Ryan Clark: It’s not a rivalry until Ravens start winning


We’ve frequently called the Ravens and Steelers the best current rivalry in the NFL.   Steelers safety Ryan Clark doesn’t see it that way.

“People try to make this game between the Ravens and the Steelers like so much of a rivalry, of a fight, you know. You can say it’s a rivalry if you like, but for something to be a rivalry, I think both teams have to win equally,” Clark told KDKA via the Baltimore Sun.  “The hate between the fans doesn’t make it a rivalry. Teams have to win equally, and that really hasn’t been the case in our situation.”

He has a point. The Steelers have won seven of the last 10, including the last six that Ben Roethlisberger has started.  Still, we disagree with the notion it’s not a rivalry.

Steelers and Ravens is great because it doesn’t just come from the fans. So many of their games have been classics, almost always coming down to the last possession. There is more hitting when these teams play than any other matchup.

We say it’s a rivalry regardless, but Joe Flacco and company could take it to another level if they could beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

86 responses to “Ryan Clark: It’s not a rivalry until Ravens start winning

  1. I’d say Colts vs Patriots is even though they aren’t in the same division. They still seem to play basically every year.

    And wait haven’t the Ravens made the playoffs the last few years? Don’t you have to win to do that?

  2. Man I can’t stand that argument… every SINGLE game is amazing. It’s not like the Ravens get blown out. And a few of those Steeler victories came off of ticky-tacky, or at LEAST very CLOSE, calls.

    I can NOT stand when one team goes “Scoreboard.” and think that voids the validity of a rivalry. The fans hate each other, the players hate each other, every game is crucial for the division, every game is a nail-biter – ITS A RIVALRY. You’re not above a rivalry, Clark.

  3. Are the steeler and raven players the only ones mouthing off during this lock -out?

    Heck Harrison was talking smack about his own QB, these guys must have a lot of time on their hands.

  4. The way steelers are going down this offseason the ravens may just start winning against them-

  5. No two teams win equally. That’s not required for a healthy rivalry. A rivalry requires both teams to have had some success and requires some hard fought games between them. I don’t see either team just stomping the other out whenever it wants to.

  6. I’m sorry, why is Ryan Clark taking smack? My favorite team is in the NFC but I always watch the steelers/ravens games. The best defenses in the league imo.

  7. Look at the PFT most Commented List

    2. Hines Ward arrested for Drunk driving

    3. James Harrison on Roethlisberger: You aren’t Peyton Manning, you just get paid like him

    5. Police: Hines Ward failed sobriety tests, hit curb (141)
    6.James Harrison takes aim at Goodell, others in new interview (117)

    7.Hines Ward says he wasn’t impaired by alcohol (114)

    It seems like this whole off season is one stupid steeler comment (Mendenhall) or off the field incident (Ward) after another.

    Are these guys that unglued from losing the Super Bowl??

  8. Why do people talk about Flacco hasnt beat Big Ben??? They are never on the field at the same time….
    Just like last year….Joe Flacco drove down the field and threw the winning TD pass against the steelers vaunted defense…..He has beaten them!!
    Queue the steeler fan logic……

  9. The Ravens have split the last two reg season with the Steelers….and give me a break with that “Flacco cant beat Roethlisberger BS”….Its not Flacco fault he was suspended for the first meeting last yr. Flacco didn’t tell him act like a “complete” idiot with some college chick in a locked bathroom.

  10. I’m not saying its not a rivalry, but Clark does have a point. It can’t be at the classic level unless Baltimore proves they can beat them in a tough spot, not in Week 3 or 4 when Big Ben wasn’t playing.

    I think at this point, Jets/Pats is the best rivalry at the NFL, Packers/Bears have to be up there too now that their both playing at a high level again. But it has to be Jets/Pats. The issue where Belichick walked out on the Jets only to go on to win three Super Bowls with a division rival is enough to hike this up. Furthermore, since Rex took over, the series has been 3-2, indicating the wins/losses between the two teams are nearly even.

    Pittsburgh and Baltimore are a major rivalry obviously, but I don’t get the excitement when they play in big games simply because the outcome has played it self out several times: Pittsburgh wins every single time.

