Is Stover softening the hearts of Baltimore Colts fans?

I was listening to some sports talk radio this morning and the topic of conversation was the Super Bowl, not surprising.

The hypothetical scenario that the host tossed out to his listeners in Baltimore was “who do you root for in this particular situation?” Matt Stover lines up to kick a 43 yard game winning field goal to give Indianapolis it’s second Super Bowl Championship. Do you root for Matt or against Matt, for the Colts or against the Colts?

It’s no secret who Baltimore fans are rooting for in Super Bowl 44. Baltimore fans resent Indianapolis and the white and blue colors they take the field wearing every Sunday. In fact, a lot of fans outside Baltimore see the Colts as the “bad guys” in this Super Bowl. A championship in New Orleans would mean a lot to a city devastated by a horrific hurricane just years earlier.

But you throw in a kicker that Baltimore admired and you start to see a divide between the Colts-hating-faithful and the Stover-die-hards.

When I asked myself to answer this question it was simple. If Stover sets up to kick a 43 yard game winner, I hope he shanks it. Nothing against him, he’s a hell of a guy and I’d love to have him back here in Baltimore. But Colt hatred is in my blood. I wouldn’t want anyone to make that kick.

What do you think, If Stover has to kick a game winner in the Super Bowl do you root for the Colts in that situation or against them?

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

16 Comments

  1. Special Teams Guru

    February 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Man, that's a tough one. The Special Teams Guru, Harbaugh, should have never let him go to begin with. I know, I know he needed that extra roster spot and he wanted a guaranteed contract. So who got that extra roster spot, Oneil Cousins? Frank Walker? LJ Smith? All vital pieces of this year's Ravens' roster, right? And for the guaranteed contract…how many kickers actually get hurt, so what's the harm in guaranteeing him the money? The guy was and is a class act. The Special Teams' Guru blew it with this call. If it aint broke, don't fix it especially if you don't have someone better than the guy you let go.

    • Zach

      February 5, 2010 at 11:21 pm

      The worst part of the whole ordeal was that Stover never even stood a chance. He wasn't invited to camp to compete for the job they just let him walk. The Ravens are paying for it now.

      • Byrdman

        February 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm

        Dude, Stover might have helped them win 2 more games this year. That being said, Stover would not have helped the ravens beat the Colts in the AFC playoffs.

  2. The Bruz

    February 6, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Perhaps I should've picked "The Voice of Reason" as my "handle"? Stover didn't get an invite to Camp c'uz he didn't like the contract terms he was offered. So he made nothing for a couple of months. Go back and look at what happened when another "Nice Guy" didn't like his offer — Mike Bordick….Turned down maybe $1.5 million from the O's to be their Starting SS c'uz it was a pay cut…Bordy wound up playing as a Utility Guy in Toronto for like $600K (less the Canadian Exchange Rate). Point is, its not always the Club's fault…For a more current example, look no further than Johnny Damon…Turned down an offer from Yanks…Over-priced himself, to the Yanks cut their losses, signed Randy Winn, and Damon will be lucky to get $3 mil from a bad team. For the record, I hope Stover misses the kick and Indy loses!!!

  3. Special Teams Guru

    February 6, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Bruz, I still think there was some ego involved in the decision. Harbaugh seemed to want to prove a point that he didn't need Stover, not only for his sure-fire clutch kicking (remember the 43 yarder in the blustery January Air at LP Gas Stadium to propel the Ravens to the AFC Championship last year), but also because he supposedly was the intermediary between Harbs and the players. I know the contract had a lot to do with it, not many NFL players have guaranteed contracts, but generally those type of concessions are made to keep your legacy players – see the over inflated contract one. Raymond Lewis just signed this past offseason. Harbs through his own actions is trying to rid this team of holdovers from the old regime. Fangio, Billick's holdover coach, let go for no apparent reason, I understand wanting to have your own guys. I wonder how much success Harbs will have as he moves forward with more and more of HIS guys.

  4. Mark

    February 6, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Money was not even close to the main reason Stover wasn't a Raven this year.

    Harbaugh and Rosburg came in two years ago and decided they knew how Stover should kick and changed his routine for kicking FGs.

    Harbaugh and Stover NEVER saw eye to eye and that's why he is gone. Stover was a fairly influential voice in the locker room and is also very involved with the NFLPA.

    I don't think some people realize how big of an ego Harbaugh has. Special Teams Guru nailed it.

    Harbaugh lobbied Ozzie hard enough to convince him to move on without Stover.

    All of that said, Stover is not the same kicker he once was and it's certainly debatable whether or not he would've single handedly won the team some games. His numbers outside of 40 yards isn't that great.

