Ravens take over downtown Towson for show of team spirit

With each passing day, the autumn-like weather in Baltimore County becomes less sustainable, but none of the Ravens fans gathered in downtown Towson on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at noon, seemed to be concerned with winter weather ahead.

Fall weather — even in January — means football, and fans were out in force to watch a crew paint the same Ravens logo that sits in the end zone at M&T Bank Stadium onto the lawn at Patriot Plaza outside the County Courthouse.

"It's a beautiful thing," said Shirley Ford of Forest Hill as she admired the painting crew's work. "(The team has) brought most of the state together, along with the city, the towns and the communities. It brings the spirit back to Main Street."

And though the team's first home playoff game in five years isn't until Sunday — a divisional round matchup with the Houston Texans — the sense around Patriot Plaza was that the dozens of gathered fans who took pictures with Poe, the Ravens' mascot, and the team's cheerleaders would have been ready for a 1 p.m. kickoff that day.

Even County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins got into the spirit, bounding out from the Historic Courthouse on her lunch break to get a picture with Poe.

Megan Collins, the Ravens' events and entertainment manager, said the event was one of many aimed at getting the community "as involved as we possibly could."

Fans came from all across the state for their midweek dose of Ravens spirit. Crystal Parker drove from Belcamp with her daughter, Jame Edgar, and grandson, Joey Oliva-Edgar, to see the sights.

"We came out to support our team," Parker said. "We're true Ravens fans."

For those who spend their days inside the brick buildings that surround the plaza, the activity outside was a welcome respite from the first full work week of the new year.

Ron Shuck, of Randallstown, called himself a die hard Ravens fan who "bleeds purple," and happened to be scheduled for jury duty Tuesday.

He spent his lunch break soaking in the playoff atmosphere.

"The Ravens aren't just the Ravens," he said. "They're our team, and they let you know it. They're a part of the community. The Ravens are us, and I've never met anyone who feels any different."

Kelly Schultz, a Perry Hall resident who works in the County Courthouse, called a similar logo painting event last year "so much fun," and said she implored the team on its Facebook page to return for an encore performance.

"It's very exciting that they've come this far," she said. "We're very fortunate. We'll support them whether they make it to Indianapolis (site of Super Bowl XLVI) or not."

Randallstown resident Sherrie Turner agreed the support was unconditional, but was more emphatic about the goal.

"They bring us football, so it's up to us to let them know we appreciate them, win or lose," Turner said, then added, "but we're going to the Super Bowl."

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