Patriots-Ravens with WWE-like stipulation

The Ravens won't look the same the next time they come to Foxboro.

Those were the mighty words of the great Howard Finkel at WrestleMania VII in Los Angeles when the Ultimate Warrior met the late Randy “Macho Man” Savage with the threat of retirement hanging in the balance.
Not that this Sunday’s AFC Championship game needs any more drama or hype, but if Bob Kraft invites the world’s greatest ring announcer (sorry, Buffer brothers) to sit in the John Kerry/Donald Trump/Jon Bon Jovi seats in the family suite and allows him to introduce the Pats, Gillette Stadium may finally reach the Decibel levels of old Foxboro Stadium.
Know this: this is indeed a career-ending match on Sunday. Unfortunately for Baltimore fans, the stipulation only works one way and if the Ravens lose they won’t be re-instated, like Savage was, just over a year later.  
It’s all on the line for Ray Lewis if, by miracle, you haven’t heard. And who knows what happens to Ed Reed this offseason? The All Pro safety will either retire or could very well jump to another team (think Bill Belichick would be interested?). Then there’s quarterback Joe Flacco. Say he has good numbers again this Sunday, which would be his fourth solid-to-very-good postseason game in a row. Suddenly, teams across the league will be lining up to grab the free agent (it could still very well happen even if Flacco has a clunker against the Pats).
John Harbaugh is one of the better coaches in the game. And the departures of Lewis and Reed would make the defense younger and quicker by default. Even if both players retire it’s highly unlikely that Baltimore will go 3-13 next season and any team with Harbaugh and Ray Rice will likely find a way to the .500 mark at the very least.

Still, the great unknown is a scary place to enter in the NFL. Things happen in a hurry.

If you asked any Patriots fan on Feb. 4, 2008, the day after the Giants beat the Pats in the big game the first time, he or she would tell you that they no longer wanted anything to do will the fossils known as Bruschi, Harrison, Vrabel or Seau. They wanted a young defense, history be damned.

Well, it’s taken half a decade for the Pats defense to get back to respectability (if they’re there yet). In the playoff losses to the Ravens, Jets and Giants last year, people wanted more heady veterans on the defense.

If the Patriots beat the Ravens Sunday, one can be sure that Baltimore fans will cry that their defense has to get younger. A classic case of “be careful what you wish for.”

Yup, this is a career-ending match. And the repercussions for Baltimore are anything but scripted in the next few years.


Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.


The Boston Marathon: Step by step, the race…

For over a century, the Boston Marathon has been an event centered around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there’s no denying the face of the renowned race has been changed…


Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.


MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.


Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…


Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.


NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2


MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win


NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1


MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing


Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…


Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…


Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…


4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.