Orioles invite Ravens to opening day; Ravens too busy to attend

By John Breech | CBSSports.com


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The Orioles wanted to honor the Ravens; the Ravens had prior commitments. (USATSI)

Forget the Steelers, Browns and Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens might have a new rival: the Orioles.

The Orioles held their home opener on Friday and had grand plans of honoring the Ravens Super Bowl winning team. There was one problem: none of the Ravens showed up. According to the Ravens, each player that was invited to the Orioles opener had a scheduling conflict.

"Due to conflicts of schedule and prior commitments for each person, unfortunately, today didn't work out," Ravens spokesman Patrick Gleason said in an email to the Baltimore Sun. "It was determined that those invited would try to reschedule an opportunity to attend a different game this season."

When asked their take on the situation, the Orioles gave a 'no comment,' but did say that they had planned to honor the Ravens, something they still did. Since no actual Ravens players were at the game, the Orioles went to Plan B: they showed some footage of the Ravens' season and an image of Joe Flacco on the video board holding the Lombardi Trophy.

Neither team specified which Ravens' players were invited to the game.

Of course, all of this comes on the heels of the last month's impasse, when the Ravens asked the Orioles to move their Sept. 5 home game against the White Sox so that the Ravens could open the NFL season at home. Since 2004, the defending Super Bowl champion has hosted the first game of the following season at home.

However, the Ravens and Orioles were unable to reach an agreement on the matter and now the Ravens will become the first defending Super Bowl champion to open on the road since Tampa Bay in 2003.

If the relationship between the two organizations is frosty, Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn't indicate that on Friday.

"I'm real proud of them," Showalter said of the Ravens. "I'm proud to be in a city that they're a part of. The Ravens mean a lot to Baltimore and we've got a long way to go to get to that level of trust that the fans have with the Ravens."

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following John Breech on Twitter: @JohnBreech.

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