For Baltimore Ravens fans in Howard County, it's all over but the smiling. "I'm tired, but I'm proud," said Karen Link, of Marriottsville, who hosted a Super Bowl party for her family. "It's very exciting."
Not even 12 hours after the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII, her daughter, Johanna Collins, and granddaughter, Riley Collins, were at Einstein Bros. Bagels in Ellicott City, calming down after Sunday night's excitement.
"She was clapping every time we clapped," Collins said of her 21-month-old daughter, who wore a Ravens cheerleader outfit for the occassion.
Purple was popping up at several tables at Einstein, with patrons still showing off their team colors.
"It's good to see something nice for Maryland, ... and it's always nice when the hometown team wins," said Gail Greengrass, of Columbia.
Jackie Truiett, of Pikesville and a retired Howard County teacher, meets her friends — Grace Sterge, Greengrass and her husband, Ed — at Einstein Bros. Bagels in Ellicott City every Monday. On the morning of Feb. 4, she was dressed in purple, and feeling tired.
"I talked to my television the whole time. Well, I yelled at my television the whole time," she said.
Truiett said she yelled the loudest at Jacoby Jones' record-setting, 108-yard kickoff return touchdown, and at the end. She said it was fitting to see the game end "at the goal line, where Ray Lewis can show what he can do on defense."
The win, Truiett said, was a spiritual victory.
"The players were united through their hearts," she said. "Ray Lewis has that spiritual impact on that team, from the coach down."
The game brought moments of nail-biting frustration, however, that tested the patience of fans.
"(When the power went out) we looked at each other and said, 'This is going to be a big momentum shift," said John Koepke, who watched the game with his wife and son in Ellicott City. "We started thinking about all the conspiracy theories — like maybe San Francisco hackers got into the grid or something."
Now, after a season for the storybooks, the Ravens — and their fans — can take a break. But when the season starts up again, Truiett knows it just won't be the same.
"This was a one-time team," she said. "There is never going to be a team like this."