On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Dec. 04, 2016 12:30 PM EST Live Game Audio Broadcast Listen to the live WBAL broadcast of the Dolphins vs. Ravens on BaltimoreRavens.com.
  • Sun., Dec. 04, 2016 4:10 PM EST Live Post Game Presser John Harbaugh and key players will address the media following the game.
  • Mon., Dec. 05, 2016 4:00 PM EST Live John Harbaugh Presser Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will address the media.
  • Tue., Dec. 06, 2016 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST Purple Wine & Dine The night will include appetizers, a gourmet dinner served in front of each attendee by our stadium chefs, open bar and a custom Ravens giveaway. Ravens players will be in attendance to meet with all attendees, sign autographs, take photographs and mingle throughout the evening.
  • Wed., Dec. 07, 2016 12:30 PM EST Live Press Conference Head coach John Harbaugh and key players will address the media following practice.
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 3:00 PM EST Army vs. Navy Football Don't miss one of the greatest events you can ever attend! The Army-Navy Game presented by USAA returns to M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, December 10, 2016
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EST Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM EST Ravens Report See the plays, hear the sideline conversations and feel the hits on Ravens Wired, the only behind-the-scenes show featuring a Ravens player wired for sound during each week's game. Go behind the Ravens bench for in-game adjustments and inside the locker room for Head Coach John Harbaugh's post-game speech. Produced by Ravens Productions, Ravens Wired is hosted by WBAL-TV's Keith Mills.
  • Sun., Dec. 11, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EST Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.
  • Mon., Dec. 12, 2016 8:30 PM EST Purple Club Happy Hour What's better than Happy Hour specials and Baltimore Ravens football? A Purple Club Happy Hour! Join the Purple club this season at various Buffalo Wild Wings locations to watch the Ravens on the road.

News

Print
RSS

Chris Berman Was The One Who Stuck With The Ravens

Posted Feb 24, 2013

The ESPN sportscaster took the Ravens from the start of the season, and never backed off his pick.


Making picks is part of the routine for media members covering the NFL.

They make picks at the start of each season, before each week’s games and again once the playoffs roll around. The “experts” usually only hit on about 60 percent of their picks – sometimes much lower – and pundits tend to go with the hot hand as their Super Bowl favorite heading into the playoffs.

In a year where the Ravens had plenty of open seats on their bandwagon, there was one sportscaster who loudly and unapologetically had them as his pick from Day 1: ESPN’s Chris Berman.

There just was a resolve to this team, even going into the year that, ‘you know what, we were the best team in the AFC, and we’re going to prove it to you,’” Berman said.

The Sunday NFL Countdown host took the Ravens at the start of the season and never backed off his selection. As the Ravens went into the playoffs without much fanfare – everyone was hung up on them losing four of their last five regular season games – Berman stuck with them.

He was on an island, but he was confident.   

“I thought, ‘I’m sticking with them for the playoffs. Let’s go,’” he said. “I loved what they potentially could do. And they made me look good. I’ll be forever grateful.

“So I stuck with them. That doesn’t make me smarter than anyone else. That wasn’t the point. The point was that they’re a very likeable team if you really like football.”

Berman has gotten to know a number of people within the Ravens organization over the years, and has a strong relationship with Head Coach John Harbaugh dating back to Harbaugh’s time on Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia.

“I talk to Coach Harbaugh every week,” Berman said. “He and I talk every Friday. Maybe it’s a superstition on both of our parts.”

Berman recalls a specific conversation he had with Harbaugh this season that he thought demonstrated the confidence the Ravens had in themselves. The Ravens were 9-4 at the time, having lost two straight games to the Steelers and the Redskins, and they were getting ready to play the red-hot Denver Broncos.

As the two men talked, Harbaugh brought up the two most recent Super Bowl winners – the Packers and the Giants – and how they both peaked once they got to the playoffs.

“I remember distinctly Coach Harbaugh telling me, ‘Why not us?  Why can’t that team be us?’” Berman recalls. “I remember him telling me that before the Denver game.”

The Ravens ended up losing to the Broncos 34-17 that next week, which led to nearly everybody writing them off.

But Berman recalled his conversation with Harbaugh and still felt good about what they might do once they got into the playoffs.

“It wasn’t panic time, even though on the outside after Denver it didn’t look good,” Berman said. “It was as if the old Rock N’ Roll band was about to come together again, and they meant business.”

Once the Ravens got into the postseason, the road looked even bleaker. They were 9.5 point underdogs to the Broncos and the Patriots, with both games coming on the road.

In the win over Denver, they overcame allowing two special teams touchdowns, and quarterback Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones for a 56- yard touchdown pass in the final minute to tie the game before winning it in overtime.

“To still win that game, are you kidding? Nobody does that,” Berman said.

When the Ravens then took down Tom Brady and the mighty Patriots the next week at Gillette Stadium, Berman admits that he couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride in seeing his prediction come to fruition.

“Absolutely there is a huge point of pride, especially when you get into it and you’re the only one,” he said.  “I do recognize special opportunities and special groups. I like to think I do. And that was certainly the case with the Ravens. Whether I knew it or not, I identified this team as being special.”

And then when the Ravens drew a Super Bowl matchup against the 49ers – a team that Berman had taken to win the Super Bowl many times in the past – he knew he was standing by Baltimore.  

“Like Tony Bennett, I left my heart in San Francisco, by my mind told me the Ravens,” he said.

Throughout their postseason run, the Ravens routinely referred to themselves as a team of destiny. Berman sees it a little differently.

“Destiny is real, but the word I prefer is resolve,” he said. “Destiny happens when a group of men or women have a resolve. All the parts were there. So was that destiny? I think that’s almost an insult, but I think that’s kind of an easy way to answer it without looking beneath the surface.”

And as Berman thinks back on his selection now that most of the Super Bowl excitement has passed, he’s appreciative that the Ravens ended up making him the smartest guy in the room.

“There is a huge sense of pride, but it’s not about me. It was fun watching this unfold,” Berman said. “I’ll be forever grateful to the Ravens because they made me look like I know what I’m talking about.”

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos