The Ravens beat the Panthers 22-19 in Thursday's preseason opener, but fans at M&T Bank Stadium produced one of the biggest cheers of the night when they watched hometown hero Michael Phelps win the 200-meter individual medley race nearly 5,000 miles away at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Ravens game was stopped momentarily as players from both teams, including those on the field, watched one of the big video boards. A huge roar went up and the crowd went into an impromptu chant of the "Seven Nations Army" theme song. Several Ravens players pumped their fist as they watched Phelps win.
"Great night. Phelps got a gold. How sick is that," Ravens newcomer Eric Weddle said after the game. "Greatness.
"I'm into that kind of stuff. I can sit back in 10, 15, 20 years when I'm sitting with my kids I'll be able to say that I'm sitting in Ravens Stadium during a game and I'm watching one of the best swimmers ever win a Gold for the U.S. You know, as you get older, you cherish those kinds of moments."
The race was shown several minutes after Olympic-watching fans at home saw it on NBC. A Ravens spokesman said that the replay was scheduled at the first television timeout in the fourth quarter. When it wasn't called, the spokesman said, "We couldn't stop in the middle of the game."
Fans at M&T Bank Stadium didn't seem to mind that the race wasn't shown live.
"That's just awesome, what can you say, the guy's just amazing," said Mike Brown of Smithfield, Va. "We didn't know he won, but they said they were going to show it at 10 o'clock. It's still pretty cool [watching on tape]."
Jeremy Laroches of Parkville chanted USA...USA. as he walked down from his seat as the game was about to end.
"I knew he was going to win, it's Michael Phelps," Laroches said.
Phelps, in his post-race interview following his 100-meter butterfly semifinal, said he had a friend tell him the score of the Ravens game, and that he's looking forward to getting back home and cheering the team on.
Peter Schmuck contributed to this report