I was asked by a Ravens fan in the states just the other day about how I became a Ravens fan and how I followed the team. So let’s start from the beginning shall we? Well, my story is nowhere near as heartwarming as that of UKRavens President Dave Cressey. For me, I started watching football one January night. I was 14 years old and needed something to watch on TV to avoid doing my homework. So I start flicking through the sports channels. To this day I have no idea why I stopped on the channel. But I did, and it just happened to be Ravens @ Raiders in the AFC Championship game. I remember just being in awe of how nasty this group of players in white were. Tony Siragusa slamming Rich Gannon into the turf. But rules-wise I was really too sure of what was going on. I then watched the Superbowl (again, I still couldn’t tell you why I waited up until 3am to watch this game considering I didn’t really watch football) and I found myself cheering as Jermaine Lewis danced down the sideline on his kick off return.
With the end of the season my interest dropped again and I found myself only casually following until the end of the 2001 regular season. I found myself fully bleeding purple for the playoff games with Miami and Pittsburgh. That offseason I got fully immersed, listening to the draft of NFL.com radio and checking the Baltimore Sun website on a daily basis. I was hooked. The following season, despite us finishing with a 7-9 record, will always go down as one of my favourites as a fan. The will and desire of that team, UDFA’s, drafted rookies and Chris Redman’s ballsy performance in the Monday Nighter against Denver.
From there on I’ve been addicted. And thankfully it gets easier and easier to follow games over here in the UK these days. With Sky Sports we get two live games on a Sunday. But thanks to Gamepass, I don’t need to miss a Ravens down anymore. Last year I made my first trip over for a game. The whole experience was nothing short of incredible from tailgating, singing the celery song to the game itself. We even found ourselves as guests on Nestor’s show. This season due to work scheduling, I’m not able to get a home game. But I am going to be in Baltimore for weeks 1 and 2 of the season – and heading up to watch us hammer the Jets in their first regular season game in their new stadium!