When I was a little boy, my dad used to take me to the Colts' games at Memorial Stadium. We'd get there about 90 minutes early because, well, that's what a lot of people did back then. But my dad used to love to watch the team's band come on to the field and play the fight song.
What a lot of younger folks who didn't see the Colts when they ruled Baltimore don't understand is the popularity of that song. I loved it. I could still sing it -- but you would not want to hear me try. I always felt it was a real part of this city.
And it was just one more thing that was gone when Bob Irsay snuck out with the team in the middle of the night 28 years ago.
But it's been interesting to hear the Ravens start to play that great song again.
Yes, it's just a small thing. Still, I've noticed the crowd really pay attention when the song comes on. There's only a portion of the crowd that's going to know and understand and appreciate the meaning of it. But it's part of this city's football and sports history.
So much of what's involved with sports nowadays has to do with marketing, and ok, this is probably a move in that field. But it's also a nod to what we once had in this town.
People forgot about the history of the Baltimore Colts in some ways when they left town. Still, the Ravens have done a very good job of trying to remind people of it. They've brought former Colt stars out and shown them to the town again. The Baltimore Colts were an integral part of this town when here. They weren't just a team. They were more.
Now, that's what the Ravens have become. And playing that fight song is just another smart move they've made.
Football is back in session for the Ravens.
Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.
The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.
This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief.
Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011.
Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason.
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There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.
OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.
The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.
The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively.
During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.
Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.
They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.
Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.
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