  11. Maybe not the most exciting; maybe not as intense as the Bills/Dolphins in the 90s or … whatever. But it’s still a rivalry.

  12. The Ravens can’t beat the Bengals either. The Bengals have won 9 of the last 13 against the Ravens. Seems they just haven’t figured out how to win in the AFC North.

  13. Uncle Captiain…. Ravens have made the playoffs, but keep losing the 3rd game to Pitt…. in the playoffs….

  14. He’s right that for the league’s best and most intense rivalry, the outcome has been pretty one-sided. On the other hand, he’s saying so mostly to piss off the Ravens, which he enjoys doing because the rivalry is so intense.

  15. Good point. It’s kind of like us Colorado University fans (myself included) calling the CU-Nebraska thing a “rivalry”. They basically beat us up like the fat kid at the bus stop who always gets his twinkies taken by the jocks. Much like the Steelers seem to do to the Ravens.

    I wonder if Ryan Clark would piss on Ray Lewis to put the fire out? Just curious…

  16. Facts tend to support Clark’s claim. Last two Raven’s wins were close ones against the Steelers backup and third string QB’s.

    That’s why Ray Rice is campaigning so hard for Ward to be suspended. Apparently can’t take them when they’re at full strength.

  17. Mike Tomlin used the same logic. After the Steelers beat the Pats a couple of seasons ago, he said (and I’m paraphrasing) “people call this a rivalry, but it really isn’t until we win some games against these guys.” So at least they are consistent.

  18. Arrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

    Shut up shut up shut up!!!!!!!!

    Will all of you Steelers players and former players and future players just go into your houses, stay off the roads, stay off the tweeter, stay off the phone, stay off the Internet, don’t answer the door, don’t touch your wives or your girlfriends or your pets, and don’t let your pets run loose??? Just sit quietly on your sofas and play Madden!!!!!


  19. I hope Ward does get suspended for a game, just so that the Ravens have no excuses after Week 1.

  20. We’re not saying Flacco can’t beat Roethlisberger, we’re saying the Ravens can’t beat Roethlisberger. Last I heard at least part of them were on the field at the same time.

  21. I’m so sick of both of these teams and their insufferable obnoxious players . Among Ray Lewis, Harrison, Rothleisberger, Hines Ward et al I don’t know who is the most detestable. It’s as if North Korea and Iran went to war who would you root for? Can they all just vanish already.

  22. Its not a rivalry until:

    1.) Ray Rice makes sketchy Sept. 11th/Bin Laden death comments (per Rashard Mendenhall)

    2.) Joe Flacco gets his bathroom forced love on with body guards outside, perhaps Michael Oher could protect his “blind side” (per Big Ben) then crashes his moped face first.

    3.) Derrick Mason gets trashed runs over a mailbox gets a DUI and claims he was sober and wins ABDC (per Hines Ward) maybe Dante Stallworth counts in this one?

    4.) Ray Lewis focuses on borderline death threats on Roger Godell and cries about his fines for hitting people without pillows (per James Harrison)

    Hahahaha, come on Pitt, Troy Polamalu is the only class on that field for that team. Learn how to win with your mouth shut and try to clean up your lives outside of the ketchup bottle field.

  23. If Harrison and Ward are both done, that should even things out a bit. I think Hines is finished due to his knees and Harrison is done due to his mouth.

  24. As an impartial Packer fan here Ryan, I would bet my house, car, wife and kid that Baltimore hands it to you guys next year. Twice.

    Sidenote: When did Pittsburgh become the laughing stock of the league? I thought that was reserved for Minnesota and Oakland.

  25. @corvusrex96

    its not that they are unglued. Mendenhall’s comments were controversial. seeing Ward getting a DUI was probably a huge shock to most people. Harrison finally says things we want to hear, but people will hate him for it anyway.

  26. Ryan Clark is a pansy who has always had the IMMENSE support of playing next to a HoF caliber safety. Sean Taylor followed by Palamalu. He is an afterthought of offenses.

