Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sign of the times

By Mike Batista

Baltimore and Pittsburgh were nice little sports rivals in the 1970s. They met in the World Series in 1971 and 1979, with the Pirates winning both times, I might add.

Friendly mascots ran around and umpires wore burgundy blazers. The Orioles sported their flaming orange shirts with the cartoonish Oriole logo on their caps, while the Pirates donned their bright yellow jerseys.

Such was life in the flamboyant 70s.

This is a little different.

The Steelers and Ravens wear the foreboding colors of black and purple, which will form a nice ensemble with the black and blue that is sure to develop.

Bad things happen when the Steelers and Ravens play. Ray Lewis broke Rashard Mendenhall's shoulder in 2008, costing him his rookie season. In the AFC championship game that year, Willis McGahee was carried off on a stretcher. Last month, Ben Roethlisberger's nose was mashed up and Heath Miller got a concussion.

For all the talk about Roethlisberger's escapades last March in Milledgeville, let's not forget Ray Lewis' exploits 11 years ago in Atlanta. There are going to be some bad boys battling on that field today.

It will be cold and there will be snow. Or maybe those flakes will be nuclear fallout.

This ain't "We Are Family." This is Armageddon.

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