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November 15, 2011

Ravens: Calling Dr. Freud

If anyone can figure out why the Ravens haven't showed up for three very winnable games that could have helped them put a stranglehold on home-field advantage for the playoffs, please write. John Harbaugh has tried to chalk it up to bad execution (which is certainly part of it), but we've reached the point where it's fair to connect the dots and wonder why his team seems to let down whenever there's an opportunity to put some frosting on the cake.

I'll be back in town today after a fairly lengthy trip west, which included a visit to the West Wing, the Ravens hangout in Hollywood that we featured on a WBAL program last season. The gang was all there, including several people I recognized from home and several people who recognized me.

Former guy Mike Duffy was in the house. He's working in the music business now. Also spent some time watching the game with Connor Byrne, the son of Ravens vice president Kevin Byrne. Except for the outcome, Mrs. Lincoln, it was a great experience and I'm looking forward to going back the next time I'm on the West Coast on an NFL Sunday. Here's a photo of the group taken before the stark realization that the Ravens were about to make another bad team look good.


Posted by Peter Schmuck at 3:22 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Just football


At least the Ravens have the second best head coach in the NFL named Harbaugh!

They need to check with a solid curseologist on the letdown game jinx.
They also need to step on the gas and figure out how to get the ball into the end zone quickly with power plays, no need to rule out handing the ball off to Suggs with Leach blocking from five yards out or less. Or Ngata.
The end around running plays were working in that game, so what happened?

Thanks for joining us West Wing-ers on Sunday! Look forward to seeing you again the next time you're in LA.

If there are any other Balto sports fans looking for a place to watch games, come join us at The Parlor on Sundays.

Every Win was against a 3-4 defense, every loss against a 4-3.....that cant just be a coincidence.

Pete bad execution is the standard excuse that harbaugh has come up with. Pete you alluded without saying it that you may feel a fair amount of the blame falls on harbaughs shoulders. What it all boils down to is a coach that has a very uneven personality that is abrupt and very abrasive to the media in this town. After he beat the steelers he was jumping in ozzie's arms and quoting teddy roosevelt. after sunday's unexpected loss he was once again ill tempered and abrupt. This is a trait that can rub off on a football team. Pete i truly believe coach harbaugh is in over his head being a head coach despite what the record say's. I hope the owner of this team wakes up sooner then later.

Maybe there is a sense of "here we go again." It starts with one mistake and the tension ratchets up, then everything is under the microscope and nobody can do anything right. All of us who have played sports surely have been involved in games like this.

They just need to relax. But not too much. Maybe they should try breathing through their eyelids like Nuke LaLoosh.

Hey Peter! Great to have you join us at the game on Sunday. Wish we could have showed you how it is when we win. On that note, The West Wing has purchased official West Wing shirts for every Ravens player/coach who is making the trip out to the San Diego game in December. I will personally be delivering them to the Castle next week. ps. How bout dem new O's hats?!?

Harbaugh's "lack of execution" is a symptom, not a cause. That nearly the entire team is not executing says something is going on behind the scenes that we can't see.
I've suspected for some time that when a professional team doesn't play up to its ability against a lesser opponent, there are three possibilities:
1) Players are minimizing the need for motivation, and are out partying the night before. This would usually be limited to a few individuals, and not the whole team.
2) The team is not being properly prepared for the inspired motivation, strategy, and effort an underdog team will bring to the contest. Accordingly, the Raven coordinators' dependence on the pre-determined game plans put their clipboards may be hampering their ability to make on-the-spot adjustments.
3) The Ray Lewis style of motivating/focusing teammates by screaming what they've to do may be counterproductive when the game isn't going well. I saw this once as a high school footballer when we were behind at half time (a rarity for us in those days). We tore up the lockerroom really good, but got crushed in the second half. All the yelling just seemed to produce desperation and fear.
Later, as a track coach, I found the most effective way to get my high schoolers to do their best was to tell them to just "have fun." That won't do for pros, but something like it just might.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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