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Power Rankings

Baltimore City Power Rankings

Photo: Illustrations by Alex Fine, License: N/A

Illustrations by Alex Fine


 

1 Baltimore

This year, Ravens Nation seemed to enter into that mythical realm of obsessive fan bases supporting teams like the Eagles and Green Bay (only such a fan base could include that manic “I can’t take it!” YouTube guy) and were rewarded with a championship. Even more impressive, the celebration in the streets was massive, rowdy, joyful—and blessedly peaceful. Now, we reap subsidiary prizes like an economic boomlet and, more importantly in this city so often deprived of it: Respect.

2 Joe Flacco

No one’s stock soared higher in this postseason than Super Bowl MVP Flacco, who threw 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the playoffs, matching numbers previously only put up by that other Joe—Montana (take that, Niner Nation). All the questioning of Joe Cool’s consistency, his decision-making, his “elite-ness” ought to go away now. And with a contract negotiation coming up in the off-season, it couldn’t have come at a better time for him: Bisciotti, pay the man!

3 Ray Lewis

It was inevitable that the best middle linebacker in history, who announced his retirement early in the Ravens’ playoff run, would become an endlessly touted storyline leading up the Super Bowl, including mockery on SNL, totally unreasonable accusations involving performance-enhancing deer antlers, and totally reasonable references back to the deadly encounter in Atlanta 13 years ago. Lewis handled it like the champ he is, often deflecting attention to teammates and going out with a second Super Bowl ring.

4 John Harbaugh

Anyone with siblings knows the competitiveness that is ingrained so deeply as to be subconscious and formative. For John, whether he knows it or not, this wasn’t just about reaching the pinnacle of success for an NFL coach, it was about finally besting your star-quarterback brother and earning a new level of love from your mother and father. Also, John totally earned this victory, outpreparing and outcoaching his borderline-unhinged kin.

5 America

For anyone looking to pass judgment on our nation, Super Bowl Sunday was prime pickings: What does it say that, at our most prominent national spectacle, we couldn’t keep the goddamn lights on? That’s some Kabul shit. We might as well just let China handle the science for all future events. And was it just me, or did the consumerism seem that much more repulsive this year? The grotesque-sounding Go Daddy kiss commercial was bad, but that produced segment during the pregame show where analysts handed out Pizza Hut pizzas to people for saying “hut-hut-hut” might’ve been the low point of Western Civilization thus far.

 

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