Harford County's Matt "Fan Man" Andrews is no stranger to the Super Bowl.
The Forest Hill resident and "Godfather" of Baltimore Ravens super fans won two tickets to the team's first Super Bowl appearance in 2001 in Tampa, Fla., live on TV with Carson Daly.
At the time, Andrews, now 72, was still pretty green, as far as his experience with National Football League playoffs goes. After all, his young franchise hadn't spent much time in the playoffs.
So he called his friend, John O'Neill, better known as "St. Vince," who is his super fan counterpart for the Green Bay Packers.
"He said, 'It's magic... magic. Things will happen. But you always have to be dressed up. You always have to have your complete outfit on," Andrews remembers.
Andrews stopped at a McDonald's outside of Tampa to put on his homemade helmet, feathered jacket, Mardi Gras beads, face paint and other items. Being one of few dressed out Ravens fans, he got the attention of Daly's representative. And before he knew it, he was on TV competing for two tickets.
He nailed the trivia last question as the clock ran down, and won.
"Baltimore Fan Man is in the house! Linda I love you!" he shouted into the microphone, knowing his wife, Linda, and family were watching. Daly handed him the tickets, and he got to see his team handily defeat the New York Giants, 34-7.
Twelve years and several close calls later, and the Fan Man's Ravens are again competing for a world championship in what many regard as the biggest stage in professional sports. But this time, he's not taking any chances.
"Things have progressed," he said. "Unlike Super Bowl XXXV, I wasn't dreaming. Now I'm experienced, so I don't have to dream. I can plan."
With more than a week left before the game, he had already arranged for travel, lodging and secured a ticket for the big game.
"I know the ropes," said Andrews, who got the "Godfather" handle from former Ravens tight end Todd Heap.
12 years later...
In those 12 years, more has progressed than Andrews' ability to attend a Super Bowl. Several other super fans from Harford County and elsewhere have latched on and become his "posse."
It's the Fan Man, his fan bus – a short school bus covered in purple and filled with paraphernalia and memorabilia - and the Bus Boys: Ravin' Rick, Camo Man, Maniac, Off The Hook, Poetic Justice and Wild Bill, who comes along for "Pittsburgh Squealer" games.
"There's been multitudes of guys who have come and gone," says Gary A. Waesche, alias Off The Hook. "The nucleus of who we are right now is I think who we will be."
They don't all come to every game, or rally, or event.
Ravin' Rick joined Fan Man for a Ravens rally at Looney's in Bel Air the Friday before the team traveled to Denver to face the Broncos in the AFC playoffs divisional round. The two took the stage, led a cheer and talked some smack about Peyton Manning.
Off The Hook, Wild Bill and Rick all hopped on the fan bus very early on Saturday, Jan. 26, to participate in the Polar Bear Plunge. Super fan Major Offense, Andrews' daughter Tressa and a few of his other friends tagged along.
For most of the morning, Fan Man and the Bus Boys were the center of attention. With the Ravens eight days away from a Super Bowl, hundreds came dressed in their purple and black.