Always great when a game is more compelling for who is officiating rather than the two teams playing. Nothing we life more than spending three hours hoping to be reassured that games will be more orderly rather than enjoy a good game.
Sorry. Just getting some practice in for Sarcastaball season.
Anyway, the NFL probably lucked its way into a big ratings boon with this game. When they first scheduled Browns and Ravens in Baltimore in primetime in Week 3, it’d be difficult to imagine that they assumed that it would be anything but a likely blowout of little interest to casual viewers. But now, especially with the NFL Network deal with Time Warner in place, you’ve got potential for a big night for people who don’t deserve it. Or at least potential for a big first quarter, when a huge audience tunes in to see how the real refs will fare, realizes they’re the same flawed but mostly adequate officials as before, then gets bored when the Ravens jump ahead by three scores.
Unless, of course, Doopy Pantz gets some more crazy luck like this:
And a dozen other things break the Browns’ way. Ray Rice getting hurt being among them. Even that might not be enough, thanks to no-huddle Flacco’s super eliteness. Then again, it’s also possible that being forced to play four games in 18 days, as the Ravens have, could catch up with a team.
If Gene Steratore’s crew makes a tough but correct call, will the Baltimore crowd respond with “GOOD-CALL! GOOD-CALL! GOOD-CALL!” chants? Somehow I doubt it.