In the NFL’s ongoing effort to move a baseball game so they can have a party, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is using two of the most powerful forces known to man — cash and guilt.
The Ravens want to host the season opener on Thursday, Sept. 5. But the neighboring Orioles, with whom they share parking lots, have a game with the White Sox scheduled that night.
NFL officials want the baseball game earlier so the defending Super Bowl champions can start the season in front of their home fans, but so far, the baseball folks are balking (hey, look, I used a baseball word) because both teams play road games the previous night.
Bisciotti said he’s already offered to cover any lost revenue Orioles owner Peter Angelos might incur, so he went straight for the PR jugular, playing the civic pride angle.
“In fairness to Major League Baseball and the Angeloses, we’re trying to dump a pretty big problem on them and we’re asking them to make a lot of concessions that will benefit us and potentially harm them though it doesn’t necessarily harm them,” Bisciotti said, via the Baltimore Sun. “The bottom line is if they wanted to do it, they would find a way to do it. From the Ravens and the NFL standpoint, we’ll do whatever we have to do in order to keep that tradition. . . .
“I don’t know how much goodwill we’ve built up at both the league level and the team level. I hope it’s enough that [the Orioles] say, ‘This is a good thing to bend over backwards to accommodate them.’ I think a doubleheader — if we can move it a little later and they can move it a little earlier — and we can pull it off, I’m trying to figure what would be a greater day in Baltimore.
“The call-in sick factor in Baltimore that day, . . . they might just close every office in town and say, ‘Go do what you want to do.’ I think it’s an opportunity for Major League Baseball to look really good, too, if they can some way figure it out.”
If only they can find a way. Translated: If only they do the thing we want them to do at the prescribed time we want them to do it.
As we mentioned yesterday, it’s easy to get the sense the baseball types are enjoying putting the squeeze on the NFL, since they rarely get the opportunity.
Now it’s a matter of who says ‘uncle’ first.