Steelers Vs. Ravens: Behind Enemy Lines

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Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; A Baltimore Ravens fan holds a sign up after the team defeat the Cleveland Browns 20-10 at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore is full of proud fans. They love their Ravens; they love their football. They have a love-hate relationship with quarterback Joe Flacco, and the residue of Ray Lewis’ energy still lingers in the small city.

The intensity that their team exhibits on the field is mirrored by their fans. Between mouthfuls of delicious crab dip, they’ll be shouting, “Come on, Flacco!” in a consternated exclamation only the Baltimore “O” could deliver.

They’ll call for Ben Roethlisberger’s head as Terrell Suggs rounds the corner, and relish the big hits and a pounding running game. They know football in the AFC North. In the short life of the Baltimore Ravens, this city has rekindled a fierce love of the game.

That fire has been billowed by success. The Ravens have enjoyed more success in less than twenty years than other teams have enjoyed in triple that time.

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These are two powerhouse organizations. Two football-crazed cities. As Steelers’ coach, Mike Tomlin puts it: “Two trains, one track.” I’ve never been able to think of a better metaphor than that.

The whole NFL gets up for Steelers vs. Ravens, and it’s a real treat to have that matchup in the sudden death atmosphere of the playoffs. There is no “Get ‘em next time.” Next time is nine grueling months away.

There is a chance that the Steelers will be without Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell, and that hurts. However, this is a matchup typically won by will, regardless of who is or isn’t playing.

We’ll all tune in on Saturday to see who gets to the next round of the playoffs, and at least one fan deep in Ravens territory will be hoping that the Steelers can silence the late night “Caws” on the streets of Baltimore.

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