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Superstitious fans in Catonsville, Arbutus do their part for the Ravens

Whether it is wearing the same unwashed jersey, eating the same food or drinking the same beverage, superstitious fans of the Super Bowl-bound Baltimore Ravens feel like they have something to do with the three consecutive playoff victories.

Local residents revealed some of those quirks, lucky traditions or repetitive nuances that has guided the team of destiny to the ultimate game.

Billy Slowikowski, 49, can blame his long hair on the Ravens, who defeated New England, 28-13 on Jan. 20 to advance to the Super Bowl against San Francisco on Feb. 3.

"Before the Giants game (a 33-14 regular-season win), I was supposed to get my haircut, but I decided not to and now I'm not cutting it until after the Super Bowl," he said.

Slowikowski also rotates his Raven jerseys during the week.

"On Thursday, I wear my Deion Sanders jersey. On Friday, I wear my Ray Rice jersey and on Sunday I wear my own (no. 13 Billy) jersey. I've been doing that the whole year," he said. "I've also got a certain hat for when we play at home and a certain hat I wear when we play away."

His next decision is helping his sister figure out a menu for the Super Bowl party.

"We can't eat the same food," Slowikowski said "Tacos might be a good idea."

Perhaps something with a Cajun flavor would be nice, since the game will be played in New Orleans.

Andre LaBate, 58, was invited to a special Super Bowl party, but plans to go to his friend Ray Sites' house, where he watched the first three playoff victories.

"I was invited to a really, really nice party, but I can't go because if I don't go back to Ray's and we lose, I would never hear the end of it," said the Foxhall Farms resident." I sit on the same stool in the same exact spot, wear my same old Tony Siragusa jersey and wear the same old Ravens hat. If we get behind, I take the hat off."

His friends enjoy a purple Raven shooter after a score, but he won't imbibe until after a Ravens victory.

Marty Burke Jr, a 1988 Lansdowne High graduate and Catonsville resident, has worn his Terrell Suggs jersey for every playoff game.

He prefers watching games at home or at a close friend's house with a seafood spread of shrimp or scallops.

"I need the high definition TV blaring loud so I can hear everything," said Burke Jr., who also dresses his dog in a Ravens jersey on game day.

Moe Mosner, 70, will enjoy watching the Super Bowl in his $600 Laz-y-Boy chair in the comfort of his Catonsville home.

"I watched Johnny Unitas win back-to-back championships in 1958 and 1959 and now I'm going to watch this one," said the retired Baltimore County Fire Department captain.

He'll wear his favorite Ravens purple sweatshirt over his black turtleneck top.

Don't be confused if you come across Catonsville resident Rob DiPaula, 41, wearing purple and red.

The Ravens are his second favorite team behind the 49ers.

"I don't want to see it because I won't hear the end of it one way or the other," said DiPaula, before the conference championship games.

DiPaula, who started rooting for the 49ers in 1979, will be ready for the family affair between head coaching brothers John and Jim Harbaugh.

He'll wear his half-purple, half-red uniformed jersey with the name Harbaugh on the back.

Steve Peters, 57, thought he was going to watch the Ravens' 38-35 double-overtime divisional championship win over the Denver Broncos on a Baltimore Orioles cruise.

Because of a fog delay, he ended up watching the thrilling triumph in a Galveston, Texas, restaurant — with former Orioles Ken Singleton, Tippy Martinez and Ross Grimsley.

He returned to his traditional game-day spot at G.L. Shack's Grill on Frederick Road to watch the win over the Patriots in his Ray Lewis jersey.

"I forgot my lucky hat, but I lucked out," said Peters, who will be sure to wear that cap for the Super Bowl.

Mike Drechsler, 25, always dons the same sweatshirt over a Ravens T-shirt, but his sister-in-law had to change her pants after the Ravens fell behind against Tom Brady's bunch Sunday night.

"She changed pants and we started scoring," said the Cardinal Gibbons High School graduate.

Lansdowne resident Kim Shifflett, 48, is afraid to put on her Baltimore jerseys, for fear of jinxing the players.

"I have Ray Rice and Todd Heap jerseys, but I don't wear them the day of the game because I am superstitious," Shifflett said. "It seems like when I have worn jerseys, someone has gotten hurt."

Shifflett plans to watch the Super Bowl at home.

"I stayed at home and watched the playoff games because that how I have always done it. I would rather stay at home," she said.

Halethorpe native Greg Wolf, 49, wears his no. 5 Joe Flacco jersey and his wife Lisa, 45, wears Torrey Smith's No. 82.

They have watched the last two playoff games at Bowman Restaurant and Pub in Parkville.

"We were at Bowman for the Denver game and we decided after we won that, we were going back," said Greg, noting they wore the same clothes, sat in the same seats and celebrated with the same people."

He has other plans for the Super Bowl.

"For the Super Bowl, we plan on having a S.W.A.T. (stop working and tailgate) at the house," Greg said. "We will have a huge tailgate. We have a tailgate vehicle we go to every game. It's an older Snyder's pretzel truck that has been redone. It done up with the Ravens logo and has a siren at the top.

Halethorpe resident Billy Mayne, 36, won't let his Ravens jersey get near the washing machine.

"Since the Raven have made the playoffs, I haven't washed my jersey yet and I am keeping that going," Mayne said. "I am a little superstitious about that. During the season, I wash the jersey after every game. I have a Ray Lewis jersey. I have got to have that since he is retiring."

He hopes he'll get to see at least one more traditional Ray Lewis pre-game dance in two weeks, followed by a Ravens' victory.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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