I really hope everyone had a chance to watch Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg absolutely dominate the Pirates last night in his Major League debut.
The 21-year-old went 7 innings, gave up just 2 earned runs, and struck out 14. He touched 101mph on the gun, showcased an absolutely filthy curve, and made big league hitters look like children.
You might not be a Nationals fan, you might not be a D.C. sports fan, but if you're a sports fan, you had to be impressed with that effort. I know I was.
Anyway, back to the sport and team that you came here to read about.
The last time reporters spoke to Billy Cundiff, he was the only kicker on the Ravens' roster. Now, he has some company and some competition.
Last week's signing of Shayne Graham, however, didn't take Cundiff by surprise. When Cundiff signed his RFA tender in April, the Ravens told him that Graham would be joining him sometime after June 1.
"They've got to do what's best for the team," Cundiff said. "For me, I knew that going in, so this is exactly where I expected to be."
The Ravens gave Graham, the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history, a one-year contract with no guaranteed money up front, so in Cundiff's eyes, the job is completely up for grabs.
So is the pressure any greater now? Do things feel different for Cundiff now that Graham is in a Ravens jersey and sharing the reps?
No and no, Cundiff says.
"Regardless of whether somebody is here to compete with or somebody's not, the mindset is always the same," he said. "For me, I just go out and make field goals and let the rest happen. Because in the NFL, even if somebody's not here, there's always somebody waiting in the wings."
Graham seems to have the early edge for the job because of his experience and consistent numbers over his nine-year career, but Cundiff has a couple factors on his side as well.
The 30-year-old has been with the Ravens since November, so he's familiar with the coaching staff and their expectations. He's developed a rapport with long snapper Matt Katula and holder Sam Koch. He's also battled for jobs many times in the past, whereas because of Graham's past success, the former Bengal hasn't truly needed to "win the job" in training camp in a few years.
"I think bouncing around a lot helps because I've been in a bunch of different places, and I've been in a bunch of different situations, so you get into this kind of deal where you compete with somebody," Cundiff said. "Not to say that I've 'been there done that', but the mentality is one that I don't have to worry about all the extra things. I just worry about myself, worry about making kicks, and let the rest take care of itself."