It's not as if George Young had the night off.
Young, the general manager of the New York Giants, is a Baltimore native who had a professional interest in last night's preseason opener, as he settled into the press box at Memorial Stadium. The Ravens travel to the Meadowlands to play the Giants on Saturday, and Young was on hand to do a little scouting.
Young also watched the game from a fan's perspective. And how could he miss this event? He has seen his share of firsts when it comes to football and his hometown.
Young saw the first All-American Football Conference game played in Baltimore in 1947. He saw the first NFL game played at Memorial Stadium in 1953. He even caught the first Canadian Football League exhibition game at Memorial Stadium two years ago. In a sense, he felt he belonged there last night for a new era's beginning.
"I have to talk to you guys and agents all the time, but I also like to just watch a little football sometimes," said Young, who came to the game after visiting his mother in Timonium.
"The fans seem very enthusiastic. I'm very happy for the younger people who didn't have the experience of rooting for their team after the team left," he added. "I still have mixed feelings about the Cleveland situation, as I know a lot of Baltimore fans do. It was sad the way football ended for Baltimore before. It's good to you that can begin again.
"It still seems strange when I see BLT [abbreviation for Baltimore] on the waiver wire."
On the guest list
Actor Bill Cosby was a pre-game guest of team owner Art Modell and his wife, Pat. Cosby, a Temple graduate who has a home in Philadelphia and is an avid Eagles fan, was seen wearing a Haverford College shirt and eating two crab cakes.
When the Ravens walked out of the dugout in single file before pre-game introductions, running back Leroy Hoard was at the head of the line. When they jogged onto the field to thunderous applause, kicker Matt Stover led the way.
Quarterback Vinny Testaverde responded to the fans' roar in the most demonstrative manner. As his name was announced, Testaverde turned to the fans in the south end, pointed at them with both index fingers, then made a similar gesture to the entire stadium as he turned in a circle.
Cheers for a native son
Ravens wide receiver Calvin Williams received the loudest ovation during pre-game introductions. Williams graduated from Dunbar High School.
That first touchdown
Even though it doesn't count in the record book, the Ravens scored their first touchdown at 8: 22 p.m., when Testaverde connected with wide receiver Michael Jackson on a 31-yard touchdown pass. Jackson, who stretched nicely to make the bTC catch in the right corner of the south end zone, celebrated by jogging over to the stands and handing the ball to a fan.
Not ready for prime time
Owner Art Modell joined announcers Tom Davis and Paul Maguire on the Channel 54 telecast during the third quarter. While Modell was on the air, Eric Zeier was sacked. Modell apparently forgot that he was wearing a microphone; he reacted with an expletive that was heard on the air. Shortly thereafter, he uttered a profanity while joking about the broadcast.
Next for Ravens
Opponent: New York Giants
Date: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Site: Giants Stadium
@4 TV/Radio: Ch. 54/WJFK (1300 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM)
Pub Date: 8/04/96