Josh Charles didn't want to wait until the Ravens arrived in New Orleans for the Super Bowl to spend some time hanging out with the AFC champions.
So, the Emmy Award-nominated actor from the television drama series "The Good Wife" has been a fixture at the Ravens' training complex over the past few days, attending practices and chatting with players like quarterback Joe Flacco in the locker room.
"I'm sad I can't go down to New Orleans until Saturday because I got to work Thursday and Friday," said Charles, who has been busy shooting episodes of "The Good Wife" on location in New York. "I get down there Saturday and present at the NFL Honors show. I'll just root the team on during the game and then fly back."
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Charles said he won't be partaking in many festivities before kickoff, including the raucous party scene on Bourbon Street.
"I'm excited," Charles said. "I hope to see a lot more purple than I did in Tampa in 2000, which I think I will."
Charles praised the Ravens for persevering through several serious injuries this season to reach the Super Bowl.
"It's an inspiring group of guys," he said. "I'm hoping they can finish it. It will put the perfect exclamation point on what's been an incredible ride that's made the state and the city really proud. I'm thrilled for them. They're good dudes."
And Charles has watched the popularity of the Ravens expand over the past dozen years since the franchise won Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants.
"The fan base has grown tremendously," Charles said. "When I used to live in Los Angeles and rooted for the Ravens, it was hard to find any Ravens fans. It's really growing. I was in New York the other day and saw a Ravens flag on Third Ave. That just put a smile on my face. It's grown, it's special. I'm really proud of this team. I love this team."
Charles saluted coach John Harbaugh for his leadership in guiding the Ravens to the playoffs in all five of his seasons since being hired as the replacement for Brian Billick before the 2008 NFL season.
"I think the world of Coach Harbaugh," Charles said. "It's such a credit to him what the team has done, the consistency. The humble and hungry approach is one that as a fan I just appreciate and I love that this team has adopted that. I think that there will be a lot of talk in the coming week about John and Jim [Harbaugh,] as there should be. It is an amazing story.
"For me, as a Ravens fan, the story of the whole Jason Garrett sweepstakes and Steve [Bisciotti] and the team choosing John as the head coach really is a story as Ravens fans we should all be proud of. Obviously, they made the right decision. John is a fantastic coach, a really good guy, so genuine. I just love how he is with people. What you see is what you get. I think he's a really great football coach, always positive energy. I'm really pulling for him."