It is the game everyone has been talking about. The playoff rematch of one of the most exciting games in recent NFL history. Tonight is the NFL Kickoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos. The Ravens are defending their Super Bowl championship, and the Broncos are looking for revenge for their heartbreaking, season-ending loss.
Besides being a much anticipated game, this Ravens-Broncos rematch has also brought much controversy. Historically the Super Bowl Champions open the season at home, but the Ravens will be playing the Broncos in Denver because the Orioles have a game in Baltimore. There was a suggestion of changing it to a day game, but both the Orioles and their opponent the Chicago White Sox had night games on the road last night, which would have made a day game today extremely difficult. Baltimore Ravens fans are not happy. The NFL has tried to appease Ravens fans by having the Kickoff Celebration in Baltimore rather than in Denver, the actual host city of the game. This includes a full day of events culminating with fireworks, a water light show, and a free concert by Keith Urban. Meanwhile in Denver, Broncos fans have been annoyed that their stadium is adorned with a picture of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. This is the same quarterback who squashed the Broncos Super Bowl hopes in January with a last second, game-winning, hail mary pass in double overtime. The NFL mandated pictures of both quarterbacks, Manning and Flacco, are also lining the streets of downtown Denver. NFL vice president of corporate communications, Brian McCarthy, defends the banners saying, “think of this game as more of an opening ceremony, a celebration of the new season for the entire league.” But to Denver Broncos fans, this is a home game.
Where do you stand on the controversy? Ravens fans, how upset are you that your Super Bowl Champions open up their season on the road? And does having the NFL Kickoff celebration make up for it? Broncos fans, how annoyed are you that this celebration is taking place in Baltimore and not in Denver? And how upset are you that there is a huge picture on your stadium of the guy who ended your season last year? Orioles fans, how annoyed are you that this NFL kickoff celebration with fireworks and a concert will be taking place just a few blocks away during the game? However you feel about it, all this controversy has already made this Ravens – Broncos rematch one of the most talked about games and kickoff is still hours away. May the best team win!