LONDON — More than a few members of the Ravens' traveling party for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium have remarked that the organization's purple-clad fans have taken over London this weekend.
That's not entirely true, but they certainly took over a popular British pub in Trafalgar Square on Saturday night. Fans packed into The Admiralty, filling every spot in the pub and lining up for blocks outside.
The pub has been a headquarters for Ravens fans this weekend and has been packed throughout. However, it's never been quite like it was Saturday as fans, many wearing Ravens jerseys and hats, stopped being let in about 90 minutes before a rally for the team began.
"I think it's going to be like a home game tomorrow from what I saw walking around today," said retired Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta, who is now part of the WBAL radio broadcast team.
Pitta and former Ravens legends Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis spoke to fans at the rally. Anytime there was a lull in the action, the capacity crowd in the pub began chanting, "We want Ray."
As he is known to do, Lewis obliged, flashing his Super Bowl ring to the crowd and also showing off his trademark dance.
"I'm just getting the crowd warmed up for Ray back there," Pitta joked. "And I don't think it takes much to get this crowd going."
The Ravens, nonetheless, pulled out all the stops. A Ravens bus, carrying team employees, cheerleads and band members, stopped in front of the pub and led the signing of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," which plays on game days at M&T Bank Stadium.
Inside the pub, WBAL sports director Gerry Sandusky, the voice of the Ravens, and several cheerleaders stood on a balcony and threw Ravens scarfs, T-shirts and car flags to the fans.
Several of the attendees are from London. However, when Sandusky asked the crowd how many fans traveled overseas from Baltimore, a huge roar went up from the crowd.
Fans wearing Ravens garb have seemingly been everywhere over the past couple of days. The team should be well represented Sunday at Wembley Stadium as the Ravens look to improve to 3-0.
"This is a unique opportunity to come over here," Ogden said. "I think the fans understand that."
There was a sight outside the pub that caused Ravens fans to boo. A football fan wearing Steelers paraphernalia walked through the mob of Ravens rooters and was loudly jeered.