If you’re looking to start a website for Ravens fans, be sure you keep the team’s name out of the URL.  The Baltimore Ravens have been flexing their muscles and forcing fan sites containing “Ravens” in the name to rebrand themselves.  Ravens24x7.com, the oldest and arguably the best of the fan’s sites is currently undergoing a name change, while RavensGab.com has be renamed to BaltimoreGridIronReport.com.

Tony Lombardi, Ravens24x7.com’s owner and operator, posted that he was “forced” to announce a name change to his nine year old website.

Lombardi provided additional details on the the Ravens24x7 message board.

First and foremost I am flattered by the support and I thank you all.

Secondly, this didn’t become this (fka Ravens24x7.com ) without a ton of support starting with the writers (many of which were discovered here), Admin Steve, the moderators and all of you. I thank you all again.

Lastly, I don’t have an axe to grind with the team. I get it. Our biggest concern is migrating to something easily remembered which can be used to inspire a cool logo; comes off the tongue easily; and captures in a few syllables what we do. That’s our challenge.

Matt Jergesen at BaltimoreGribIronReport.com — formerly RavensGab.com — explained the cease and desist his company received for using “Ravens” in their URL.

A few months ago we were contacted by our superiors from the Mother ship – www.nflgridirongab.com and they said that they had received an e-mail from the Baltimore Ravens public relations department. In said e-mail they asked or rather told us to cease using the name “Ravens” in our title or risk legal action.

It shouldn’t surprise me when I hear news like this coming from The Castle, but somehow it always seems to catch me off guard.  I’ve said for the past couple years that the Ravens have been on a path that pushes their fans further away and I believe they are no longer interested in growing local support for the franchise.

Guys like Lombardi have helped to promote this team and provide unique coverage of it in this city free of charge.  The content and effort put into Ravens24x7.com goes unmatched.  The Ravens should be thanking Ravens24x7.com for helping to build a community and promote the franchise, not threatening the site.

If you think this is an NFL-wide ruling, you’re wrong.  Google “Steelers fan site” and see the list of Pittsburgh URL’s that pop up.  SteelerAddicts.com, SteelerConnection.com, Steelersfever.com, SteelersSal.com and SteelerGridIron.com don’t seem to be threatening the Pittsburgh brand.  Didn’t Steve Bisciotti say that he wanted to model the Ravens organization after the Steelers?

This move by the Ravens organization is classless.  I was ashamed when Terrell Suggs sent cease and desist letters to fans making “Ball So Hard University” t-shirts and I’m ashamed that the Baltimore football franchise is threatening to sue fan’s websites.  Its ridiculous.

Say what you will about the Orioles and the way their organization is run.  We all know it’s going to be a long baseball season.  But at least they aren’t threatening their fans with cease and desist letters.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com.  You can follow him on Twitter @zamwi or send him an email: zach@baltimoresportsreport.com.