An Autobiography of a Baltimore Sports Fanatic

June 25, 2012 | Hope Birchfield

Who is this person?

Hello there! Let me begin by introducing myself: My name is Hope Birchfield. First, I must confess that I am not a writer by trade. I actually am a geologist. If I’m going to be completely honest with you and myself, I only chose such a major so I could make geology puns and not be judged harshly. After six years of studying, I found out that regardless of your educational background, geology jokes are just not very funny.

I was born and raised in and around Baltimore. For a brief period, I relocated out west but frankly, DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket was nearly bankrupting me. For a split moment, I was debating actually not watching the Ravens play weekly. Once I realized the absurdity of this, I fled back to Birdland. I’m proud of being from here and I absolutely love Baltimore sports.

My Sports Love Affair

Baltimore sports have always been a focal point in my life and something that I’m convinced has been programmed into my DNA. To put this in perspective, my grandmother checked herself out of a hospital (with pneumonia) to go to Game 5 of the 1983 World Series. Was this completely reckless? Absolutely! Would I have done the same thing? Absolutely!

Orioles Favorite Story

For the 2131 celebration, I bartered doing someone’s homework for the rest of the school year for two standing room tickets (Keep in mind that this game was in September and the school year ended in June)! Eventually, this arrangement was discovered and I got in quite a bit of trouble. It didn’t matter to me though because I was there to witness one of the greatest moments in baseball history.

Ravens Favorite Story

Last November, I made the abysmal trek to Pittsburgh to watch the Ravens try to beat the Steelers a second time. The Ravens won it in a 23-20 victory on Steelers turf! The Pittsburgh fans were visibly angry and pelted me with beer, food and even a few terrible towels. I felt like some sort of warrior because I walked through hell and back but my team was still victorious.

You’re a geologist though. Why does a geologist think that they can report sports to the loyal fans of Baltimore?

I am just like you! I am the fanatical Orioles and Ravens fan that needs to watch or be at every single game. I wake up on Mondays after a weekend of football and immediately look for highlights of the Ravens. I know the feeling that overcomes each and every fan as they walk through the gates of Eutaw Street on a Friday night divisional rivalry game. I know the unspoken camaraderie between Ravens fans (Or the “Resistance”) at Heinz Field.

Despite the passion for the home team though, I still have a “Vulcan” and logical approach to reporting. I often am accused of being too brazen which is a trait required of a journalist in my opinion. I can put personal allegiances aside but more importantly, I’ll ask the questions that people are too scared to ask.

Why Should You Listen to Me?

I’m completely invested in the Orioles and the Ravens. I’ve never faltered, not for a moment. I stayed loyal when Manny Alexander pitched and gave up a subsequent grand slam against the Rangers in 1996. I cheered during the countless “rebuilding” years of the Orioles (14th season since a winning record in case you are keeping tallies). On the other side of the spectrum, I still rooted for the Ravens even when Kyle Boller would randomly drop the ball under no pressure. I also felt my heart shatter with the field goal heard around the world last year.

You should listen to me because I care about these teams. My heart flutters when they win and it aches when they lose. I’m knowledgeable about football and baseball. For example, I know a “safety” can refer to two different things. People also tell me I’m entertaining though they could be simply lying to get into my will.

The bottom line is this – If you want someone who will give you facts, report with passion and integrity and some humor in there, you want to listen to me.