Living On A Prayer

The level of insecurity reaches a fever pitch right when the doctor walks into the room.

I go through this process every year and still feel a Glory Be or Our Father seems appropriate when my dermatologist conducts my yearly skin check. My father fought a one-year battle that he won with skin cancer. It runs in my family and I will likely exhibit signs at some point in my life that point to this dreaded disease.

It turns out that a Hail Mary works best these days in Maryland. After all, that’s all my dermatologist wanted to talk about.

Joe Flacco’s heave to Jacoby Jones stopped me in the middle of writing a story about the Ravens hanging with the Denver Broncos in the AFC divisional round, but ultimately losing to the number one seed. I had already sent out a coverage plan to Gerry Sandusky and Pete Gilbert after Flacco couldn’t connect with Dennis Pitta with about three minutes left in the game.

We used the delete button a ton on Saturday night.

There’s no way Jones should have gotten behind Denver safety Rahim Moore with less than a minute to go and an entire aisle to go at Sports Authority Field. There’s no way all-everything quarterback Peyton Manning throws two crippling interceptions, one that led to six points and the other that cost his team a potential Super Bowl. There’s no way a rookie kicker makes a 47-yard pressure filled field goal for a playoff win that still won’t resonate as the biggest kick of his life. (Justin Tucker did make a game-winner against Texas A & M when he played for Texas in his senior season. I’m sure that’s his favorite field goal.)

Sudden death became instant life for the Baltimore Ravens and left everyone in this state with the euphoric combination of shock, pleasure and anticipation. We are all still very anxious. There are two more wins left before one of football’s final four lifts Lombardi’s trophy. We are only at the half-mile pole of the NFL’s lengthy, yet perfectly placed postseason.

It’s the same story in a different location. Can Joe Flacco outplay Tom Brady? He did in Baltimore in week three when Tucker hit a field goal for the game-winner in a “you gotta be kidding me” style of comeback win for the home team. He came within a whisker of achieving greatness at Gillette Stadium last season in a true close shave of a finish that featured more missed opportunities than a romantic comedy.

It’s all right there. Revenge, respect and a new rivalry. All on display for someone to grab in the battle for the Lamar Hunt trophy.

The diagnosis from my dermatologist appointment? All good.

We look for the same diagnosis on Sunday evening.

Have comments? Tweet them to @WBALDash

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One Response

  1. If I had not seen that game with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. Anything is possible!

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