  27. as a ravens fan, i agree with him. the ravens must beat the steelers with ben in the game to get over the hump. they are close. all the games are close and dramatic. the ravens need to beat payton also. in that series we just can’t score against their defense. ravens have held down payton some.

  28. But TOMLIN’S saying that is fine (though I don’t agree, I consider Pats-Steelers a bit of a rivalry)..his team is on the losing end of the game. For Clark to say it is typical Clark. Running his mouth longer than you have to run your car to warm it up in winter. If I were a Steelers fan I think I’d be facepalming heavily over some of the player dumbassery that has issued from there this past week. I feel for you good Steelers fans.

    When the Pats were on a 0-3 losing streak to Indy we Pats fans still considered it a rivalry. When the Pats were on the good side of beating the Colts…still a rivalry. Rivalries IMO consist of two teams (and usually two fanbases/cities etc.) who don’t like each other but play each other often and the games are usually a matter of a few plays here and there.

  29. Colts, pats, steelers, all count as Ravens ‘rivals’, and the Ravens don’t come off as winners too often against those teams.

  30. The best rivalries in football are the ones that have been built on decades of competitive play. 15 years in the league is not long enough for the Ravens to be considered part of the NFL’s greatest rivalry, in my opinion.

    Packers / Bears have been killing each other since 1941, with the all-time record in the Bears’ favor, 92-84-6.

    In the mix with Packers/Bears, I’d add:

    Pats/Jets – (52-51-1 Jets favor)
    Eagles/Giants p (80-70-2 Giants favor)
    Packers/Vikings (51-48-1 Packers favor)

    though it seems odd because neither team has been in the mix much recently (until KC last year), I’d add honorable mention to Chiefs/Raiders as a meaningful, long-standing, historic NFL rivalry.

  31. Doesn’t Ryan Clark mean it’s not a rivalry until the Ravens beat the Steelers AND the officials?

    Sorry, but… why should it matter is Roethlisberger plays or not? Bottom line is… the Ravens have beat the Steelers, as recently as this year. It’s really not the Ravens problem that the Steelers QB can’t stay (1) healthy or (2) out of trouble.

    The Steelers have had one lucky season in 2008 where they swept the Ravens… other than that season, the Ravens have beat the Steelers at least once every year. in 2006, the Ravens swept the Steelers…. and both games were completely dominated blowouts.

    Ryan Clark just again proving… he’s known for only one thing(taking a cheat shot at Willis McGahee). Since then, he’s been talking his mouth off desperately trying to stay in the spotlight. This guy is nothing.

  32. as an admirer of both teams but a fan of the Steelers i think this may be the raven’s year. oh well… i love watching ray rice run and ray lewis, that guy deserves another ring. i mean i am sure he has been shooting up with hgh for the last few years as old as he is but he is an amazing linebacker. a linebacker’s linebacker (i have no idea what that means). so maybe the steelers have an off year and the ravens figure out how to win it all again. this might be the year. they deserve it!

  33. Say whatever you want. That many coin-flip games. That much passion. Those kinds of hits? This isn’t just an obvious rivalry, it’s the BEST rivalry in all of sports today. Barnone.

    It trumps Red Sox/Yankees, Jets/Pats, Lakers/Celtics, Cubs/Cards, Celtics/Heat, Lakers/Spurs by a LOT.

  34. Really? If the Ravens are so irrelevant Ryan, why do you keep spouting off about them??? You’re like the whiny loser who can’t stop talking about how much he doesn’t care about the ex-girlfriend who just dumped him. Sheesh! James Harrison ought to slap you in the face! Whatever…see you in September.

  35. Southpaw already said it all. It IS a rivalry. No doubt Ryan Clark is just trying to rile up the Ratbirds.

  36. .. though must say, it seemed like MORE of a rivalry when Bill Cowher coached the Steelers and Brian Billick coached the Ravens. Those guys couldn’t stand each other, and it was obvious.

    Tomlin and Harbaugh seem to have an annoying mutual respect…..

  37. Best rivalry in the NFL is also it’s oldest, the Packers and da Bears. Hell, last season they played against each other in the NFC Championship. It doesn’t get any better than that!

