Wednesday, September 26, 2012



Troy: "Mr. Lewis, I'm worried about you and the Ravens. You had a very stressful game Sunday night against the Patriots. You play again this Thursday, and don't have a bye til week 8. How will you stay energized? When will you rest?"


Troy: "I'm sorry to be offended, Mr. Lewis, but what are you insinuating?"


Troy: "We'll have to agree to disagree."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday Night Football

As anyone who watched the entire Ravens vs. Patriots game knows, the ending was a nail-biter, made even more frustrating by stupid penalties, fake penalties, and an excellent icing-the-kicker call by Bill Bellicheck. The fans at my local bar were on the edges of their seats; some because of anxiety, and several because of complete drunkenness. (I was in both categories.)

As the minutes ticked by, and Joe Flacco and his offensive teammates stormed down the field towards the end zone, I couldn't contain my nervousness! Instead of biting my nails or drinking more (my usual reactions to anxiety), I did this:

That, friends, is your common drink stirrer, chewed to bits by my $10,000 teeth. (9 years of orthodontics.)

When JTuck (as I'm now referring to Justin Tucker, the Ravens' rookie kicker) kicked his second field goal attempt, half of the bar (myself included) screamed, "NOOOOO!!!" thinking he had missed it. The other half screamed, "YESSSSS!!!!" seeing the refs call it fair. I watched the replay several times, and I still don't think it went through, but then again, I'm not really qualified to make that decision. (Neither are the replacement refs! BOOM!) A win is a win, though, and I'm glad that the Ravens were able to squeak out a W for their teammate Torrey Smith, who lost his little brother early Sunday morning in a motorcycle accident. If you want a good cry, go to the Ravens website and watch the video of his "speech" to the team.

Hopefully, despite the awful officiating we saw on Monday Night Football, the Ravens - Browns game won't be as nail-bitingly close. I don't know that my poor heart can take it!

Grocery Shopping

Wow. Just noticed the egregious grammatical error Ray said. My most sincere apologies. At the time, I was VERY concerned about cookies. After Shawn saw the post, I told him that HE should consider buying me a cookie.

"If I do that," he replied. "I'd have to buy myself a cookie. Then I'd have to tell my wife I had a cookie, and she'd be mad."

"You don't have to tell your wife everything," I pointed out.

"We don't keep secrets from each other. If she asks, I'd tell her."

"What's the likelihood that your wife would ask if you had a cookie today?!"

"You never know with her..."

In the end, Shawn not only bought me one cookie, he bought me TWO cookies, AND he bought cookies for everyone in the dean's office who wanted one. One of our associate deans brought in cookies too, so I was pretty much in cookie-coma heaven for the rest of the afternoon.

PS for non-Marylanders: "Superfresh" is, as you can probably tell, a grocery store. Many of them were going out of business when I left Maryland last year, however, so I don't know if they still exist.

My Email to Roger Goodell

Dear Commissioner Goodell,

I know that you (and your administrative assistant, bless her/his soul) have been inundated with phone calls and emails today not just in reference to last night's Packers/Seahawks game, but also in regards to the replacement referee "scandal" in general. As countless others have told you, your greed and inability to reach a satisfactory conclusion with the referees' union has made you the most hated man in the NFL.

Fans are calling for your resignation, and players are taking to social media to risk their paychecks and their careers to call you out. There are talks of walk-outs on national television, more chants like Ravens fans did on Sunday night, and a boycott of purchasing concessions and NFL merchandise until the lock-out is resolved. From a business standpoint, you have shot yourself in the foot. The union now has the upper hand in negotiations. The professional referees know that you are in a serious bind; they have the leverage to demand perhaps even more than what they had originally asked.

