It’s finally April 21st, meaning I can finally post about the Baltimore Ravens! I know I have mentioned them several times before, but now I can have an entire day dedicated to telling the world about my favorite team! So without further ado, The Baltimore Ravens!
I became a fan in 1996. You ask why I wasn’t a fan since I was born? Well the Ravens became a football team in 1996. Baltimore had a team before (BOO Colts) and some drama had happened with the Browns (meh), but then in ’96 we got our very own NFL team. Me and my family went to a game in one of the first few seasons, and my love grew stronger. After that game, a huge tradition began.
Every Sunday (or Thursday/Monday depending on the schedule) my parents have a party for the Ravens game. Some of my most favorite memories happened during these parties, and I will hold them close forever. We would sometimes have an upwards of 40 people in our small(ish) house, and it was decided that we needed an addition. Yes, an addition to a house for a football game. But for my family, it wasn’t just a game.
Several years after the parties began, the Ravens were headed to the Super Bowl. Our large group of party attendees would hop in the cars after playoff games and head to the airport, where the Ravens would walk through before going to their cars. It was such a cool experience meeting almost all of the players, and seeing them so excited to see the fans after big wins. After each game we would do the same thing, and week after week players would stop for autographs, pose for photos and even stop for videos!
After the Ravens won their first Super Bowl, Baltimore went wild! However, I didn’t go with my dad, uncle and grandfather because I wanted to watch survivor with my mom and grandmother. Not going with them was one of my biggest regrets…(until last year!). The following year, the Ravens organization started putting on Pep Rally’s at the inner harbor. Players, mascots and cheerleaders would attend and hang out for pictures and autographs. The players were all so awesome, and more amazing memories were made. Brandon Stokely has always been on of my favorite players, and I was able to meet him several times because of the rally’s!
Year after year the tradition has been kept alive and I always know that during football season there is no such thing as a diet during Ravens season! Dave has never really been a sports fan, but he is adapting the Ravens ways. Thankfully, because I have always said I could never date a non-football fan, or a Steelers fan (sorry, just can’t do it). Last year when we won the Super Bowl, I am pretty sure we won him over.
In Baltimore, we celebrate Purple Friday. Every Friday during Ravens season, you have to wear purple, it’s a thing and if you’re a fan, you just do it. But during our Super Bowl run, everything was purple for a month straight. And I mean Everything! Billboards, buildings, roads, my clothes, Dave’s clothes and even my hair. I think he was getting into it at that point, because who couldn’t? I am thankful for the 2012/2013 season for SO many reasons.
Ray Lewis. When he announced he was going to retire, I may have cried. He was my first jersey, the first sign I made was for him, and one of the first players I had met was him. Winning the Super Bowl was all for him, and it was amazing. I’ll be doing his dance forever. Another reason was because I was finally 21 and could attend all of the Ravens events downtown. I was even able to go to the Ravens Super Bowl celebration that was held after the Ring Ceremony. Best. Night. Ever. Finally being able to experience Baltimore after a Super Bowl win. A bunch of us jumped in our cars and went right to Baltimore City after the big win. It was awesome. Everyone was flooding the streets, running around, cheering, and just being happy. Everyone was Happy! Then a few days later, a huge celebration was held in M & T Bank stadium, along with a parade. Over 70,000 people filled the field and the seats as the players came in to share this experience with the fans. There we absolutely some tears shed.
But when it comes down to why I am most thankful for that season, I only have one main answer. My Uncle experienced it. He was in and out of the hospital and hospice care throughout the 12/13 season, but he was doing so well during the playoff run and Super Bowl. He was able to come to my parents and watch ever game, get up and cheer for touchdowns, sit on the edge of his seat during double over-time while playing the Broncos (GO TUCKER), twiddle his thumbs during the blackout and go crazy when those final seconds counted down and WE WON the Super Bowl! He couldn’t have been more excited, it was an amazing experience, and it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as wonderful without him.
So thank you, Ravens. You have given me so many memories and happy experiences, so I will continue to cheer and show others that you are the BEST TEAM EVER.
Look who I met at a gas station!
Oh Hey, Ray!
Ravens Stadium Celebration!
50 Yard Line!
Super Bowl Party with Uncle John!
Old Bay + Ravens= BAYLIEVE