Baltimore Orioles: Musings on a Super Sunday

Courtesy of Garrett Reid-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Garrett Reid-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Orioles are a week-and-a-half away from reporting as it stands now on Super Sunday.

Today being Super Bowl Sunday means that we’re roughly a week-and-a-half away from the Baltimore Orioles’ pitchers and catchers reporting. For seam heads such as myself, that’s welcome news! Soon the crack of the bat and the smell of hot dogs will be resonating from Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, as the Birds head south.

However before we get to that, it is still Super Sunday. This evening the Broncos and the Panthers will battle it out to win the NFL’s most coveted prize, and the world championship of football. The city of Baltimore obviously has a somewhat storied part in Super Bowl history, both good and bad.

Courtesy of Garrett Reid-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Garrett Reid-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Colts represented the NFC in Super Bowl III down in Miami. Their opponent? The NY Jets, led by “Broadway Joe” Namath, who had the audacity to guarantee victory during Super Bowl week. Unfortunately, he was right – the Jets beat the Colts in one of the biggest upsets in sports history. As the son of a die hard Colts fan, I would point out that Johnny Unitas only played in the second half of that game, as he was hurt coming in.

Incidentally, that was also the year (1969) when the NY “miracle” Mets defeated the O’s in the World Series – another one of the biggest upsets in sports. Not a good year for sports at Memorial Stadium, but a decent one for Shea! However two years later the city of Baltimore got it’s Super Bowl victory. The Colts, by then in the AFC, defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl. While Super Bowl V was statistically one of the worst games ever, the Colts won as time expired on a field goal by Jim O’Brien.

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  • Baltimore didn’t return to the Super Bowl again until 2000-2001, when the Ravens defeated the New York football Giants. And of course in 2012, those same Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, giving the city of Baltimore it’s third Super Bowl victory. However prior to any of this, the great Johnny Unitas led the Colts to the NFL title in 1958, defeating the Giants at Yankee Stadium – in what I still believe to be the greatest football game ever played.

    In between the Colts and Ravens however, Baltimore did see another football title. The CFL’s Baltimore Stallions won the 1995 Grey Cup before moving to Montreal. This leaves Baltimore as the only city in the world that’s won an NFL Championship Game, a Super Bowl, and a Grey Cup. Throw in World Series’ in baseball, and you can see that the city has had it’s share of sports success.

    Joe Namath defeating the Baltimore Colts is what put “Broadway Joe” on the map. However here’s a little known fact about him; as we all know, Namath is a notorious and proud Alabama graduate. However anyone know which school heavily recruited him and was his #2 choice? That would be the University of Maryland!

    Next: Baltimore Orioles trade for Odrisamer Despaigne

    So as we wait for baseball to start up, we’ll watch the Super Bowl tonight. So that said, who wins? Everyone’s on Carolina’s bandwagon, and with good reason. Cam Newton isn’t my favorite player in the world, but he’s a great quarterback and will be a force in the NFL for years to come. But as the likes of Sam Huff, Dick Butkis, or Baltimore’s Mike Curtis (“Mad Dog”) will tell you, defense wins championships. Denver has a great defense, so I’ll take the Broncos and give three. In a tie game, Peyton Manning will get the ball back at the end and lead his team into field goal range to win the game. Does that put Manning’s name next to that of the great Johnny Unitas? Maybe, but tough to argue that!