Let's begin with this truth: few events in recent Baltimore sports history packed the emotional wallop of
From the moment No. 52 emerged from the tunnel during pre-game instructions and danced his crazy dance for the last time, to the end of his exhilarating victory lap around the field, the charged atmosphere was unlike any other game the
And in their 24-9 win over the
But what will the Ravens do now, now that they're headed to Denver to face the
How do you sustain that kind of emotion against the red-hot Broncos and their All-Galaxy quarterback,
Short answer: you can't.
With the Ravens as nine-point underdogs, it could be Ray Lewis' last game in a Ravens uniform, the end of one of the most storied careers in
But they'll be playing in a cold, hostile stadium, far from the nurturing environment of the Bank, and that wellspring of Ray's-last-game emotion will only go so far.
"You can't play a 60-minute football game on emotion," the Ravens coach said. "You've got to go play football. You've got to go play well. You've got to play this play efficiently and effectively. To me, you just don't do that emotionally.
"Emotion wears out really fast. So, we'll carry forward. We'll still be emotional and enthusiastic, but the fact that we played well, that's what's important."
So Harbaugh gets it, and we'll see if the rest of the Ravens get it when they play Saturday at
Heck, even the name of the stadium sounds cold and hostile, a corporate-evoking battlefield where the Ravens will be on their own and in full us-against-the-world mode.
And if they can't feed off the kind of emotion they fed off Sunday -- which they can't -- they better do what Harbaugh alluded to, what all teams have to do if they want to survive the grueling playoffs and make it to the Valhalla of the