Baltimore Ravens

Thu, 23 Oct 2008 19:53

The history of Baltimore Ravens

About the NFL team Baltimore Ravens.


The Baltimore Ravens compete in National Football League under the American Football Conference (AFC) North Division. This professional football team was founded by Art Modell in 1996, based in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1996 to 2001, however, they have played under the Central Division of the AFC and joined the North Division only in 2002 up to the present.

In 2000 season, still playing under the Central Division of the AFC, the Ravens garnered a Super Bowl title, Super Bowl XXXV, against the New York Giants. The Baltimore Ravens also won two Division Championships in 2003 and 3006 including NFL play-off appearances in 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2006.

The management behind Baltimore Ravens

The owner of Baltimore Ravens, Art Modell, relocated his franchise but retained the existing contracts of former Cleveland Browns players and staff. This was in compliance with the agreement between the NFL and the City of Cleveland. Modell hired Ted Marchibroda as head coach, taking into consideration its earlier experience with the Baltimore Colts in the 1970s and with the Indianapolis Colts in the early 1990s. Ozzie Newsome then became Baltimore’s director for football operations and later rose to the ranks as General Manager/Vice President.

How Baltimore Ravens got its name

The selection of a new name for Modell’s relocated club was done through focused groups, a fan contest, and a telephone survey. The countdown started from more than a hundred probable names, which were later reduced to 17 by the team’s management. Subsequently, the list was narrowed down to six after a series of focus discussions from about 200 Baltimore residents. The list was again trimmed down to three through a phone survey with 1,000 participants. The three names that came out were Marauders, Americans and Ravens. A final fan contest garnering 333,288 votes was held picking “Ravens”, a name that alludes to Edgar Allan Poe’s eminent poem, as the appropriate name. The poem “The Raven” was Poe’s work of art during the latter part of his life where he lived and was buried in Baltimore.

The first season for Baltimore Ravens

Starting the 1996 first season, the Baltimore played in the old Memorial Stadium, finishing with a 4-12 record. In 1997, the Balitmore Ravens started 3-1 and finished 6-9-1. The sane year, Peter Boulware was named as the AFC “Defensive Rookie of the Year” with 11.5 sacks. The 1998 season for the Baltimore Raven also moved them to a new home ground, the Raven Stadium. Cornerback Rod Woodson, after playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, became part of the Baltimore Ravens. Priest Holmes, with the first playing time of his career, ran for 1,000 yards. In the final score, the Ravens finished with a 6-10 record.   

The Ravens experienced three losing seasons. In 1999, Marchibroda was replaced by the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, Brian Billick. The 1999 season was a promising year for Baltimore Ravens when quarterback Tony Banks joined the team as a former player from St. Louis Rams. This marked one of the best seasons of his career with a passing rate of 81.2 and 17 touchdown passes. Receiver Quadry Ismail also made a 1,000-yard season which prompted the Ravens to finish with an 8-8 record struggling from a 3-6 score.

2000 to 2005 season for Baltimore Ravens

For the Baltimore Ravens, the 2000 season named the team as Super Bowl XXXV champions. Banks, Dilfer, and Lewis all contributed to the successful championship. Tony Banks and Trent Dilfer made decent numbers, while Jamal Lewis aided with a 1,364-yard rushing season. The Defensive Rookie of the Year award was given to Ray Lewis, while his teammates, Sam Adams and Rod Woodson made the Pro Bowl. The Baltimore started strong with a 5-1 record, but through mid-season, the team suffered from five consecutive games with no score for an offensive touchdown. The Baltimore Ravens, however, managed two wins during the stretch. When the team regrouped, they won the last seven games with a 12-4 score allowing them to make the playoffs for the first time.

Notably, the Ravens broke an NFL record by holding opposing teams to 165 total points, breaking the 1985 record of 198 points of Chicago Bears for a 16 game season. Baltimore needed to play in the wild card round because of the Tennessee Titans' 13-3 record. In the first game, the Denver Broncos were dominated 21-3 record. The game against Oakland Raiders, scoring 24-10, put the Baltimore Ravens into the AFC Championship. The Baltimore Ravens proceeded to Tampa for Super Bowl XXXV against the New York Giants, garnering a score of 34-7 that earned them the championship title. The Baltimore Ravens is the third wild card team to win a Super Bowl championship. This season, 49% of the Baltimore Ravens were sold to Baltimore businessman Steve Bisciotti.

In 2001, the Ravens recruited a new quarterback Elvis Grbac in strong hopes to defend their title. The team, however, performed poorly in their offensive because of Jamal Lewis' injury. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Minnesota Vikings after a 3-3 start . The Ravens also won against Miami Dolphins with a 20-3 score. During the divisional play-offs, the Baltimore Ravens lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in with a 27-10 record. In 2002, the Baltimore faced a salary cap problem, which led to trimming down the number of impact players. Unfortunately, the team suffered from a losing streak in December.     

Post-2003 season, the franchise was finally transferred to Bisciotti when Art Modell gave up his remaining 51% ownership. After 40 years of NFL franchise ownership,  Modell now serves as a consultant.

During the 2003-2004 seasons, the Ravens held a 5-5 record, wiping out a 41-24 gap in the finals minutes against Seattle Seahawks. The Baltimore Ravens then had their fifth win out of the last six games. The Baltimore garnered their first AFC North Division title with a 10-6 score. Unfortunately, the Titans won against the Ravens with a 20-17 record in the play-offs.. For the second time, however, Ray Lewis was named the “Defensive Rookie of the Year.”

There were no playoffs for the Ravens in 2004 and 2005. Still, Ed Reed, was named as the league's “Defensive Player of the Year,” breaking the NFL record for longest INT return. Playing against Cleveland Browns, he had a 106 yard return. The Baltimore Ravens signed in Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason from the Titans in the 2005 NFL Draft. Still, the Ravens ended the season with a 6-10 record.

2006 to 2008 season for Baltimore Ravens

The team focused on further improvements for the 2006 season. The Ravens gained a 4-0 records, the first in franchise history but lost 2 consecutive games mid-season resulting to Jim Fassel dropping out in the 7th week. After which, Baltimore recorded a five-game win streak before it lost to the Bengals in the 13th week.

The new team of Baltimore then faced Baltimore Colts, the old team of Baltimore. The record was set at15-6, in favor of the Colts.

In 2007, the Baltimore entered their 12th season in the National Football League with hopes to improve from the 2006 record 13-3, but missed the playoffs by finishing with a 5-11 record. The Ravens are now on their 13th season in the NFL and will face AFC North counterparts as well as the opponents from the AFC South Division and NFC East Division. The season games include playing against AFC West Division's Oakland Raiders and AFC East Division's Miami Dolphins.