The good news: NFL training camps are under way and football is back. The bad news: Brace yourself for the same tired storylines we hear every year around this time, starting with the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens trying to avoid the unavoidable hangover that comes with being the best team in the league.
Coach John Harbaugh, hoping to sidestep the silliness, made it clear that the issue isn't with the Ravens but with the people covering them.
"The only reason it's hard (to repeat) is because people associated with the team can't block it out," Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "I would say to the media, 'Just get over it.' Life moves quickly. I think all of us are capable of doing more than one thing at once. It's not like we have to forget the Super Bowl in order to move onto the next season. We're capable of being proud of the accomplishment and moving on to the next thing. It's not an either/or proposition. It seems like a pretty simple concept."
For some perspective, in the past 10 years, the defending Super Bowl champ qualified for the playoffs the following season six times, including one Lombardi Trophy (Super Bowl XXXVIII when the Pats beat the Eagles). So, yes, all the Super Bowl hangover talk might be a bit overblown.
Either way, Harbaugh is interested in one thing: the 2013 season.
"[Talk of defending the Lombardi Trophy] is not a relevant point, and it won't be until the week of the Super Bowl if we're in the game," Harbaugh said. "Until that time, it's a pointless conversation because we're not playing the Super Bowl. We're playing Tampa Bay in the preseason opener. So you could make it an issue if you want, but it's not, and just because [the media] makes it an issue doesn't mean we need to. We didn't figure this out because we won a Super Bowl, how we're going to approach it. That's how we've approached it all along."
It's good advice for both media folk and Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones.
Jones finished third in "Dancing With the Stars" this May only to fail the team's conditioning test earlier this week. No word on whether a DWTS hangover was the culprit.