I am not a businesswoman. I am not qualified in the slightest to tell you how to do your job. What I am, however, is a die-hard fan of the Baltimore Ravens specifically and of the NFL in general. I follow multiple players on Twitter and Facebook. I own two jerseys and countless tee-shirts, bobble-heads, and Ravens paraphernalia. I belong to a group of other die-hard Ravens fans who gather every week in our favorite bar in Denver to watch the game. Every single one of us shows up in jerseys, and every single one of us also owns a wealth of Ravens gear. Despite this great love, I am actually considering boycotting the game this Thursday. For anyone who knows me, this is inconceivable. I have planned my wedding around the Ravens' schedule. I have planned theatre rehearsals and work times around my team's schedule. While you may think that one person skipping a game won't change anything, I hope you know that I am not alone. There are hundreds, thousands more like me who are going to stop tuning into games, who are going to walk-out on national television, who will make their voices heard until you step up and act like the responsible businessman you claim to be.

You have angered one of the most loyal and vocal fan bases in professional sports. I hope you finally recognize this fact, end the lock-out, and return integrity to the National Football League.


Nikki C.
Baltimore Ravens fan

Thursday, September 20, 2012

No Harm Shall Come to Tom Brady


Troy: "Mr. Lewis, Tom Brady and the Patriots are in town for you on Sunday night. I bet they are upset over their loss last week, and they don't lose back to back games. Any plans to change that?"


Troy: "Why not just kidnap Tom Brady?"


*Shawn wanted me to add a note stating that he doesn't think that Troy would suggest that Ray kidnap anyone, particularly a fellow football player. However, I was running out of room and needed Troy to bring up Brady so I could give Ray's punchline.

For those who may not know much about football, Tom Brady is regarded as something of a god in the NFL. He has his own rule to make sure he doesn't get hurt. (I don't know how often it gets called for other quarterbacks, however.) Of course, to fans, he's considered a pansy. I mean, the man MODELS UGGS, people. Seriously. (Warning: the pansy link takes you to a hilarious Yahoo! answers page. Naughty language and a complete slaughtering of the English language are present.)

This will be a great revenge match for the Ravens, as the Patriots were the reason we didn't get to go to the Super Bowl last year. Between Lee Evans's dropped pass and Billy Cundiff's missed field goal (I'm honestly surprised that he didn't receive death threats), the game was an absolute heart-breaker. The Ravens will also be "upset," as Troy so mildly put it.

Also!! My mom's going to be in town for the game! I'll probably post a picture of us in our "uniforms" on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Black Sheep of the AFC North


Troy: "Tough game yesterday [Sunday, September 16] Mr. Lewis. The division is at 1-1 except for the Browns. Think it's going to be a close season?"


Poor Cleveland Browns. They just haven't been the same since Art Modell (R.I.P.) moved them from Ohio to Baltimore, thus creating one of the greatest (arguably) football teams ever.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Broncos Fans Celebrate Shawn's Misery

The day after the Steelers lost to the Broncos in prime time to a national office, my boss Lyndsey, who has season tickets to the Broncos games, donated this "terrible towel" to Shawn, presumably to wipe his tears away, although she donated it without comment.

Shawn was mysteriously absent from work on Monday, claiming later that he had a "doctor's appointment" that day. Instead of going the usual Steelers fan route and making excuses for why his team lost - suggested excuses were the absence of James Harrison and Ryan Clark, and "Mike Wallace is a punk" - Shawn admitted that the Broncos' defense had out-played the Steelers' offense. After some ribbing for his "reasonableness," however, Shawn pointed out that "it's easy to be reasonable when we had 7 starters out with injuries and still pushed the game to the end."

Also, just a note to make Shawn publicly accountable for holding up his end of the bet, he owes Marshall $5.

Troy Respects Women

I think this is the angriest we've ever seen Troy. It's nice that he believes in respecting women (they ARE our mothers, daughters, lovers, and bearers of our children, after all), but I have to agree with Ray-Ray on this one. Faith Hill in her little black dress looked VERY good on Sunday night.

However, I AM frustrated by all of the crass product placement of Verizon Wireless and its NFL Mobile app in the ad, as well as having the "hosts" (?) of NBC's program The Voice making a cameo. But, as they say, that's show business.

