Billboard smack talk, while not a common or frequent occurrence, is nothing new when it comes to the buildup, anticipation and antagonistic attitudes that can percolate and often boil over before a huge showdown game between intense rivals. And when it’s the AFC Championship Game pitting the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots against one another, hoo boy, we’re talking big time now, as in things are about to get real serious real quick.
Clear Channel Outdoor has erected a billboard in Lawrence, Mass. — about 45 miles away from Gillette Stadium, as the crow flies — which lays down some serious smack talk about the upcoming battle on Sunday, primarily by incorporating Ray Lewis’ impending retirement into the mix.
Actually, the looming spectre of Ray’s inevitable retirement if and when the Ravens are vanquished from the postseason is essentially the only driving force behind the billboard. As you can see below, the billboard amounts to nothing more than a countdown to Ray Lewis’ retirement party, which at the time the photo was taken on Wednesday, amounted to 4 days, 6 hours and 55 minutes:
While there is no disputing the cleverness of the Ray Lewis Retirement Party Countdown Clock billboard, there is, however, one issue: With the billboard Clear Channel Outdoor and those behind the billboard are allowing their mouths to write a check their respective butts can’t cash, as they won’t be the ones on the field taking on the Ravens on Sunday. Sure, Patriots fans love the concept now, but if their beloved team goes out and lays an egg and loses, they might look upon this billboard smack talk as something of a jinx.