When fans filter into M&T Bank Stadium tonight to see the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers they will see a familiar face and a familiar number – Anquan Boldin, No. 81.
Boldin was a fan favorite and why not? He embodies the character of Baltimore – hard working, tough, blue collar, overachieving.
And he was a star during the team’s postseason run up to and through Super Bowl XLVII.
The decision to trade Boldin to the 49ers for a very late 6th round pick went over about as well as a Hines Ward for President campaign here in Baltimore. And despite the general consensus that even if Boldin stayed it would not have changed the outcome of the 2013 season, fans will still chastise the club for making what they deem is one of the worst decisions in Ravens history.
Boldin hasn’t returned to Charm City since the trade for anything other than charitable endeavors. He didn’t even return for the ring ceremony, perhaps sentimentally injured.
When the trade was announced Boldin was overseas on another charitable endeavor.
“It’ll be a chance to say goodbye to the fans in a proper way,” said the player also know as ‘Q’ when speaking to MercuryNews.com. “I wasn’t afforded that opportunity. I got traded while I was away.”
Tonight he’ll get his chance.
And there’s little doubt that The Bank will at some point echo in the sound of “QUUUUUUU!”