A Proper Update

So obviously I waited a little too close to game time to update the blog properly with the usual ...impartiality that I try to have on here. I'm going to leave the original post as-is since the Ravens really did dominate the Bengals on Monday Night Football like they were playing a pee-wee football league, but here's how the update SHOULD have gone:

Me: "What the hell, Shawn?"
Shawn: "I was on my way into work, and I really had to pee, and I thought about what would happen if Ray had to pee before a game, but he was all suited up already."
Me: "..."
Shawn: "I'm not awake yet. Leave me alone."

My fiancee Steve, later that day: "Looks like Ray has a case of stage fright."

Monday, September 10, 2012


Ok, so I'm a little late with this update, what with my team DOMINATING in the first quarter (that first Joe Flacco ROCKET to Torrey Smith? A thing of beauty...BEAUTY)


*cough* Anyway, this is how Shawn sees Ray preparing for a game. This pic was taken on Friday morning, and I wanted to save it for right before game time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Keepin' It Classy

A while ago, my mom bought me three colors of nail polish: purple, gold, and a black polish that splits into a chipped-looking design. In honor of the opening of football season, I painted my nails with these colors. Always classy, I've painted my middle fingers with the Steelers colors. ;)

Troy introduced himself on Sunday Night Football just now. It always cracks me up how high-pitched and soft his voice is. Hence why he always speaks in small letters on the white board.


It's tough being a non-Broncos fan in Broncos Country (a.k.a. my work). My boss is a hard-core Broncos fan, and there are other delusional horse-loving dreams scattered through the school.

On Friday, Shawn wore his Steelers jersey (Woodley), because "my boss is cool and doesn't care." (Note: his boss Bob is a Bears fan, hailing from Chicago years ago, but he's been trying to raise his sons, who were born in Denver, to be Broncos fans. It's...been emotionally difficult for him.) One of the Admissions/Academics assistants, Stephanie, wore a long-sleeve Broncos tee shirt on Friday. The seeds of a rivalry had been planted.

When I went to take a picture of the latest Ray & Troy conversation, I noticed this delightfully awesome pic of Peyton Manning riding Demon Horse, presumably to victory. Stephanie told me that she plans on adding more and more Manning stuff on Shawn's door (sparing the white board, of course), until "we take this thing 3D," as she said. I look forward to seeing how ridiculous this gets.

The Broncos are playing the Steelers tonight on Sunday Night Football. As Shawn's potential embarrassment & heartbreak is relevant to my interest, I shall be watching.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Purple Fridays & Steelers Nation

Today is the first official Purple Friday of the year. For those who don't know, Purple Friday is when all Ravens fans dress in work-appropriate purple or in their Ravens jerseys/gear to get pumped up for Sunday's (or in this case, Monday's) game. Victories over the weekend usually result in a "Purple Monday" as well.

I was genuinely curious as to whether or not Steelers fans had a similar tradition. (Do any other NFL team's fans do similar things?) Ray got to ask Troy the question before I did. Troy's response was diplomatic yet honest, I think.

Our reactions to Ray's revelation at the end:

Shawn: "I don't think Ray Lewis should be trying to turn people purple!"
Me: "Ray is trying to eradicate racism, Shawn!"
Shawn: *skeptical look*
Me: "If everyone is PURPLE, Shawn, then everyone's the same color, which means no one can discriminate against someone for their skin color...ok, this is just silly."


*sent to me by my friend Kelsey, which she found on the Ravens sub-Reddit

I don’t think anyone outside of Baltimore can fully appreciate how JACKED UP O’s fans in Baltimore are that our team is FINALLY relevant! (Not even Red Sox fans.) They unveiled a Cal Ripken statue at the Park last night, and the crowd was SOLD OUT for the first time in years. Several of my friends and my mom were at/watching that game, and they all agreed that it was a magical moment coming from behind to whoop the Yankees 10-6.

