What a Crock!
This one has been bothering me for a while, and it all came to a head when Vodka (Tart Vodka to be specific) met a TV timeout at M&T Bank Stadium this past Sunday. As always, the production crew at the stadium cued up some music that 90% of those in attendance have never heard, followed by their Ray Lewis video that, while super bad ass, culminates in the phrase…
“WE ARE THE FLOCK”
Yea… so I have a problem with this.
Call it semantics if you want, but I call this ill-advised, poorly researched marketing, because a group of Ravens?
It’s not called a flock.
While on a very, very broad stroke scale you can say ‘Ravens are birds, and a group of birds is a flock,‘ this term is not specific to a raven.
This is a flock.
So is this.
Perhaps a flock of sheeple?
Using this thing called Google (or Lougle if you’re really into Hot Tub Time Machine), it’s as simple as a few keystrokes to determine that a group of Ravens is referred to as an unkindness or a conspiracy.
Now obviously, the Ravens don’t want to relate themselves to a conspiracy, as that title is held up north in New England where every Patriots shortcut that gets caught is considered a conspiracy.
Taping opponent practices? Frame job!
Deflated footballs? Scapegoats!
The entire NFL is out to get the Patriots! Quick! Grab your tin foil hats and head to the bunker!
But I digress…
An unkindness, while it isn’t the most flattering of terms, could have very easily sold itself in the same sentiment as ‘The Flock.’ Except, you know. It would be accurate.
Something quippy and catchy alluding to the fact that many players outside of the field of play are friends, but for those 3 hours on game day? It’s all about the unkindness against the enemy. Then go on to show a bunch of nasty, crunching hits, some excessive celebrating, and some devastated opponents of the Ravens. And given today’s roster? You have some nasty streak out there with Steve Smith, Sr. who has enough highlight reel attitude to promote the concept of an unkindness.
See how easy that is, Ravens marketing team?
Instead, with each and every home game, we’re force fed the Ray Lewis video about ‘the flock’ which inevitably results in yours truly screaming ‘A GROUP OF RAVENS IS NOT CALLED A FLOCK! WHY DOES NO ONE UNDERSTAND THIS?’
(thanks in large part to that liquid courage)
Now don’t get me wrong, the video is powerful. It’s inspiring. It’s sort of uplifting, I suppose. But it’s inaccurate. If we are ‘the flock’ based on a generic grouping of birds, wouldn’t the Eagles also be ‘the flock?’
Hell, if we’re using generic terms and phrases, the Ravens may as well have just gone with an Angry Birds theme this season, or perhaps go back to the CAW (which, by the way, is also a lie considering the ornithological community recognized the Ravens call as a ‘kraa’ not a ‘caw’ like a crow).
If only there were a more distinct phrase that could be used to describe a group of Ravens that separates it from the generic ‘flock’ terminology that any franchise with an avian mascot could use…
And if that doesn’t fly (pun intended)? Maybe just get away from the whole bird thing altogether.
Also, in case the Marketing Team was wondering, Ravens also hunt alone and rarely in groups.
They are scavengers.
It’s what they do.
Again, that drawing board looks awfully light on solid ideas…