In 1996 when the Ravens arrived I was in line to purchase my season ticket and PSL. I was hooked from the time the NFL finally announced football would be coming to Baltimore. I did not grow up in Baltimore so I did not have any allegiance to the Colts but I dutifully yelled “Irsay sucks” every time the Colts came to town as that is what we Ravens fans did.
In 2008, after enjoying 12 years as a Ravens fan attending every home game and some on the road, I moved from Baltimore to Hilton Head, South Carolina. My friends collected money so that I could pay for the first year of the NFL Season Ticket package on Direct TV. I was moving in May so had plenty of time to get it all sorted out before the season.
The day after I arrived in Hilton Head I had the Direct TV installer out to my house to begin the process of ensuring I could see every game. Well, much to my dismay, the installer could not get a signal as I live in an area where you may not cut down a tree without permission and my property is very tree-lined. Now what, I said.
So, I set out on a venture to find the perfect Raven bar. Now remember, I am in South Carolina. The only football that exists according to this area is SEC football on Saturday. They hardly acknowledge that the NFL happens on Sunday. When NFL and NASCAR overlap, NASCAR wins. I was dismayed to discover no less than 4 Steelers bars, a Browns bar (no Bengals), and bars for teams outside our conference including the Packers, Bears, Giants and Eagles. I went to bars with no particular allegiance but they labeled each TV with the games they would show which never included the Ravens.
After visiting a multitude of bars, I walked into a place then known as The Zone but now called Coconutz. The bartender was friendly and told me she was a Falcon fan. I asked about the TV situation, as I called it, and she said first come, first serve.
The following week was opening day and they opened at 11:30am. So, on opening day I decided since the weather was great I would start the day with a round of golf and hit the bar. I ran from my car into the bar and arrived at 12:15pm fearing that I would not be able to claim one of the 20 big screen tvs as it was NFL Sunday. Imagine my surprise when I went running in to find the only person in the place was the bartender. After I expressed my surprise she politely explained it is the south and no one is ever on time for anything.
So, I sat at the far end of the bar, claimed a TV and was the lone Ravens fan for a season. The bartender was great, and still is, and she protected my tv despite many claims of “who is watching the Ravens.”
That was seasons ago.
Since that time I have built a Ravens bar which would make all true Ravens fans proud. We hung banners, flags, and have a crowd of 20+ every week. When tourists come to town and they ask around, they are sent to Coconutz. We were featured in a local magazine for where displaced fans watch their teams.
And most proudly, on Superbowl Sunday a mere year ago, we filled the entire bar with dedicated Ravens fans and chased the only 2 49ers fans out before halftime.
So, if you get to Hilton Head, SC on a Sunday during the season, come to Coconutz and join the Ravens crazies in the south.
Submitted by Guest Blogger Beth Gasiorowski