The 2000 Baltimore Ravens: My Favorite Team of All Time

Marco RomanellCorrespondent IMay 23, 2009

28 Jan 2001:  Trent Dilfer #8 of the Baltimore Ravens hold the Lombardi Trophy after the Super Bowl XXXV Game against the New York Giants at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Ravens defeated the Giants 34-7.Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons  /Allsport

My favorite team all time is the 2000 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. This team is probably the favorite for all Ravens fans, but there are certain reasons why I liked them more then any other Ravens team.

This team had a nasty, cocky attitude that started with the head coach and worked its way down. Personally, I loved the fact that everyone outside Baltimore hated the Ravens because of their attitude, and I believe it united the city. The 2000 Ravens were viewed as " bad boys" and "thugs" and they embraced this.

This team was littered with brash, outspoken personalities that all gelled together and led them to the Super Bowl. Brian Billick, Ray Lewis, and Shannon Sharpe were known to be "talkers," but they backed up their talking with stellar play and good coaching.

Another reason I love this particular team so much was because of the defense and the adage that they won games "ugly." This team went five games without scoring an offensive touchdown and won two of them, that shows how dominant this defense was. The Ravens defense, led by Ray Lewis, instilled fear in the hearts of all their opponents and gave their team a chance to win game in and game out.

This, in my opinion, was the greatest defense of all time, and their record proved it. They yielded the fewest amount of points in 16 games and even gave up fewer points if you include the post-season then the '85 Bears did in 16 games. The Ravens defense led the league in take-aways and recorded a record tying five shutouts.

In every game that the Ravens won, everyone said that they had been dominated and lucky to escape, but I saw it in a different way. This team won because they had more heart and desire than all of their opponents.

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This team was able to overcome a lot of adversity en route to winning a Super Bowl, and that is another reason that I loved them. No other team in the history of the NFL could have endured a five game drought in which they did not score an offensive touchdown and still won two of those games. Also, this team switched quarterbacks in the middle of the season, which is also something that is not easy to do.

After nine games the Ravens sat at 5-4 and seemed destined to finish the season without a playoff appearance. They then won seven straight in the regular season and the rest is history.

Another piece of adversity this team faced was the fact that the face of their franchise, Ray Lewis, had faced double murder charges prior to the season and the team was asked about it on a daily basis. This seemed to unite the team and definitely sparked the play of Lewis.

Baltimore sports fans always feel that we get no respect and that was the tone of the fans and the team in 2000. The Ravens players and fans were the only ones who seemed to believe that they were any good and the players played with chips on their shoulder because of this. Every week we heard reports and "experts" say that this team was no good or make excuses for why they won, and I loved that.

The 2000 Baltimore Ravens were brash, cocky, arrogant, and nasty. They has a quarterback that was run out of Tampa and a head coach who was proving to be anything but the offensive genius tag that he was labeled with. They went five games without scoring an offensive touchdown and had a rookie running back and won games "ugly" and that is why I loved them.

Nobody outside of Baltimore expected anything from this team and they proved everyone wrong. In 1996, Art Modell brought football back to Baltimore, but the 2000 Baltimore Ravens brought back the Lombardi trophy and I love them for that.

This is, and always will be, my favorite team of all time and I am sure many Ravens fans feel the same way.


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