Was Bitterness Cause Of Ravens Officials' No-Show At Orioles' Super Bowl Tribute?
The Orioles on Friday saluted the Ravens' Super Bowl victory with a tribute prior to their home opener, but the "friendly public moment belied a bit of unseen intrigue as several members of the Ravens organization, citing scheduling conflicts, declined to be on hand for the pregame ceremonies," according to Childs Walker of the Baltimore SUN. The absence of a Ravens rep "followed a recent standoff" between NFL and MLB officials over "scheduling of the Ravens' opener, which became a road game because of conflicts with an Orioles home date." Ravens PR Manager Patrick Gleason confirmed that the Orioles "invited several people in the Ravens organization to participate in Opening Day ceremonies." Gleason in an e-mail added, "However, due to conflicts of schedule and prior commitments for each person, unfortunately, today didn't work out." Though both sides "downplayed the issue," the absence is "sure to fuel speculation of lingering bitterness between the organizations." The Ravens did "send footage so the Orioles could compose a video tribute to the Super Bowl champions, which played before team introductions Friday along with highlights from Michael Phelps' performance at last summer's Olympics." Gleason also noted that "numerous Ravens employees planned to attend Opening Day with family members and friends" (Baltimore SUN, 4/6).
CHILL IN THE AIR: ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley wrote of the no-shows, "Maybe I'm reading too much into this, and perhaps it's a coincidence that every single one of the invited Ravens had scheduling conflicts." But it seems "strange that not one member of the Raven organization could have been present when the Orioles recognized their championship season." This "isn't the first time that there have been questions about the relationship between Baltimore's football and baseball teams" (ESPN.com, 4/6).