Ravens' opener needs O's accommodation

Ravens' opener needs O's accommodation
February 10, 2013, 10:45 pm
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It’s a bit grand to label something so relatively new as “traditional,” but as Super Bowl champions, the Ravens get to host the NFL’s opening game on the first Thursday after Labor Day.

However, there is an issue with that date, Sept. 5: The Orioles are scheduled to play the White Sox at home that night. Obviously, the downtown stadium complex can’t accommodate two games at once.

"We've made contact with the Orioles," Ravens president Dick Cass told The Baltimore Sun last week. "We recognize the issue. We are confident we can work it out with the Orioles."

The Orioles could switch their 7:05 start on Sept. 5 to an early afternoon game. Or they could make Thursday an open date and make Saturday, now set as a night game, into a split doubleheader with another game starting at about 1 p.m.

Then there is the matter of who the Ravens’ opponent is. The Sun lists the top candidates as the Patriots, Steelers, Texans and Packers. Whether or not the NFL is interested in one man’s opinion, the opener should be against anyone other than the Steelers. Those rivalry games need to come after the teams have worked their way through a chunk of the season, at least a quarter of the way — making for a better quality game — and one needs to be in December, which heightens the pressure on postseason position. And no more scheduling them so close together, like in 2012, with two of them in three weeks, which isn’t fair if one of the teams suffers a key injury.