Super Bowl week is finally upon us. Every year, we get random gems in the form out-of-context interviews (or non-interviews) and plenty of hot takes ahead of the big game. From the Baltimore perspective, there aren’t many ways to look at an outcome of the game as a pleasing one.
For the entirety of both men’s careers, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan have been compared against each other. The only two quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2008 draft, both entered the league under the dubious circumstances of franchises in free-fall and recently-appointed rookie head coaches.
Thankfully for Ravens fans, Flacco’s birds had instant playoff success. As fans are well aware, Flacco won at least one playoff game in each of his first five seasons in the league — including a trip to the AFC title game in his first season and a legendary Super Bowl run in year five.
Matt Ryan, on the other hand, didn’t build off of modest regular season success in the same way. The Boston College alum didn’t get his first playoff win until his fourth try, sporting a 1-4 record in the postseason in his first five seasons — and failing to make the playoffs at all since the 2012-13 season.
However in the last year, the narratives of the two quarterbacks have flipped. The Falcons brought in a new head coach, and Matt Ryan shut up just about all of his critics in 2016 with the top-rated QB performance of the season.
If Ryan goes on to win the NFL regular season MVP, and leads his team to a Super Bowl Victory, any lingering doubts over whether Joe Flacco has been overtaken as the top quarterback from the 2008 draft go out the window.
On the other side of the matchup, things don’t get any easier as a Ravens fan. As must be the case with most fans of AFC franchises, I can say with relative confidence that no one outside of “Pats Nation” likes Tom Brady or Bill Belichick. I feel like that’s a given.
I may be committing a cardinal sin according to fellow embattled Ravens fans, but I believe the best story is Tom Brady and the Patriots winning it all. For all the perfectly good reasons to hate Tom Brady as the “Golden Boy” of the National Football League, there should be the same reasons for Roger Goodell and the league office to love the man.
For some reason, though, those looking to “protect the shield” have gone on what has amounted to a full-out conspiracy with the aim of smearing Tom Brady and the Patriots organization. I’ll be the first to hate on the Pats organization for being shady. But beyond being a crybaby on the field when it comes to officiating, Tom Brady has done nothing but be a shining example of everything you’d want out of a starting quarterback.
With that in mind, I am rooting for one outcome and one outcome only: a situation where Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft are on the same stage as Roger Goodell. Unfortunately, the only way this happens is a Patriots victory. As a Ravens fan, I cannot bring myself to go as far to say that I’m rooting for the New England Patriots. However, as a professional wrestling fan, I’m always rooting for the most petty drama.
According to some touts, Tom Brady is currently slated as even money favorite to win the Super Bowl MVP. If that’s the case, we’re going to get the most compelling trophy ceremony in the history of sports. And what’s to hate about that?