When the Baltimore Ravens decided to move their training camp from McDaniel College to their facility in Owings Mills, greatly limiting the number of fans allowed to attend, Westminster resident Lisa Luhn figured her days of up-close-and-personal looks at her favorite players were over.
She was wrong, thanks to her daughter's good fortune.
Ava Luhn, an 8-year-old third-grader at Robert Moton Elementary School in Westminster, was picked to be the Ravens' Rookie of the Game on Sunday.
So just after noon, right before the Ravens took on the Cleveland Browns in the first home game of the season, Ava and Lisa walked onto the M&T Bank Stadium field and watched their purple-clad heroes warm-up.
"It's just great because we really miss the training camp out in Westminster," Lisa said. "This makes up for it."
Young Ava proved that she's not only lucky, she's also a pretty good prognosticator. She predicted beforehand that the Ravens would win a close game Sunday and they did just that, beating the Browns 14-6.
After warm-ups they headed to the stands to use the two free tickets they also received from the Ravens.
It was the first game Ava has attended, and moments before walking into the stadium, she was psyched.
"I'm really excited to see all the Ravens players," she said.
Ava arrived at the stadium wearing a No. 27 replica jersey of her favorite player, running back Ray Rice. She was given a No. 13 "Ravens Rookie" jersey to wear onto the field.
The Luhns have procured a number of autographs, and Lisa and Ava fondly recall speaking with wide receiver Torrey Smith a few years ago at TownMall of Westminster. But the thought of meeting any Ravens wasn't even in the back of their minds when they signed up for the Ravens Rookie Club program.
"We figured she would get a new poster, a birthday card, stuff like that," Lisa said. "We didn't think that she would win this."
The odds were long. Only one Ravens Rookie is picked for each game, and there are only eight regular-season games each year.
And Sunday wasn't just any game, but the day the Ravens unveiled the sign commemorating their Super Bowl XLVII championship in February.
As soon as Ava found out she had won, she couldn't keep it a secret.
"I told everyone in my class, " she said, smiling.
The envy of Robert Moton was the darling of the Luhn household, a laughing Lisa said, "because I got to go with her."
Lisa said afterward the day couldn't have gone better and that her daughter paid rapt attention from start to finish.
Ava said she had two favorite moments Sunday. The first came when her image was shown on the gigantic RavensVision video screens located above each end zone.
And the second?
"Winning," she said.