I’m not going to pretend I’m an O’s fan. My family were all big fans, but I’ve never really been into baseball. I like going to games to yell and have a good time and appreciate the atmosphere of a city coming together to watch a team everyone seems to like by default. (It's like Catholicism in that way (no offense meant, honestly), in that they get you when you're a baby, and you grow up knowing only that way of life.) However, I'm VERY excited lately for the fans (especially my fiancee Steve) who are getting the chance to be justified in their love of the O's. For some, this is the first time in their lives that the Orioles are a winning team. For many, this has been a wait a long time coming.

And the players themselves! It's endearingly adorable how excited they are after every win. High fives and cheers...practical jokes...bro hugs in the locker room...the Orioles players are like Little Leaguers who won the championship. For me, that's the best part in all of this - that after so many discouraging seasons, our players who've given their all finally have a chance to feel good about themselves and be seen as heroes in town. Who knows? Maybe ESPN will take a break from reporting every little thing Tim Tebow does and actually show more than a minute of highlights about our games?! ;)

I don't know if the O's will go to the play-offs. I don't know if they'll win, should they get that opportunity. But for the first time in almost 20 years, there will be more than one sport that Baltimore Orioles fans will be paying attention to in September.


My friend Audra, who is regrettably a Yankees AND a Steelers fan (and yet we love each other; go figure), had this conversation with me over Gchat about the actual scores of last night's game, as I was too busy watching The Soup and then President Obama's speech to watch the game. [Edited only for grammar.]

Audra:  Just fyi, the Orioles didn't come from behind to win last night, and your blog post is very well written - even if it is from a Baltimore fan's perspective ;)

Nikki:  ;) From what I was told, we were up 6-0 or something, then tied at 6-6, then came back to win 10-6. Then again, my info is from Steve, so :P

Audra:  that's not coming from behind

Nikki:  hahaha I think it is. Semantics

Audra:  They were ahead 4-0, then it was 4-1, then it was 6-1, then we tied in top of the 8th 6-6. Then you made it 10-6 in the bottom of the 8th, and we couldn't do anything in the 9th. You just won. :P

Nikki:  Well, let's face it, last year's O's would've blown the lead and never come back.

Audra:  I had to restrain myself from throwing the remote through the tv, or my laptop across the room.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ray's Fantasy

Everyone I know, it seems, is involved in some kind of fantasy football league. Friends on Twitter, friends on Facebook, and even people at work. I, however, am disinterested in fantasy football. Takes too much effort. I'd much rather just throw in some money and bet on the play-off games like I did last year at work.

Here's an email exchange that all the participants of said play-off pool got to read as the stakes rose higher and higher. [SPOILER ALERT: Neither Shawn nor I won, although I got waaaaay more points than he did. (He only got 8/40 points.)]

Shawn: [administrator of the pool] "Hello everyone! Just a reminder to send me your picks today before you miss out and wind up tied with me like Tim. I know that since the Broncos have shown their true color it’s probably a little less interesting but we can all root against the Ravens can’t we? Good luck

Me: "Speaking of rooting against the Ravens, Shawn, some miscreant defaced your white board again. A handwriting analysis will clear my good name, but I think it’s just *shameful* that someone would take advantage of the fact that you’re out all day to rub in your face that your team is sitting at home during this exciting play-offs time. Happy Purple Friday everyone! :D"

"Hmmm. Suspicious"

Shawn: "One would think that here at the Colorado School of [redacted] we would be better at recognizing mental disorders. Especially such obvious ones as those that start with being a Ravens fan."

Rob: [participant in the play-off pool] "They have discovered a new disorder here in Psychiatry just this week called 8outof40pointsitis.  Caused by over confidence and delusion."
Later, after a crushing Ravens loss....

"That damn vandal is back and causing trouble..."

Madden Mania

Poor Troy. All he wanted to do was play a friendly game of Madden against Ray Lewis and his boys. After all, if Ray can play against movie star heart throb Paul Rudd, then surely he'd play with his good buddy Troy! Unfortunately, Ray is too into himself and his "starring" role in the game to have time to actually PLAY it with anyone other than a paid celebrity. Pity. I bet the Lewises and the Palomalus would have a great time.