The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens are both 8-3 going into this Sunday’s highly anticipated game. The winner will rise out of the dust as the AFC North Division leader with a full view and an almost clear path to the Super Bowl.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Hines Ward has made remarks that he does not have a relationship with Ed Reed and a lot of the other Ravens players, but he and Ray Lewis are okay as they have the same agent. He stated, “Ed (Reed) and I have seen each other at the Pro Bowl and we didn’t even speak.”
Ravens Linebacker Terrell Suggs once wore a t-shirt to training camp that made his feelings about the Pittsburgh team plain and clear. It read “You Bet Your Sweet A– I Hate The Steelers.” He also said in 2008 that there was a “bounty” for a knock out on Ward.
The rivalry between these two teams is one of the best in the National Football League. There is an intense physical element that the Ravens bring to every game. They’re sometimes known for dirty tricks and rough, hard-hitting moves, while the Steelers are known for last-minute hustles, controversial but perfect play execution, and are sometimes labeled cheaters.
The rivalry is as intense with the fans as it is with the players. Baltimore, also known as Ravens town, is full of die hard, passionate fans. Steelers fans are more stealthy and laid back as they have a better record, including six Super Bowl rings to stand on. The fans in Baltimore have been abuzz this whole week, and Baltimore has even come up with their own version of the “terrible towel.” They have created the :”purple towel” to dilute any waving terrible towels that may sneak into M&T Bank Stadium, and will attempt to black out the Steelers on Sunday.
Ben Roethlisberger has dedicated himself to playing in this week’s game, even though he injured his right ankle during overtime in last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills. Roethlisberger has been doing an almost full practice with the team. He seems to be determined to make it on the field one way or the other regardless of any injury; at this point, the quarterback would probably play with an amputated leg. He is fired up and ready to play.
Roethlisberger missed the first game against the Ravens in week 4 due to a suspension for violating the NFL’s Conduct Policy. The Ravens beat the Steelers 17-14. So it’s a given that Roeth will be hitting the field with a score to settle and ready to give a war cry against the Ravens. A win against the Ravens will be a retaliatory victory and an avenging answer to the loss in week 4. Both teams play with a “winner takes all” attitude. This is one battle that promises to be a nasty win for whoever comes out on top.
It’s safe to say that one of these teams will make it to the Super Bowl. The only question remaining is will the way to the Super Bowl be down the yellow brick road or in purple rain? Fans are positioned and suspended in time as they wait for one of the most fierce match-ups of the season to take place Sunday when the Ravens and Steelers meet once again on the gridiron. The losing team will most likely head to San Diego to play as a wild card team. The showdown takes place at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
JJ Cooper, “Ravens Have a Bounty on Hines Ward?” nfl.fanhouse.com
Ed Bouchette, “On the Steelers: Ravens’ Suggs Supports Harrison” post-gazette.com
ett Huston, “Steelers-Ravens Preview” nfl.fanhouse.com
Matt Loede, “Hines Ward and John Harbaugh – the Steelers-Ravens Drama Continues” nflgridirongab.com