Charger week! Okay, I am not going to get too fired up over the dominating win this past Sunday. I was at the game and I could tell you from the seats I had, the Colts players thought about window or isle seats for the flight back to Indianapolis rather than winning.
I could not blame them.
As I tailgated, walked the streets, hit up the Fire House, then strolled through the throng at Lot O then back over to the Under Armor tent, I was amazed that this city ever lost a football team. Even more amazed that it was not awarded one.
From the roar of the crowd to the simplest kid in their Ravens gear, having a home NFL game is in every sense of the word, EPIC.
Speaking of epic, while in lot O, I checked out “Captain Offense” and his Ravens Van. Now that my friends is epic! I hope to drop in again on Christmas Eve and hope to see a lot more of my Raven24x7.com friends.
Here is the tie in. One of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning was out of the Colt lineup. You can see how debilitating it is to a “team game” to have one man that is so invested to the success that without him, there is no hope to win. We also were without one of the NFL all time greats, Ray Lewis. Now, it was not the game any of us envisioned when the schedule was announced, but in the end, the team’s 12th man, the crowd was there. The meaning of this is, no matter how time takes players away from a team, we the people are still there to support what is ours. Even Steve Bisciotti said he is just the current steward.
I believe that Ray’s enthusiasm is forever imprinted on what it is to “Play like a Raven” and be a Raven Fan.
As if that was not enough, I have to keep the awesome sauce flowing. Ellie’s Place, Raven’s Roost 101 had Ray Lewis in for a signing Monday. My best friend bought me a ticket for Christmas, so I drew a portrait for Ray to sign. My friends and I got their early and hung out at the bar while a couple hundred people met Ray and got signatures.
I am not big on selling my art or sports memorabilia, but I think I saw the importance of the event from a different perspective. I sat there at the end of the line, after Ray and the authenticators, a host of people walked by with huge smiles. All types, ages, male and female, and all of them had a glow. Sure they paid for the moment, but there is no value I could put on seeing Ray Lewis make so many people happy on the smallest level, even if it was for 45 seconds. I am sure I will remember their smiles long after I forgot meeting him.
So as I brought out the drawing, one of Ray’s people asked me what color I would like it signed in. I said, “What ever Ray thinks is best.” Ray looked at it and said, “Silver”. That being my nickname made it all the sweeter! Well, Ray looked at it for a few seconds and looked up at me and said, “Awesome man.” Flashed that money smile as I shook his had and thanked him.
I have shook hands with Andre the Giant, and was friends with a championship body builder, but there was something about Ray’s grip, solid, strong, like every muscle was at peak performance, efficient. I could tell I would never want to be a running back carrying the ball at him. The fear he would take my ribcage out along with stripping the ball is real!