SBD/March 25, 2013/Franchises

No Compromise: Ravens To Open Season On The Road After Orioles Scheduling Conflict

No Super Bowl champion has opened on the road since '03
The Ravens will open up their '13 regular season on the road after "failing to find compromise in a scheduling conflict with the Orioles" and MLB, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore SUN. After several days of "talks and the Orioles' willingness to move their game" from 7:05pm ET to 4:05pm, both sides "decided there was too much to work through to pull off a doubleheader." As a result, the Ravens will become the "first reigning Super Bowl champions to open on the road" since '03. The news garnered "mixed reactions from the city's sports fans." Both the Ravens and Orioles "maintained Friday that the situation spurred no hard feeling between the two." Ravens Senior VP/Public & Community Relations Kevin Byrne said, "The Orioles did make an effort. They were willing to adjust their time. They went above and beyond. We appreciate that" (Baltimore SUN, 3/23). SI.com's Peter King writes, "Don't blame the Orioles." The NFL would have been "amenable to the Ravens opening Sunday night or Monday night at home, but many of the same problems would have existed," as the Orioles "are home Sunday afternoon." The Ravens are "upset, to put it mildly, about losing the chance to open on that Thursday at home." But it was "apparent in reading the statements of both the Orioles and Ravens Friday that neither side wanted to start a firefight with the other" (SI.com, 3/25).

MLB STANDS ITS GROUND: ESPN’s John Saunders said of the Ravens opening on the road, "The National Football League is the most powerful sports organization in the world, but it can’t mess with a pitching rotation. Commissioners Roger Goodell and Bud Selig went head-to-head on this one, but football struck out this time” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 3/24). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Darin Gantt wrote MLB "didn't blink" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 3/22). The N.Y. Times' Judy Battista wrote on her Twitter feed, "Ravens opening on the road is the rare case of the NFL not getting what it wants. This should be interesting."
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