RavensNation reaches LA

Street Talk RavensNation reaches LA

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We’ve all stewed over Steelers fans and their reach across the country. There are many theories as to why the Pittsburgh Towel-a-Ban cult is so widespread (kind of like swine flu) but at the end of the day, who cares? We are RavensNation and we’re building our own reach.

Granted, we are decades behind since our “nation” was founded in 1996 but that said, we are Baltimoreans. We embrace underdog status, bring our lunch pails and hard hats to work and willingly stare adversity in the face.

This is who we are!

Recently members of West Wing LA reached out to us on Facebook. Their story speaks to the strength and promise of RavensNation and they say they’ve got the nation’s left flank covered.

What is The West Wing LA? How, why and when did it begin?

The West Wing came about this season when about 3 separate groups of Ravens fans in the Los Angeles all came together. Peter Shaulis started the site Baltimore Ravens Fans in Los Angeles and Orange County on Facebook (Later renamed The West Wing) and reached out to all he could, including Daniela Pane who was heading up her own crowd on the West side of town. Upon suggestion the two met (along with 5 other fans) for the Carolina Panthers preseason game on August 12th at the bar/restaurant The Parlor in Hollywood, CA.

Since then the West Wing has met for every game. (PHOTO GALLERY OF GROUP)

Our numbers have increased dramatically since that first day strongly due in part to the online and social networking efforts of Marketing Director Kazy Brown. Everyone in the group has put forth a lot of effort to grow this community of fans. Every week people bring flags, banners, bobble-heads, cut-outs, and yes, even UTZ crab chips, Berger cookies, and Old Bay.

How many are now in the group?

On the night of the first regular season game against the Jets we were at approximately 30 members. We now number over 300 members and continue to grow daily.

Do most members have ties to Baltimore?

Most members are from Maryland however, we have seen an increase of fans from the Los Angeles and Orange County area.

What is the mix of men to women?

Approximately 60% men to 40% women show up to the games.

Where is the West Wing headquarters?

The Parlor – 7250 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA

How many convene to watch the games together?

We average anywhere from 50 people for a game like Carolina to well over 100 for the Patriots game. Next week’s Steelers game is poised to break all records for us.

Why are you in LA and what do you do for a living? What are some of the more interesting occupations among the group?

We all come from different walks of life and have different occupations and careers. Some are aspiring actors and models, some are looking to break into the television and film industry, some work in the music industry, and then many have every day jobs such as Engineers, Bankers, Artists, and Managers.

Do you feature Baltimore themes or cuisine?

As of yet, the bar itself does not feature any Baltimore-specific cuisine, but as mentioned before, we do bring our own UTZ, Berger Cookies, and Old Bay. If anyone has a connection to get Natty Boh shipped out here, please contact us ASAP.

Did you know that the actor Josh Charles is a big Ravens’ fan? You should Facebook him and send out an invite. Any other Hollywood types drop by?

We have the occasional celebrity sighting. The bar’s location alone is a draw for the film industry. We have reached out to Stacy Kiebler, and upon your suggestion we will contact Josh Charles, but really, we are only looking at the stars who are in Purple and Black uniforms.

Are traveling Ravens fans invited to stop in?

We ALWAYS welcome traveling fans, as well as new members. Through recent interviews and features on WJZ TV, WBAL radio, and WNST radio the West Wing word has definitely been spread, and yes, we do have visitors who live in other states and visit on their travels.

Ever have any run-ins with LA based or traveling Steelers fans?

We do not promote any confrontations with opposing fans. We prefer to let the Ravens hand-out the damage. We have had an occasional run-in with an opposing fan and it was quickly dealt with. Not too many people want to mess with a crowd of 50 –100 fans.

Do you guys make it back to Baltimore for any games or take in any Ravens’ road games?

Almost every week we have members who go back to Baltimore for games. There is a large group planning to attend the Saints home game. There are no games out west this year so we have not traveled as a group yet, but we are hoping to make our first group trip to Dallas in February.

Any members interested in blogging for Ravens24x7.com or Ravens Chix Chat?

We will definitely spread the word. As of yet we don’t have an official blogger, but Daniela is our official spokeswoman. However, I’m sure there are people that would be interested!

What does the future hold for West Wing LA?

We are already planning bigger and better things. This week we are holding our first Canned Food drive and next week we start our Toy Drive. In the tradition of the Ravens organization we want to give back to our community. These are the first in hopefully many efforts to do just that. We have actually had a Crab Feast a few months back, thanks to the efforts of Dave Collins, and that is something that we definitely hope to do again.
 
 

 

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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