Late For Work 7/14: Will New Policy Affect Camp Attendance?

Plus conflicting reports on whether T. Smith will be traded and Ravens on the bubble.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 at 9:33 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens’ organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors’ views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Will New Policy Affect Camp Attendance?

UPDATE: BaltimoreRavens.com will soon post answers to fan questions regarding the new policy.

The Ravens can draw between 80,000 to 90,000 fans each summer at training camp, according Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun.

But will that number decrease after the team instituted the first major change in autograph policy (now only children will have the opportunity to get player autographs)  in its 14-year history?

“It’ll be interesting to see if the Ravens’ new autograph policy will affect attendance at training camp,” tweeted Hensely. “It was a draw for a lot of adults.

Will the new autograph policy stop you from coming to training camp?

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I have the same curiosity, Jamison. But why wait until training camp to find out? Let’s try to get a sneak peak now with the poll to the right.

We certainly aren’t hurting for opinions on the Ravens’ bold move. BaltimoreRavens.com has received 102 comments on the change (as of 7:30 am), plus 123 more comments (some not so appropriate – let’s keep it clean people) on the team’s official Facebook page.

Here are some opinions from NFL pundits and Ravens fans:

BuckWilds: The Ravens Organization did something nice for the kids. This is a FAMILY organization that cares about the fan experience at camp and elsewhere, and they’re trying to design a family and child friendly environment. This organization has never been about trying to take from the fans and this decision is representative of the core values of the organization: family and fans matter to them. Good job, Ravens. You made the right choice. Don’t let the complaining by a few affect your excellent decision. I never liked watching grown men elbow each other, and children, out of the way to try to get an autograph. Begging another man to sign something is bad enough, but pushing a kid out of the way to do it… Embarrassing on several levels.

Theravenator: How many kids have bought season tickets? I feel betrayed by the club. At least have some days open for the season ticket holders to get autographs. I don’t begrudge the children a chance to get signatures; I was thrilled as a kid when my dad took me to Colts camp. However, those of us who help to pay the players salaries shouldn’t be left out.

ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio: At first, we thought the new policy seemed a little cold and heavy-handed.  But the explanation [about safety] offered by Ravens president Dick Cass makes sense.

105.7 The Fan’s Damon “The Bulldog” Yaffe: Wow, it must have gotten kinda out-of-control for this to go down. I’ve witnessed a few decent shouting matches between fans over the years; always chalking them up to the morning heat – and pre-season football fervor. I’m glad the kids will get the added attention and the memories that will come from getting on the field to meet the players. My first thought on this is it’s a good thing.

Asmodeus: I was going to go this year for the first time, mostly to get autographs for my kid. My son is only 5 and he likes then dislikes football right now at the toss of a coin. I can not see letting my 5 year old out on a field holding a football when he can not read let alone identify the players to get autographs from. It would seem to me to be just as dangerous for a 5 year old around 10-15 years olds fighting to get close to the players as it would be for him to be around adults and close to me. I don’t see where this fixes anything it just makes it almost impossible for a younger kid to get the autographs of bigger named players. Guess we are just staying home…

TheRockyHorrorRavensShow: I’ve seen the worst parts of human behavior from that setup and it’s my least favorite part of the camp. Certainly, the nostalgia of how things used to be in the olden days of sports were one thing. But with the ridiculous way things are being thrown around nowadays, it’s a much better deal to drop 20$ on a ticket for a Great Moments Inc. player signing(located literally 5 mins from training camp on Rt 140 next to Shoppers Food Warehouse). You get to approach the player, they actually say something nice to you usually, you can snap a picture, not have to throw your child at them, and the quality looks great and sells even better if that’s what you want to do with it one day.

jen2swt: So what is the point of the Ravens Rookies now? We have to pay for our kids now and these kids now get to go out on the field free with just a wristband? I don’t get it. Unless these now kids will have to pay and be apart of the RR? Anyone know? I need to renew my son’s RR and don’t want to if these other kids will be going out for free.

Conflicting Reports on Vick, Troy

Some have speculated it would make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles to target Ravens quarterback Troy Smith if they wanted to cut Michael Vick.

Not gonna happen, says the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. A team source simply told McLane that the team is not pursuing Smith.

As for whether the team will keep Vick at all (regardless of Smith), there are conflicting reports. But the most recent is Scout.com’s Adam Caplan who reported that sources familiar with the Eagles’ decision-making process say the only way Vick will be released, “is if he forced them to do so,” or lied about the events that led up to Quanis Phillips’ shooting on June 25.

What does Smith have to say about all this?

Not much. Smith said he has heard the reports of a possible trade to the Philadelphia Eagles but that’s about the extent of it.

“I can’t control any of that stuff,” Smith told Pro Football Weekly. “I can only do what’s in my power to get better as a quarterback and fine-tune my skills and abilities.”

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