  38. Please……..the Ravens and Steelers for the most part always split in the regular season……just because the squealers have a slight edge based on the playoffs is meaningless……it will even out…….

  39. In SoCal since graduating at PSU, but born in western PA and a major diehard Steeler fan before I was out of diapers. I didn’t get off the diapers until my late teens, but that’s beside the point.

    However, we have to have enormous respect for the Ravens. We might want to beat the Ravens’ asses like no one else, but they have earned and deserve our respect.


    Mean Joe rarely made a peep – but his presence on the field was legendary. Lambert at his most loquacious would only bust out with something like, “That’ll cool yer ass off.” Blount just destroyed people – a silent assassin.

    Even Lloyd, Greene, Hardy, Captain Kirk, Lake, Woodson and the whole list of past generation Steelers had plenty of nasty — but
    what ever happened to the Steelers’ tradition of speaking softly and carry a big stick?

  40. Seals finally took out Bin Laden and on 9/11 it’s time for Flacco to finally put a beatin on Ben Rapin while Ray breaks conspirahall’s other shoulder!

    One would think breakin shoulders and noses makes it’s a rivalry in today’s NFL! Clark’s hit on Mcgahee in the AFC Championship makes it a rivalry as you remember those for years to come…

  41. Ravens v Steelers is a great game to watch, you don’t walk away wishing you didn’t watch it, unless you root for the team that loses. Ravens v Steelers does what the NFL is supposed to do…entertain, thats it.

    According to- http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/rav/head-to-head.htm

    Steelers lead all time series 18 – 12 and are 3 -0 in playoffs vs Ravens. If you don’t want to call it a rivalry, you don’t have to, but it puts butts in seats, packs bars, gets people around the TV. Fans want to watch the game because what both teams bring to the game.

  42. The only reason the call they steelers and ratbirds a rivalry is because everyone else in the division Sucks.

    So yes I would say its a rivalry. A one sided rivalry with of course the steelers taking the upper edge most of the time. And we dont even have to talk about playoffs.

  43. Look I’m a ravens fan but I realize that the steelers are one of the best teams in the league. Realize that three of those wins came when Flacco was a rookie. I’m not a fan of saying that the Ravens can’t beat Ben because thats like me saying “The Ravens would have beat the Steelers all three times this year if we had Jared Gaither!” Does losing one of your best players make a huge impact? Yes, but teams have to deal with playing without their best players.

    Two last comments 1). Ravens fans stop whining about refs it looks bad 2.) Can some better Steelers start being talking trash please? Ryan Clark and Woodley? They’re both sidekicks to elite players, but do the ravens need Jarret Johnson and Dawan Landry to start talking for them?


  45. His comments actually reinforce why this is a great rivalry (and yes, Ryan, it is a rivalry). I grew up in a time when the Sixers players hated the Celtics as much as the fans did, the steelers players hated the raiders as much as the fans did, Penn State players hated Pitt as much as the fans did, the National League and American league hated each other as much as the fans did.

    Regardless of who wins more, the Steelers and Ravens HATE each other. One of the beefs of some fans in sports today is that they care more than the players (i don’t necessarily agree with that, but it’s a perception). You can’t say that about Steelers/Ravens games.

  46. @paulieorkid …

    Nearly broke the key giving that comment a thumbs up. Whatever happened to the Steeler tradition of doing your talking on the field??? 😦

  47. What Ryan Clark is alluding to is when one of the Ravens (I think Ray Lewis) declared that they were the Steelers main rival a couple of years back.

    They are not…Cleveland long has been the main rival, separated by less than two hours travel time and having played each other since the 1940’s.

    Oh yeah, lets not forget the record 21-12. Rationalize all you want but the win loss record speaks for itself.

  48. “”The hate between the fans doesn’t make it a rivalry.”

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the players view the paying saps known as fans.

    Keep cheering!

