The Buzz is Back

Hosting Sportsline on WBAL Radio several times the last couple of weeks gave me the chance to gauge the pulse of Baltimore sports fans. I have been surprised at the level of continued interest (mostly engulfed in anguish) in the Orioles and frankly shocked at the lack of buzz surrounding the Ravens. I did two hours of football talk on Saturday July 8th and received just two phone calls. When I switched over to trade talk with the Birds the lines lit up like Ricky Williams on vacation.

That left me curious to see whether day one of training camp for the Ravens would bring out the fans like years past. Hey, they’re coming off a 6-10 season.

The question was quickly answered under the stifling heat in Westminster, they’re back. The fans lined the practice field, cheering when plays were made or simply if Ray Lewis walked anywhere nearby. The official attendance for the morning session was 2,530. A solid showing and no doubt the tip of the iceberg.

What the fans saw was a refreshed, healthy, and happy Ray Lewis. He sent a message to everyone about his intentions this season. With the furnace on full blast Ray donned full body spandex underneath his uniform. The heat means nothing he seemed to cry, we have work to do.

The sweating masses also enjoyed their first look at Steve McNair, in person, in a Ravens uniform. And given that nobody wore full pads, and the speed of practice held somewhere around 70%, he delivered what the fans wanted to see. A man in control of his game, his arm, and his team.

The first half of day one is not much on which to judge anything, but these Ravens are off to a good start, certainly better than last years. A this time in 2005 their 2nd round pick Dan Cody had already torn up his knee, an injury that cost him the season.

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