid), it’s going to be filled of fans that hate the opposing teams guts no matter what or who they are. The Steelers could have a player that beat cancer. The AFC North ain’t no bitch, particularly the Ravens and the Steelers.
Perhaps the most evenly matched teams in a rivalry ever sharing a 23-23 series tie in wins with each team averaging 19-20 ppg against each other. They’re the definition of what a rivalry is supposed to be statistically speaking, but its deeper than that. There’s a deep, unbridled hate in each fan base for the other.
The fanbases of each team have their quirks. Ravens fans have their delicious crabcakes and steamed shrimp fished right out of their native Chesapeake Bay. Steelers fans have their roast beef sandwiches that they put french fries on like any drunk college kid would who has had a half-baked idea. Ravens Fans have the beautiful, ever-improving Inner Harbor full of life. Steelers fans have two rivers they built ugly ass yellow bridges over. Ravens fans have a beach less than 3 hours away. Steelers fans go to that same beach that is 8 hours away for them. Yeah I see you inbred fucks there, looking like you haven’t showered since your last super bowl, smelling like expired mustard. Anyways as you can see Ravens and Steelers fans are quite different.
There is one common ground that the two fanbases can agree on. When the Ravens and Steelers play each other, as Big (still pudgy) Ben put it,
“It’s football in its purest form.”
As much I hate to agree with the guy he’s right. What the world will see Sunday at 1:00 PM, possibly later depending if we’re flexed, will be a reminder of the way football used to be played. Two capable franchises, with a history of setting the standard for smash-mouth football, looking better than either has on both sides of the ball in quite some time. I always joke about teams playing being a clash of the titans, particularly when they suck, but this as an actual battle of two titanic rosters.
If you’re from one of those fanbases and your dick doesn’t move a little thinking about Sunday, you may want to get in touch with a Viagra representative. If you’re like the majority of the league outside looking in, prepare to see two teams play the way you wish your team did. Ravens vs Steelers baby, nothing like it in the NFL.