SBD/April 19, 2013/Franchises

Jets' Rex Ryan Not Happy With Resolution Of Ravens-Orioles Scheduling Conflict

Ryan thinks the Orioles should have been willing to play an extra road game
Jets coach Rex Ryan on Thursday "torched" MLB and the Orioles for "not stepping aside" during a scheduling conflict with the Ravens that resulted in the team losing its ability to host its season opener, according to Mike Garafolo of USA TODAY. Every Super Bowl champion has hosted the first game of the subsequent season since '04, and Ryan said, "I understand the Orioles are playing a game at home. Well, who really cares? You've got 81 of them things at home and maybe you could've done the right thing and given one up and played 82 on the road and 80 at home. I really don't think people are going to care about that game." Ryan, who was a member of the Ravens' coaching staff from '99-'08, added, "The defending champion, in my opinion, should always open at home. They've earned that right. To think that something couldn't have been worked out, that's disappointing. ... If baseball had a 16-game schedule, you might understand it. But when they have 162 games, I think you might just, out of common courtesy, say, 'You know what, maybe I'll play this one on the road or whatever'" (USATODAY.com, 4/18). The Ravens will now open the season on the road against the Broncos, and former NBC Sports Group Chair Dick Ebersol said, "It's a heck of a recovery by the NFL, who I think had to have been really shocked at the sort of weak local performance by the Baltimore Orioles in not realizing the once-in-a-generation success that their friends across the street, the Ravens, had. And they refused to move their baseball game to a daytime game on that first Thursday night of the football season. I think the league's done a great recovery" ("Schedule Release '13," NFL Network, 4/18).

NOT AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD: SI’s Peter King said he spoke with ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian about the situation, and Kurkjian told him that if Orioles manager Buck Showalter “was ever even asked by anybody in the organization about this, as much as he loves the Ravens, which he does, he would have viewed this as a way of putting the Orioles at a competitive disadvantage." Under that set-up, Showalter "never would have agreed to it” ("The Dan Patrick Show," 4/19). 

LOOKING TOWARD THE FALL: In Baltimore, Jeff Zrebiec notes the Ravens "won’t get their season-opening home game," but they "will play four prime-time games, including a Thanksgiving night showdown at home" against the Steelers. Their schedule is "highlighted" by the matchup versus the Broncos. The team's two primetime road games will "be an opener in Denver and a matchup with the Detroit Lions before a Monday Night Football audience on Dec. 16 at Ford Field" (Baltimore SUN, 4/19).
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