SNIDER: Is Baltimore too far for Redskins fans to journey?

Rick Snider
December 11, 2019 - 12:52 pm
Is Baltimore too far for Redskins fans to journey?

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It seemed a naive request by a new coach who didn't understand the politics of the region. Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh thought fans in Washington's eastern suburbs should root north. After all, they were Marylanders.

"We want to be (Redskins fans') AFC team," Harbaugh told the Washington Post in 2011. "That's all we're asking."

A year later, Harbaugh added: "A lot of the younger generation — the kids, the high school kids, the college kids, the 20-somethings — in that area are kind of turning our way. They're becoming Ravens fans, and that's exciting. And we want to appeal to that group down there. We welcome them on board, man. We can use all the fans we can get. It's a great area, and obviously it's Maryland, so we'd like to have them be a part of Ravens Nation."

The reaction was a chorus of chortles from Redskins fans. Why Washington is the nation's capital, while Baltimore isn't even the capital of Maryland. The Redskins have three Super Bowl trophies to the Ravens' one, though the latter closed the gap with a 2012 title.

Switching teams seemed preposterous to Redskins fans. But after yet another dismal season with an empty stadium, some fans are starting to think purple isn't a bad color. Indeed, The Post wrote about fans now switching sides and TV remotes being contested on Wednesday, with one fan saying he was tired of being a sucker after 20 years of Redskins erosion under Dan Snyder.

So, the only question to Harbaugh now is whether that Baltimore Bandwagon has any open seats?

The Ravens are rocking towards another Super Bowl, their third since relocating from Cleveland in 1996. Baltimore (11-2) looks like the best team in football and will reach the playoffs for the 12th time in 24 years.

Washington? They're heading toward a top five pick in a 3-10 season. A new coach is coming. Maybe a new team president. The only thing the Redskins sell anymore is false hope.

It won't be easy for many lifelong Washingtonians to switch sides, but then it's not like becoming a Dallas Cowboys fan. (Sorry, just threw up a little in my mouth.) But Washington is also a transient city and newcomers looking to embrace a local team may think 35 miles to Charm City really isn't that far.

After all, it's a lot closer to success than the Redskins will ever journey under Snyder.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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