    • Zach

      February 7, 2010 at 2:58 am

      My issue was that there was never a replacement for Stover. Hauschka and Gano were in a tight battle for the job because they were both average kickers. Throw Stover into the mix and the two young guys would have been laughed out of town.

      So he wanted some more money? The guy has earned it. You know who hasn't earned the money. Domonique Foxworth and even Terrell Suggs.

  5. Special Teams Guru

    February 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Mark,

    Do you know what's interesting…When Billick was here he was called arrogant. condescending, egotistical…ALL very TRUE, however, Billick embraced that persona and even played it up a bit. Harbaugh tries to come off as a humble man, fan friendly, media friendly…He's anything BUT. He's just as arrogant, if not more so, than was Billick. Yet "Joe Fan" still seems to see him as the "anti-Billick". I'll leave with this thought, Billick proudly wears a Super Bowl Ring which he earned by managing the egos and leading his team. Guys like Sam Adams, Shannon Sharpe, all huge egos that Billick worked with and earned that Super Bowl title. He was a great communicator and motivator, maybe not as sharp on "X's and O's", but he's got a ring. Perhaps Mr. Humble Harbaugh should at least wait until he earns a "national championship" (as Harbaugh called it) before he comes off so arrogant and cocky.

    • Mark

      February 7, 2010 at 2:03 am

      STG

      I'm right with ya.

      People went crazy about Billick's clock management and Harbaugh's is WORSE.

      Billick wore out his welcome and that's fine. I loved him as a coach and cannot believe how so many Ravens fans bash the guy and try to give the Super Bowl credit to Marvin Lewis.

      Harbaugh is not nearly as sharp or polished as Billick and never will be.

      Another funny thing is hearing people complaining that the Ravens didn't hire Rex Ryan. That would've been a disaster of epic proportions for this franchise.

      • The Bruz

        February 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

        Mark…May I call you Mark? :-) Billick was clearly the right guy in the right place at the right time…And he wouldn't a lasted four years had Al Del Greco not had the worst day of his professional career in the playoffs that year….(And remember, it wasn't like the Super Bowl Champs were 14 – 2 in the Regular Season that year.) We just went through this earlier in the week…Coach Billick had Four Players of the Decade on his team, yet failed to win even a single playoff game in his last, what, six years here? The talent he had was so much better than what Harbs has as to be laughable. Genuine or not…Efficient game manager or not…Winning three playoff games with a young QB from no where (apologies to the Mud Hens or Blue Jays or whatever his alma mater's mascot is), an undersized featured tailback, a 47 year old MLB, an injured HoF Safety, etc., is truly to be commended and NOT scoffed at! PS Of course its about the money re: Stover. It always is. PS II I agree the contract for #52 was illogical. PS III See, we DO have some common ground! :-)

        • Mark

          February 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm

          I will go through most of your points.

          1. I find it ridiculous that ten years later you would try to discredit the Super Bowl by laughable excuses. Who cares that Al Del Greco missed those FGs? Do Giants fans tear down Parcells because Scott Norwood missed his kick? It's utterly amazing how some STILL want to discredit the head coach of a Super Bowl winning team instead of rejoicing that we won it. It's laughably transparent that those people have a personal vendetta against Billick.

          2. I'm at a loss for words about this comment…"And remember, it wasn't like the Super Bowl Champs were 14 – 2 in the Regular Season that year." Is this supposed to support your argument? You're right, they were not 14-2, they were 12-4. How is this relevant?

          3. The talent Billick has is so much better than Harbaugh? Certainly not of offense it isn't. The offensive line last year and this year far superior to the trash Ozzie gave Billick. Who cares where Flacco is from? He was recruiting hard by a Pitt and decided to transfer. He wasn't some no name. Every scout in the NFL pegged him as a first round talent. He just turned in the 2nd best statistical season a Ravens QB has ever had. He is by far more talented than ANY QB Billick ever had.

          4. Wait a second. You are not seriously gonna say that Harbaugh somehow deserves more credit here because of Rice's size are you? Rice is a fantastic football player. Not to mention McGahee is undoubtedly one of the most, if not the most, talented #2 back in the league. The combo of Williams and Stewart in Carolina is probably a bit better.

          5. And once again, money was not the issue with Stover. Harbaugh was. HE is the one who wanted to move on, not Stover.

          My overall point is this. Harbaugh as a serious ego that seems to go unnoticed by many. He has a team was shockingly undisciplined last season. His in game clock and time out managing is horrendous.

          Why do I bring these points up? Because those are the main reasons that so many people wanted Billick run out of town. And I actually agree that it was time for a change. I don't think Harbaugh is horrible but I think he has a ton to improve on as a head coach.

