Custom Madden Covers Features 6 Ravens
Forget about the Madden Curse; EA Sports should do this every year.
NFL fan @StellerCovers created custom Madden 16 covers for all 32 NFL teams, including six Ravens, both past and present.
Soak up these images because it's extremely rare to see your hometown favorites grace the cover of one the world's most popular sports video games. Joe Flacco, C.J. Mosley, Steve Smith, Justin Forsett, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis all have their customized images below.
Only Lewis has actually been chosen for an official cover, back in 2005.
In recent years, EA Sports has teamed up with ESPN to narrow down the top NFL candidates and then have fans vote for the cover winner, but it would be cool to have that same vote for each team and allow fans to choose their cover when buying the game.
Alas, it isn't to be. So enjoy these …
Study: Ravens Fans Fourth-Best In NFL
Who has the NFL's best fan base?
A new study from Emory University says it's the Dallas Cowboys (gag), but Ravens fans aren't far behind at No. 4. The full top 5 includes the Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Ravens and* *New York Jets.
One of these teams is not like the others.
The Jets are not a consistently winning organization, making their fan support notable. The Cowboys haven't enjoyed much postseason success recently either, but it's not surprising to see "America's Team" top the list.
Meanwhile, the Patriots, Giants and Ravens have combined for eight Super Bowl wins since 2000.
The "best" fan base is defined as "the most avid, engaged, passionate and supportive." Emory used statistical models that consider the past 15 seasons of box office revenue, market size, median income, win-loss records. It then ranked fans depending on how much they over- or under-performed at the box office.
The fans in Charm City beat out all the fan bases from the AFC North. Only Pittsburgh ranked in the top half (No. 14). Don't be surprised if you hear some gripes from Terrible Towel wavers. They always make a big deal out of how much they travel to follow their team, but according to Emory, overall, they are average.
Cincinnati came in at No. 24 and Cleveland just barely avoided the last-place finish at No. 31 (Dolphins fans are ranked the worst).
"Cleveland may have never recovered from the loss of the Ravens, and the recreation of the Browns," the study wrote.
And while Emory doesn't take this stuff into account, Bengals fans aren't helping their reputation when they booed their own franchise quarterback at a celebrity softball game held IN Cincinnati.
Why Ravens Chose Marchibroda Over Belichick
When Art Modell brought his football franchise to Baltimore, he brought a lot of his staff from Cleveland, including Ozzie Newsome.
He could have also tried to bring his head coach, Bill Belichick, but chose to start the Ravens franchise with Ted Marchibroda instead. Marchibroda was let go three seasons later, never to coach in the NFL again.
Meanwhile, we all know what Belichick has done with the New England Patriots and is considered a future Hall of Famer. So, why didn't Modell bring Belichick with him?
That's the question Russell Street Report's Tony Lombardi asked Ravens Sr. Vice President of Public & Community Relations Kevin Byrne.
"Bill was our coach for five seasons in Cleveland and we had losing records in four of those," Byrne said. "The relationship between he and Art was frayed and Art had lost confidence in him.
"When Ted walked away from the Colts after taking them to the AFC Championship game that season, he became an easy choice. He left the Colts on principles – he felt he deserved a better contract. He was well-known in Baltimore for heading the last winning Colts teams and he's a good man who could be the face of the franchise for most days of the year."