Even though the New England Patriots model themselves after their stoic head coach, the state of Massachusetts does not share that same tight-lipped approach.
In fact, the Baltimore Ravens have gotten the perfect bulletin-board material to motivate them (if they needed more motivation) for Sunday's AFC Championship Game in Foxboro thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor Boston.
More appropriately, the Ravens have gotten billboard material.
According to Bernie Augustine and Michael O'Keeffe of the New York Daily News, the folks at Clear Channel Outdoor Boston are using billboard space all over Massachusetts to count down to the end of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' career:
According to Mike Dobson, a marketing manager with CCO Boston, the idea for the billboards first came to them Tuesday and the company had the signs up and running on seven different Clear Channel-owned billboards by Wednesday morning. It’s a company promotion, so there’s no super Patriots fan footing the bill for the glowing display.
As everyone is aware by now—and if you aren't, you clearly don't watch football—Lewis has announced his plans to retire when the Ravens' season ends.
A loss on Sunday would not only send the future Hall of Famer into that good night, but would simultaneously send the Patriots to their eighth Super Bowl in franchise history and sixth in the Bill Belichick era.
Considering how close the games between these two teams are, it is awfully confident and cocky of the people at CCO to make such a bold declaration through billboards. Five of the last six games between the Ravens and Patriots have been decided by six points or less.
Also, the Ravens already defeated the Patriots this season. It was all the way back in Week 3, and it was at Baltimore, but it is not like the Ravens are going to be intimidated going against New England.
But what would sports be without a little trash talk from the fans leading up to a critical game?