          • The Bruz

            February 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm

            Mark from Perry Hall…Well, at least my first ever Beatdown Blog comes from a local media "personality"! Hey, any chance you were on the Perry Hall Travel Baseball Team back in 1975? If so, you finally extracted revenge for my Rosedale Team's Northeast County Championship over Perry Hal, en route to that year's Baltimore County Title! Back to the Great Debate…I wasn't trying to discredit Billick's Lombardi Trophy in point one…More trying to point out that its an incredibly fine line between success and failure…If my Nike Circle Tee Shirt still fit, I'd still be wearing it all the time…As for point two, they didn't even win their division, so its hard to be a 'team for the ages"…Point three…Jon Ogden and Jemal Lewis…Two Hall of Famers in their Prime on Offense…How many Hall of Famers on Offense does Harbs have? Mason, but he's far removed from his Prime…Rice? Outta football by the start of the 2013 season, won't be long enough to qualify for HoF…Flacco? He's gonna havta win a game with his own arm at some point before that discussion can begin. :-) Oh wait, Shannon Sharpe is a year away from the HoF…Heap? Not so much…And Grbac was a 4,000 yard passer coming to town. While Flacco may have bene recruited by Pitt, he sure didn't play much there, right? Letting Stover go was clearly a bad move. But he's to blame, as is the Coach, and the GM. His Pride or Ego or the "I was dis-respected" card surely came in to play. Harbaugh certainly has more improving to do. But the job he did in 2008 keeping his team together thru everything that happened, C-Mac in the doghouse notwithstanding, was crazy good. Fortunately, the Owner just called out the Coach for all the penalties. Hey, to get off this topic, wanna debate if Earl Weaver was the biggest Under-Achiever Manager of the Modern Era? :-)

          • Mark

            February 8, 2010 at 1:15 am

            Fact is Billick won more than he lost and won a Super Bowl.

            Who cares that they didn't win the division in 2000? It's completely irrelevant. Why are you bringing up terms like "team for the ages" when responding to me. That stuff is all fluff BS anyway.

            Ray Rice was a much more lethal weapon this season than any other RB ever was in a Ravens uniform. And it's not close. Your "outta football in 2013" means exactly what again?

            You don't seem to realize that harping on where Flacco from doesn't help your argument one bit. He played at Pitt and their coaching staff decided to GIVE Tyler Palko the job without letting Flacco compete. So he left and went to Delaware so he wouldn't have to sit a year out. He then proceeded to show what he was capable of and was drafted in the first round of the draft. He's not some undrafted FA that was some overachiever that the Ravens discovered.

            The 2001 team went 10-6 and won a road playoff game with Terry Allen and Jason Brookins running the ball. So they didn't win the Super Bowl. Hardly some indictment on them or the coach.

            You seem to view the HOF thing in some sort of vacuum. It doesn't work that way. Ogden is undoubtedly a hall of famer. Jamal is no lock at all by the way. If Cris Carter doesn't even make the final 10 this year, Jamal could easily be on the outside looking in when all is said and done. And to be honest, who cares? The offensive weapons on this team from 2001 through 2007 were borderline embarrassing at points.

            I played travel team baseball for Lutherville-Timonium and I was born in 1977 so I wasn't playing ball back then!!!!!!

  6. Special Teams Guru

    February 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Mark,

    Are you related to me?!?! I am in 100% agreement with your analysis on Harbaugh. It's the case of The Emperor having No Clothes. The media has told us that Harbaugh is disciplined, Harbaugh is tough, Harbaugh runs two a days, no more Camp Cream Puff. BS!!! I went to Camp under Billick and I went under Harbaugh. It's essentially the same camp…Full squad in the AM, Special Teams in the PM, and NOBODY in pads, just shells. Harbaugh also has his self-proclaimed "over 30 club" which affords his guys over 30 years old days off during camp…Just like Billick did!!! As far as Harbaugh being tough, well if being tough means having a "dog house" and not letting some players play when it could be detrimental to the team, then I guess he's tough. Some of the sports fans in this town slay me. They believe EVERYTHING the media tells them. Have you ever listened to some of these clowns? I've forgotten more stuff about sports than Bruce Cunningham knows about sports. Damon Yafee? Cmon Man!

    Bruz – I swear I don't know this guy and he's not related to me.

    Mark – Bruz and I debate this issue all the time and probably thinks I set him up!!!

    • Mark

      February 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

      Haha!

      Well, if you listen to sports radio you've probably heard me.

      I probably call 1570 and 1370 4 times a week.

      Mark from Perry Hall.

      The media in this town is laughable.

  7. Will-o

    February 8, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Aints can win this game.