Monday, December 1, 2008

Higher Expectations Lower Spirits

Yesterday the Ravens destroyed the Bengals 34-3. And honestly, the score probably could have been a lot worse for the Bungles. The Ravens now have an 8-4 record. They can't have a losing season. And somehow, they are still in the playoff race and could still win the division. Yet watching them demolish the Bengals was not that exciting. It was merely expected, the Bengals are so bad, it almost takes the sport out of the game. As I watched the game, I realized there was nothing the Ravens could do that would surprise me. Mark Clayton throws a touchdown, Clayton's one handed TD grab, Flacco throwing for 280 yards, none of it was that surprising, though that one handed grab was pretty sweet. But if it was going to happen, it would happen against the Bengals, they really are just that bad.

I just can't get that worked up about this win. The Ravens should beat the Bengals. If you had told me at the beginning of the season the Ravens would be 8-4, with a rookie coach, quarterback, running back, and no real bye week I would have been ecstatic. But now my expectations have been raised. I know they will win games against the bad teams, it's just a matter of by how much.

I like watching Flacco progress, I like seeing my team do well. But it's hard for me to get excited about a win like this. Next week, we'll play the Redskins, then the Steelers, then the Cowboys and the Jaguars. All of those teams are legitimate competitive teams. It's possible the Ravens could lose the last four games. I doubt this will happen, but I could believe it. And yet, I can't enjoy that win yesterday. I now expect the Ravens to compete on a high level and watching them play the Bengals was like watching them play my high school team. If the Ravens didn't win, something would be seriously wrong.

This was a rebuilding year, and while I'm glad the rebuilding is going faster than expected, I don't know why I'm not more excited. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, it's almost exam time and my stress level is pretty high, but I wasn't really wowed by this last game. I don't think I'll have to worry about this anymore, since the rest of the season should be good games or at least competitive ones. As a fan, I like to see a little competition. Is that too much to ask?