Tony DellaRose and Ray Lewis are very different people. The former owns a White Marsh bar and restaurant with his brother, while Lewis gets paid to aggressively stop opposing offenses.
But on the day of a Ravens game, both become motivational speakers, giving booming talks in front of excited crowds, all united by the desire to see a Ravens victory. While every football fan knows Lewis' reputation as an orator, DellaRose is much lesser known but almost as entertaining.
Search YouTube for "DellaRose's Ravens" and you'll find a clip from 2009 of the restaurant's co-owner standing on the bar with a microphone in one hand and a beer in the other. Wearing a white, personalized ("TONY D.") jersey, DellaRose somehow invokes "Anchorman," provides a facetious weather report and leads the packed purple house in a fight song sing, all in the span of five minutes.
DellaRose says he remembers when the speeches began (2000, the year the Ravens won their only Super Bowl), but not how they started.
"It happened kind of spontaneously, I guess. Growing up, playing sports, I was always vocal with bringing the team in together," DellaRose said recently. "It just carried over."
Watching a Ravens game at DellaRose's Tavern is a spirited event. It's a scene made for die-hard fans who cheer louder and clap harder as the game progresses. The speech from 2009 was before a game against the San Diego Chargers (which sort of explains the "Anchorman" reference), so we can only imagine what it will be like Sunday, when Baltimore takes on the Steelers.
Drinks: Five Bud Lights come in a bucket for $12. Ravens Bombs — made with Pinnacle grape vodka, Red Bull and black raspberry liqueur (added last to give it a purple finish) — are $5.
Food: DellaRose's is known for its wings, which come in five flavors. The "Baltimore Wings" are covered in a mixture of mustard, Old Bay and honey. The menu is what you'd expect at a sports bar, and DellaRose's owners say there will be selected discounted food all day Sunday. As of press time, they had not determined which food items would be on special.
Atmosphere: In case the YouTube speech didn't give it away, DellaRose's is a gathering of dedicated Ravens fans. When the co-owner stands on the bar to fire up the crowd and Ravens Bombs are sold at a reduced price, it's a safe bet that the scene can get rambunctious, but in a fun, inclusive way. As long as you're wearing the right jersey.
Parking: DellaRose's Tavern is located in The Avenue at White Marsh, which offers plenty of free parking.
If you go
DellaRose's Tavern, at 8153 Honeygo Blvd., is open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun