*If this discussion is in the wrong section feel free to move it*
So I was thinking, as I do with most offseasons as the draft approuches, of my first visit to training camp and how my hope were crushed (plot-twist ahead). I wanted to open this thread to share with eachother our favorite stories and memories as Ravens fans. Anything from a personal story to a story about the team, share them here as we get closer to the draft with just about every avenue for improvment theorized about. My favorite story this website has published is Ozzies first draft.
But here is my story, and how I need to remind myself every year, our personal dreams are sometimes crushed, resulting in an even better reality.
So in 2007, I was 14 years old and just beginings to develope my love for this organization. Coincidentally, this was the year that Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy. Being a new fan of the sport, naturally I fell in love with him, he was the Heisman winner after all. So round after round, I was pray for the Ravens to draft this young, Vick-like talent. Each round, my disappointment grew larger, only to be revitalized by the apparent lack of interest from other teams. Five rounds later, my hope escalated as I watched the Baltimore Ravens select who I thought would be the next superstar quarterback, giving the Ravens much needed help on offense.
The season went by, and my hopes of Smith being our Godsend were slowly crushed, but I hadn't lost all hope as this was just his rookie season. He could rebound right? Well, with the first pick in the 2008 draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected "Not-Matt Ryan" and I instantly hated him. This Joe guy was primed to take Troy Smith's chance of leading this team to victory and I wasn't happy about it.
I went to training camp that year for the first time with my family, and after a fun day of pictures and autographs, I was able to get all of my favorite players autographs. I got Sizzle, Ed Reed, Mark Clayton (Yes, he was one of my favorites), and even the great Ray Lewis. I also got to take a picture of the three quarterbacks together. I couldn't wait to share the picture with friends and family, showing how awesome this picture was of Smith and his two backups.
Well, only weeks later, Kyle Bowler became injured and Smith came down with a stomach bug, and the preseason started without them. Joe Flacco was now the starter by default. My disappointment was greater than ever, but after showing promise week after week, my hope for a successful offense seemed misplaced in Smith. Flacco grew as a player and now I stand behind him 100%. It's funny, thinking back, at how much faith I had in Troy Smith, and how he is now a distant memory.
Hopefully I haven't bored you!