Ravens Fans Will Love Why Michael Phelps Busts Out Laughing During National Anthem
As if we didn't love the most-decorated Olympian ever and hometown hero, Michael Phelps, enough in Baltimore.
Then he goes and does this.
While being honored with his 20th of 21 gold medals for winning the 200-meter butterfly final (take that Chad Le Clos), Phelps was on the podium during the medal ceremony in Rio de Janeiro with tears welling up in his eyes as the national anthem played.
Then came the lyrics: Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ...
Just then, Phelps' facial expression completely changed and he burst into laughter. Social media caught fire trying to figure out the sudden transformation, but it wasn't hard for Ravens and O's fans to understand.
"My boys from Baltimore were down on the other end, and back in Maryland, we all say "O!" for the Orioles during that part of the National Anthem," Phelps told NBC in an interview after he also took home the gold with his teammates in the men's 4X200 meter freestyle relay.
"And all of the sudden I hear them roar 'O!' and I knew exactly where it came from, and I just lost it because those guys came down from Baltimore and New York City to be here, and it's just special to see those guys in the stands."
And as we all know, the "O!" roar is a fabulous tradition we have carried into Ravens games too.
Way to represent, Michael. Three gold medals down, three events to go. You deserve a standing ovation.
Buck Showalter's Response To Tim Tebow's Baseball Pursuit
Since we touched on O's baseball a little bit with the national anthem, I have to share Buck Showalter's response to Tim Tebow announcing he wants to pursue a baseball career.
The former NFL quarterback has not played baseball full time since 2005. He was an all-state baseball player at Nease High School that year and helped his team reach the final four of the Florida state playoffs.
Tebow plans to hold a workout for Major League Baseball teams later this month, but my guess is that Showalter is not interested. The Orioles manager epically likened Tebow's pursuit to asking Head Coach John Harbaugh for a hilarious job at the Ravens. I'll let him take it from here. Enjoy …
Steve Smith Sr.: I'll Take Pressure Of Making Peanut Butter Sandwiches Instead Of Football My 40's
SiriusXM NFL Radio visited Baltimore Tuesday during its training camp tour across the NFL, interviewing several Ravens, including Harbaugh, Owner Steve Bisciotti, wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, tackle Ronnie Stanley, running back Justin Forsett and quarterback Joe Flacco.
Of all the interviews, the quote of the day belongs to … who else? … Steve Smith.
While talking about eventual retirement, Smith explained he doesn't want to play if he can't live up to his usual standards because he knows 52 teammates are relying on him to do so.
"Can I continue the standard four more years? No," Smith said. "And I'm not seeking it, I don't desire it. Will I miss football? I will miss football a great deal. I'm 37 years old and there is a standard in myself that I hold. But there is also 52 other guys that are expecting Steve Smith Sr.* *to make a play, to come down with a catch, to run that ball down. And so that pressure that I've (felt) over a 16-year career, I'm like, man, give it to somebody else.
"I'll take the pressure of making peanut butter sandwiches instead of playing football into my 40's."
Until he's making peanut butter sandwiches, Smith is still rehabbing for the 2016 season and he says he's in the final stage. He's working on his explosion, testing his Achilles with stop-and-go movements and having his calf "fire on all cylinders."
He's running 30 routes a day, up from 15 routes a couple of weeks ago. He said when he initially ran 15 routes, only five of them were up to his standard. The other 10 were "injured" routes. But he continued to get better day after day, and then yesterday was his best day yet.
Of the 30 routes he ran Tuesday, he said 28 of them were "outstanding."
Here are some other highlights from Tuesday's interviews ...
Broncos Kicking Unit Hating On Justin Tucker
Daaaaaaaang! The Broncos kicking unit is bashing Justin Tucker, and it's not even trying to be subtle about it.
I touched on this briefly in quick hits yesterday, but didn't have a chance to fully dive into the matter. It's astounding how personally the group is taking Tucker's proclamation that he could kick an 84.5-yard field under "prime conditions" in Denver, where it's been said the mile-high air adds about 10 percent in distance to a kicker's range.
Broncos kicker Brandon McManus offered Tucker an all-expense paid trip to Colorado to attempt the 84-yarder, but he only pays IF Tucker converts.
"I'll pay for his flight, his hotel, if he wants to come out here and do it," McManus said on Thursday, via 9news.com. "I'll kick with him, I'll witness it and I'll vouch to the world that he can do it."
Tucker said he hit the crossbar from 85 yards during warmups in Denver last season, but McManus said he never saw it. He admitted he saw Tucker hit a few from the mid-70s, but added that those 75-yard kicks would be blocked in a game because they were so low.
Then things took another turn when Broncos punter Britton Colquitt bashed Tucker, not only for his claim, but for his … celebrations?
"I looked at that and I laughed," Colquitt told Altitude Sports 950 AM. "Let's start here: Tucker loves Tucker. He loves himself so much, and I take it personally because Morgan Cox is (the Ravens') long-snapper and he was my long snapper at Tennessee.
"I also take it personally because I'm a holder. If I was a kicker, the last thing I'm going to do when I make a field goal is sprint as far away from my holder and snapper, as he loves to do and just does some kind of dance. That drives me crazy."
Oh, it drives *you *crazy. I guess he should stop then. Never mind that Tucker's celebrations and personality is a source of pride in Baltimore. Also, Tucker gives props to Cox and his holder Sam Koch in just about every interview he does. But I digress.
Colquitt's roast wasn't over.
"Second of all, you don't get on the air and say, 'I think I kicked an 85-yarder that hit the crossbar,'" Colquitt added. "If you hit an 85-yarder and hit the crossbar, you remember. You don't say, 'I think.' I'm pretty sure I remember him missing about 15 from 60."
Terrance West Chose Ravens Practice Squad Over Chiefs Active Roster
Do you know how badly running back Terrance West wanted to be a Raven?
Well, he actually rejected an offer from the Kansas City Chiefs last year to be on their active roster in order to stay with the Ravens on the practice squad.
That's commitment to his hometown team.
And to even be considered by the Ravens, it was West who called General Manager Ozzie Newsome for a shot, not the other way around.
Listen to West tell the story to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.