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NFL had no other choice but to send the Ravens on the road in Week 1

You win some, you lose some. The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, but because of an unlucky break, they won't get to celebrate that victory with a special Thursday night home opener on NBC in September. Baseball's Orioles play that night and it was announced last week that the NFL and MLB couldn't figure out a way to avoid a scheduling conflict for the season opener in the Charm City, thus forcing the Ravens to become the first defending champion to take their Week 1 show on the road since the Buccaneers were forced to begin their title defense in Philadelphia 10 years ago. 

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Over the last decade, the Thursday night home opener has become a prize awarded to the reigning Super Bowl Champions. The team is given a national stage to celebrate their championship and begin the next season. Ravens fans have the right to be disappointed, but let's calm down. This is only a nine-year-old tradition, and your team still gets a semi-bye week following the opener. This isn't a good break, but it's hard to get too upset about a scheduling quirk when you've just won the Super Bowl.

And don't shed tears for NBC, either. Not a soul that would have tuned in to the opener in Baltimore will opt against doing so because the game is in Denver or Pittsburgh or Chicago. It may not be the same television spectacle with a banner being unfurled, but you'd have to make quite the leap to suggest the network will be hurt by this decision. Nobody loses here except those who would have attended the game and the players, who would certainly prefer to have a championship tribute in Week 1.

It'll still happen, but just a week later most likely. 

And don't blame the Orioles, who play the night before on the road. Same with their opponent, the White Sox. It's not totally fair to ask them to move their game up several hours when they have no incentive to do so. Baltimore's baseball team also has home games scheduled on that Sunday and Monday, which is why the Ravens can't hit NBC or ESPN at home for Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football (it also seems as though the Ravens prefer this over that). And keep in mind that the MLB schedule is released months before a Super Bowl champion is crowned, so shenanigans weren't a factor. Realistically, looking at all of the factors in play, there was no other option but to send the Ravens on the road in Week 1.

The O's were in the wrong place at the wrong time and they get the right of way here. I understand why you'd be frustrated if you're a Ravens fan or an NBC executive, but in the grand scheme of things, the success of the Thursday night opening game will still be there no matter what city the defending champs open the season in.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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