  49. so the redsox and yanlees have no rivalry. atlest till the redsox win a few WS. DAMM I THOUGHT THE REDSOX, WINNING THAT PLAYOFF, AFTER BEING DOWN 3-0 WAS GOOD

  50. Everyone luvs my Steelers! Most posts commented on….best players…best smack talkers…best, best, best! Big Ben rules….James can be as angry as he wants…Clark can talk like nobody’s business…bottom line, we win. And all of you are jealous. The SB loss, hey, even Brady lost one. At least it was to the pack..Good game. Flacco…who? Flacco! hahahaha! Come up to our house and look at our trophy case. Where’s all the baltimorons’ hardware? Canton? Nope, the Steelers take up all the room there. We built Heinz field just to make more room for more trophies. Well, thats all for now losers. C’mon, you’all dont have to hide your Terrible Towels under your blankies!! You know you luv us!!!!!!

  51. By Clark’s logic, I guess Red Sox/Yankees wasn’t a true rivalry until 2004 when the Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in the playoffs and ultimately won the World Series.

    I’d contend that while the Steelers clearly have won more games against the Ravens, it’s not like either team has consistently blown out the opponent. The largest margin of victory in any game going back to 2007 was 9 points (AFC Championship Game in 2009). The last time either team really dominated in a game was in November of that year when the Steelers blew the Ravens’ doors off in a Monday Night Football game in Pittsburgh. I’d say that considering virtually every game since has come down to a final possession leading to a score (including a couple overtimes) it’s a pretty healthy rivalry.

  52. Ryan Clark?????????????? Uggghhhh

    He wasn’t even freakin borne when Tomlin was jammin “In the air tonight” in his dorm

  53. its a rivalry simply because I live in Pittsburgh and we the fans cant wait for our games with the ravens every year more than any other opponents!as for the ravens ever being able to match us in wins;never gonna happen,being the regular season or post!



  56. @ Deb who said:
    Jul 14, 2011 12:06 AM
    @paulieorkid …

    Nearly broke the key giving that comment a thumbs up. Whatever happened to the Steeler tradition of doing your talking on the field???

    – – – – –

    No question Deb – what was cooler than having the Black and Gold let their ass-kicking play do all the talking????? 🙂

    (there, i did an emoticon!)

    So many times, mouthy teams would talk sass about how they were going to beat Pittsburgh – and in a substantial majority of those occasions, the Steelers would punish them relentlessly.

    Talk is cheap. And Clark’s comments were just disrespectful. He didn’t need to go there.

    I won’t even get started on Silverback. Love Harrison – but ohhhhhh man James.

    Anthony Smith ran his gums too. Didn’t that sound classy for a nickel or dime back trying to rip into Tom Brady? (eye roll)

    Not digging this trend.

    We have so many solid humble players, some great ones at that: Troy, Aaron Smith, and others come to mind – but when they strap it on, it’s game on.

    Let’s hope Tomlin and the Rooneys plus some team leaders can right the ship — because the current flavah is quite unbecoming.

  57. @paulieorkid …

    I went cuckoo over the Anthony Smith thing. I’m very tolerant and can forgive players a lot, but that kind of stuff just makes me nuts because it is so disrespectful. Very good way to describe Ryan’s comments. That’s one thing I like about Belichick–he doesn’t let his players go around mouthing off. I’ve always liked James, too, but he really upset me with this. That photo is horrible. For all his faults (and there are many), I appreciate Ben for keeping quiet on this.

  58. Ryan is just having a bit of fun pulling our collective leg and spicing up this dry spell of football news. If you think about it as any Steeler might, he has dropped a gauntlet for the Ravens to bring it this year.

    I have to disagree w/fat fred and anybody else believing that the players hate each other. Most NFL players have r.e.s.p.e.ct. for each other and their common gig earning big $$ playing football. They let the fans handle the silly stuff.

    As for the rivalry, I’m surprised that nobody, especially b&g4life, has recalled that the original Cleveland Browns are now the Baltimore Ravens. I’m sure that the old Browns rivalry forms the base upon which the present Steeler/Ravens rivalry has evolved.

    Most neutral fans with real football knowledge have agreed that the two games played between them are the most entertaining of the year.

  59. Clark. Less talk, more turnovers. You and our defense are part of the reason the Ravens have so many wins. Getting smoked by old ass Steve Smith Sr Citizen and allowing washed up Mike Wallace break off his biggest plays of the season.

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