—Editor’s Note: If you do not like football, you may not want to read the following editorial. I apologize, but please forgive me for this one week.
If you heard someone shouting for joy late Sunday night, it was probably me after my Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49’ers to win the Super Bowl.
I was so excited to see my favorite team win the big game.
It was the final game for legendary linebacker Ray Lewis, quarterback Joe Flacco finally received respect by winning the big one, John Harbaugh beat his younger brother Jim for the win, and I was happy to see several other players win their first Super Bowl. There’s also the excitement for Ted Monachino, who has local ties and the unique time of celebration for his family, which is from Laddonia.
This was a team full of players who expressed their faith in Jesus Christ, and as a Christian myself, it was refreshing to see that part of this team shine through on a national stage.
But for me and the entire city of Baltimore, this win is another unifying moment.
You won’t see crowds celebrating a championship like what you saw this week with the Ravens. They filled their stadium and businesses shut down all over the city for the parade. It was pandemonium but there’s a reason…Ravens fans remember very clearly a time where the city didn’t have a football team to cheer for.
For decades, Baltimore was one of the most tradition-rich professional football cities and then it was ripped away from them between 1983-1995.
I can still remember my father waking me up early during one snowy morning to watch the live television broadcast of the Baltimore Colts being packed into Mayflower moving trucks and heading to Indianapolis unannounced.
This was not like the Cleveland Browns situation when it was announced that the team would be moving. In this case, we had no clue and it felt like a thief and had just broke into our home and stolen our most prized possession.
This may sound silly to some of you but I was only 5 years old and I remember crying that morning.
That was followed by years of the Baltimore Colts marching band carrying the torch in hopes of getting a team back. They would perform during halftime at stadiums for several other NFL teams to keep the city’s football memory alive.
ESPN’s 30-on-30 movie “The Band That Wouldn’t Die” captures the emotions of the city.
Baltimore then settled for a Canadian Football League (CFL) team that was successful and won the Grey Cup but it wasn’t the same.
Then an NFL team returned in 1996. The team won its first Super Bowl title four years later and waited another 12 years for a second time.
The Ravens are now the only NFL team to not lose a Super Bowl as they handed the 49’ers their first loss.
Ravens fans like myself remember what was once taken from us. Every time this team succeeds, it’s a celebration like no other.
Football and the city of Baltimore are perhaps connected more than any other city in professional sports. Perhaps my view is bias but I can’t help it…I’m bleeding purple and I’m pumped. My team is now Super Bowl champions and I’m going to enjoy this ride while it lasts. Go Ravens!Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.