"He allows the coaches to put the team together," Whitacre said. "He doesn't micromanage."
While the majority of patrons at the Dark Horse Saloon were decked out in purple, Abingdon resident Adam Bauer went against the grain with a bright blue New York Giants jersey, bearing the name and number of their quarterback, Eli Manning, Peyton's brother.
"I could be the guy who's not wearing a football jersey, or the guy who's wearing the wrong football jersey," he explained. "I chose the latter."
He said he is a "big fan" of Manning, but still rooted for the Ravens.
"I root for them, too," he said. "They're my second favorite."
Teddy Spruell of Edgewood and Will Thompson of Aberdeen wore bright yellow T-shirts, marking them as security guards at the Dark Horse.
Spruell said he would wear "a purple security shirt" if it was available.
He was excited about the first-quarter action.
"It's pretty awesome," he said. "They're winning 7-0, playing well."
Thompson echoed the hopes of Ravens fans as the 2013 season got under way.
"I think everybody's excited about the Ravens possibly making another run for the Super Bowl," he said.
Still 15 games to go.