Catonsville celebrates Ravens' Super Bowl victory

GL Shacks exploded with cheers and "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes blasted from the speakers of the Frederick Road bar in Catonsville as the Baltimore Ravens clinched a Super Bowl win Sunday night. 

"Unbelievable. It's ridiculous. Mind-blowing. With Ray Lewis' last game and last year, it's just ridiculous," said Arbutus resident Mark Reilly after the win.

"I don't know, it's crazy," he said.

Every seat around the bar was taken and "Flacco" and "R. Lewis" could been seen on the backs of many patrons. Only one red Washington Capitals and one pink Ravens jersey broke up the sea of purple and black inside.

Michelle Sarsitis, an Ellicott City resident who grew up in Catonsville, sported a Ladarius Webb jersey and purple beads during the game. She shared the same sentiments as Reilly.

"There are no words," Sarsitis said.

"It's been an amazing ride with lots of ups and downs. But at the end of the day, it's all about teamwork. And we had more of it. The Ravens had more of it," Sarsitis said.

The conclusion took the sting from a second half in which a power outage of more than 30 minutes at the Superdome and a power resurgence by the San Francisco 49ers had brought the NFC champions had come to within less than a touchdown.

As the Ravens took charge during the first half of the Super Bowl and took a 21-6 lead over the San Francisco 49ers, the streets around Catonsville were quiet.

There were few cars and no pedestrians on Frederick Road, Catonsville's Main Street.

At Ship's Cafe on Frederick Road, about 20 people were enjoying the game and food under purple Christmas lights and a large banner that read "You're in Ravens Country" above the bar.

Jim Andrews and his wife, Sharon, provided a tailgater's spread of hot dogs, baked beans, macaroni and cheese and more to share with their "regulars" as Jim Andrews calls them.

"These are our regulars who come in here every week," Jim Andrews said.

"It's our friends and family that are in here," he said. "Everybody's been looking forward to this."

The halftime lead pleased the Catonsville businessman, but hre remained cautious.

"We feel awesome but still you've got another half of this football game," he said. "We've got to be vigilant and be right on them."

Donald Lehr was at Ship's for the game, wearing a red sweater and a red jacket event though he is a Ravens fan.

Lehr said Jim and Sharon Andrews won't let him wear any purple Ravens gear in their establishment during game time.

According to the Andrews, every time he wears Ravens gear, they lose.

"They won't let me wear Ravens stuff so they'll say I'll jinx them," Lehr said.

But as of halftime the Ravens were winning and Lehr wasn't complaining about the red clothing.

"They're doing great. The shirt is working," Lehr said.

Purple was everywhere in Catonsville this week, but nowhere like it was at one house on North Rolling Road on Super Bowl Sunday.

John Aldave hosted a full-blown tailgate in his front yard Sunday, proudly displaying his Ravens themed school bus and ambulance in the driveway for all passersby to see.

"We usually tailgate," Aldave said. "We go down every home game."

But with Sunday's game in New Orleans, Aldave said he decided to, "dust off the bus and the ambo and have a little front yard tailgate."

About 20 people gathered at Aldave's house to enjoy burgers, hot dogs, beer and wine. Though snow was falling the kids still played a Ravens-themed bean bag toss game and the adults mingled around the bus wearing Ravens gear ranging from jerseys to black gloves with purple and white pom poms on each fingertip.

One dog in attendance even sported a Joe Flacco T-shirt for part of the afternoon. Bets were placed and cigars were smoked in preparation for the big game.

Catonsville resident and close friend of Aldave, Ned Norris, was at the tailgate but said that while he was glad to have a place to gear up for the game, he had a routine he had to follow.

Norris admits he is especially superstitious and said he had to watch the game at the same house where he had watched the Ravens' previous playoff games and AFC Championship triumph

"We're going back to the same house and we're bringing the same food," Norris said.

He said everyone who has been watching the game together has made sure to wear the same outfit and sit in the same seat for every game.

"We're a superstitious lot," Norris said.

Catonsville native Mike Bloomer was also present at Aldave's tailgate after driving more than five hours from Ohio to be there. The 23-year-old just started a new job near Cleveland, but made sure he could take off work to celebrate the Ravens trip to the Super Bowl.

"As soon as we won the AFC Championship game, I knew I wanted to be home," Bloomer said.

He said he's glad to be home watching the game with family and friends and that it was definitely worth the long trip.

"I'm just happy to be home," Bloomer said.

This story has been updated.

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