The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have one of the best rivalries in the NFL. The teams have been two of the best franchises in the NFL the past 10+ years, they play extremely competitive games, and their games feature tons of hitting. Remember the broken nose the Ravens gave Ben Roethlisberger last year? That picture defines the rivalry.
Only Steelers safety safety Ryan Clark feels differently.
In an interview with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Clark said the Ravens haven’t beaten the Steelers enough to make it a rivalry. Here’s the transcription from Sports Radio Interviews via Ravens Insider and Pro Football Talk:
People try to make this game between the Ravens and the Steelers like so much of a rivalry, of a fight. You can say it’s a rivalry if you like, but I really truly feel that for a game to be a rivalry, it doesn’t have to just be physical. I think for something to be a rivalry, both teams kind of have to win equally. I just think the hate between the fans doesn’t make a situation a rivalry. I think in college it does, but in the league teams have to win equally, and that really hasn’t been the case in our situation.
Clark is speaking from the Mike Tomlin perspective that he mentioned earlier in the interview, which is treat every game the same. The problem is these teams play twice a year and no they’re in for a physical battle every time they play. The coaches know it, the players know it, and the fans know it. The heightened excitement surrounding the game every time they play makes it a rivalry.
If it weren’t a rivalry, Clark wouldn’t be concerned about giving the Ravens credit. This was his version of a putdown. Put it this way, if it weren’t a rivalry you would never get comments like this from Jim Harbaugh, much less Terrell Suggs wearing anti-Steelers shirts like this one. Clark is wrong, and the Ravens will have to prove it on the field.Google+