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Harford Ravens fans gearing up for next round in New England

The Ravens are headed to New England to battle the Patriots after electrifying Baltimore-area fans with a big win over their rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in a wild card game Saturday night. Harford County's Ravens lovers seem determined to again follow their team at every step.

Twelve hours after the Ravens finished off the Steelers, 30-17, Poor Boys Sports in Abingdon was filled with Ravens gear Sunday, including several styles of playoffs shirts.

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Employees said they were preparing for more shipments of different types of T-shirts, as the NFL playoffs roll onward.

Colin Maskavich, a Poor Boys employee and Ravens fan, said customers never get tired of rooting for the team, which last won the Super Bowl in 2012 and didn't even make it to the playoffs last year.

"I think they are just as excited, if not more excited," Maskavich said about the team being in the playoffs again.

"We have a younger, better team this year and we still have some of the veterans, like [Terrell] Suggs, [Joe] Flacco, [Haloti] Ngata," he pointed out.

Like many people, he was surprised the Ravens beat their rivals, the Steelers, on Pittsburgh's home turf at Heinz Field.

"It was down to the last game," Maskavich said about the Ravens' playoffs run. "People weren't even thinking we were going to make it."

Ashley Van Blargan, a server at Buffalo Wild Wings in the Festival at Bel Air, said she is considering flying to Massachusetts with her family for the divisional round playoff game against the Patriots on Saturday.

"It's so cheap," she noted about the trip to New England. Van Blargan said she has never traveled to a playoff game, but has long been a Ravens fan.

She said she just enjoys watching the games with everyone at Buffalo Wild Wings, which broadcasts the football games.

General manager Rob Thorpe said excitement about the wild-card game was "magnified" because it was against the Steelers.

"It was a very lively crowd," he said Sunday about the previous night's turnout at the restaurant's bar. "People get excited more when it's the Steelers."

Van Blargan said watching the Ravens beat the Steelers was exciting.

"It was crazy. It was to the point that everyone started singing 'Seven Nation Army' before the game, and just randomly throughout," she said about the crowd at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Van Blargan added she won her fantasy football league when playing with her friends and was thrilled to see the Ravens continue doing well.

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"We are just proving that we can have those bad weeks, [and come back]," she said. "The way they showed up, they don't show up every week. It proves they want it."

Van Blargan said she was confident the team could go to the Super Bowl again.

But, she added, "I will support them no matter what. I will always be a Ravens fan."

Van Blargan pointed out the radio station WNST, which partners with Buffalo Wild Wings, is offering trip packages to the New England game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

Fans like Dave Hofmeister, of Bel Air, meanwhile, were happy just to follow the team from the comfort of their homes.

Hofmeister was wearing a Ravens hat and sweatshirt while out with his family early Sunday afternoon.

"I stayed up late last night," he said about the Steelers game. "I'm surprised. I thought they weren't going to win. But with our secondary being so bad, they played surprisingly well."

The game "changed my mind" about the Ravens' chances of going to the Super Bowl again, he said. "I think we might have a chance to make a run."

Hofmeister had season tickets for 12 years, but gave them up several years ago and has been busy since helping to raise two young children.

Nevertheless, the wild card game "was exciting. It was a big win," he said.

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