Forget fantasy football.
The Ravens are into a way more realistic online football management experience, and this one's educational.
On Wednesday at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in downtown Baltimore, LifeJourney and the Ravens unveiled an innovative partnership that will allow high school and middle school students to simulate managing the Ravens' salary cap.
To the Ravens' knowledge, they are the first professional sports team to apply a simulation and technology application to the salary cap.
The LifeJourney program exposes real-life opportunities and career interests for youth to pursue in STEM through an online simulation.
It will be available throughout Maryland middle schools and high schools to over 500,000 students. Students can sign up online and the coursework will be integrated into their traditional math class and available in after-school programs. It is currently designed to last a semester.
The face of the program is one of the NFL's original capologists, Ravens Senior Vice President of Football Administration Pat Moriarty. He's the man behind the Ravens' money, the one in to manage player negotiations and balancing the personnel checkbook.
Moriarty also has a passion for education. He has often been a guest speaker at area law and business schools, and will now take that education into local high and middle schools.
"The salary cap is all math, so I'm using it every day. You have to be comfortable with math, calculus, accounting and all that," Moriarty said. "My job is really based on what I learned starting in high school and what I learned in business school and law school."
Students in the capology program will work with up-to-date, realistic salary figures for Ravens players. They can give players contract extensions, release those who they feel aren't contributing enough, or restructure contracts – all while balancing a budget.
They will also learn some soft skills like negotiating and management, including how to inform a player that he is being released.
LifeJourney CEO Rick Geritz and Ravens Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Sales Ed Burchell collaborated to carve out what the program would entail.
"Through those general discussions, we knew there was a real possibility to use football as a vehicle to demonstrate the need and importance of math and its implications in real life," Burchell said.
The ultimate goal in the partnership between the Ravens and LifeJourney is to, as Burchell said, "leverage the passion of the team to help others find their passion in life."
The Ravens have done much work in the community towards promoting education, and this is the franchise's newest, exciting step.
"With its launch today, the Baltimore Ravens are proud to continue to affirm our commitment to all youth in our state and region in understanding the importance of achieving academic excellence and aspiring to do the best in the classroom," Burchell said.
"Today is a really great day for the city of Baltimore because it brings together two forces in this city: the power of education with the power of sports," added Geritz.