An outsider reflects on the fervent devotion of Ravens fans
Feb 07, 2013 at 8:15 AM
Now I think I know what it feels like to be Jewish at Christmas time. But at least in Baltimore, Jewish folks can find each other on Christmas and make alternate plans. A lot of my Jewish friends go to the movies on Christmas, for example.
Sounds like a reasonable idea to me, but I couldn't find even a single person to meet me at the movies Sunday night when the Ravens played the 49ers ("Baltimore party hosts go all out for the Super Bowl," Feb. 3). For all I know, the movies weren't even open.
Lots of unlikely places closed out of respect for those who planned to celebrate the big event. Even my gym, where diehard fitness fiends know they can get in a workout just about any time, turned away guests starting in late afternoon. The revelers needed time to prepare, after all.
When fans get together they speak a special language — the only bit of which I've ever managed to pick up is "touchdown!" Some participate in a ritualistic dance, as learned from their leader, Ray Lewis.
There's probably a lot more to it than that. But never having sat through one of these events in their entirety, I can't say much else about them.
I may not have grown up watching football; nor have I taken to it as an adult. But I, like the church visitor who doesn't share the congregation's religion but senses the fervent devotion of its followers, appreciate how the Ravens have brought people together.
We are its devotees, a whole city of them: residents of every race, age, gender, socioeconomic status and political affiliation. Pretty much everyone but myself, it seems.
So well you might ask what I have to say for myself. My answer: Way to go, Ravens!