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Two strangers met at Sunday’s Ravens game. Why one is now giving the other his playoff tickets for free.

Two strangers met at Sunday’s Ravens game. Why one is now giving the other his playoff tickets for free.
Longtime Ravens fan Hikeen Crampton shows his team spirit downtown Monday after the Ravens clinched the AFC North title Sunday. After being featured in a Baltimore Sun article, a fan who had met Crampton at M&T Bank Stadium ended up gifting him his playoff tickets. (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

Hikeen Crampton’s search for tickets to the Ravens playoff game this Sunday took an unexpected twist this week after The Baltimore Sun featured him in an article about fans eager to attend the team’s first post-season appearance since 2014.

When Kevin Holley of Bowie read the Monday article, he was shocked to see Crampton featured in the photograph.

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Holley instantly recognized the big-bearded Crampton as the fan who sat behind him in Section 533 at M&T Bank Stadium during Sunday’s win against the Cleveland Browns. The two men had talked throughout the game, and it became clear to Holley that Crampton is a much bigger fan than he is, Holley said.

“He was living and dying on every single play,” said Holley, 57, a computer consultant who inherited two season tickets from his father. “The penalties were personally insulting to him.”

The men also chatted about playoff tickets and how when Crampton tried to buy one from the batch offered by the Ravens last week, he ended up behind 2,000 other people. Those tickets sold out before Crampton could buy one.

To confirm it was the same guy, Holley looked Crampton up on Facebook and was greeted by yet another surprising coincidence: the social media site showed that Holley’s cousin, Sarrah Jones, was friends with Crampton, who is a process server for the Baltimore sheriff’s office.

“I Facebook messaged him to ask how he knew my cousin,” Holley said.

It turns out Crampton, 39, befriended another one of Holley’s cousins two decades ago when the two attended Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore. But when Crampton also mentioned that one of the family’s matriarchs, Karen Jones, was like a second mother to him, Holley knew the chain of events was more than coincidence.

“Mama Karen passed away in 2012,” Crampton said. “I have her name tattooed on my arm.”

That’s in addition to the three Ravens tattoos Crampton also sports.

“Ms. Karen was a great human being,” said Holley, a digital subscriber to The Sun. “I told him, ‘If you’re good with her, you’re good with me. Ms. Karen must want you to have [the tickets].’”

So he texted his two tickets — no charge — to Crampton, who was blown away by Holley’s generosity and the bizarre connections.

“When we were talking at the game we didn’t even know we had a connection,” Crampton said. “He happens to see the article, makes the connection, looks me up on Facebook, sees I’m friends with his cousin and reaches out to give me the tickets. It’s like this was meant to happen.”

And, so, Crampton will now attend Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers with his 19-year-old son, Hikeen, whose godfather is Mama Karen’s oldest son.

“This is crazy,” he said.

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