Recently we posted a story about a displaced Ravens fan in New York City. It inspired other fans to share their stories and challenges rooting for the Ravens from afar. Here are two more displaced Ravens fan stories, presented exactly as they were shared with us…aka, unedited.
If you have a story to share as a displaced Ravens fan, please send along to TL@russellstreetreport.com
Happy Thanksgiving to all and thank you for all you do in your support of RSR!
~ Tony Lombardi
My name is Joshua Manz. I am a diehard Ravens fan currently living in Springfield, Ohio. Springfield is about a half an hour west of Columbus and an hour north of Cincinnati. I am smack dab in the middle of Bengals country. I’m constantly surrounded by Bengals, Browns, and Steelers fans. I constantly receive jabs for wearing my Ray Lewis, Todd Heap, or Joe Flacco jerseys
I’d like to share my story of how I became a Ravens fan in Southwest Ohio. In 2010, when I was 13 years old, I began to like football. My dad, originally from Cincinnati, didn’t watch football but always claimed Cincinnati teams. I wanted to choose my own team. I didn’t like the Bengals, Browns were losers, and Steelers fans were cocky. I was undecided on who to follow, until my mom bought me my first jersey from a yard sale; a 1996 Vinny Testaverde Baltimore Ravens jersey. I fell in love with the colors and the Jersey itself. Afterwards, I fell in love with the Baltimore Ravens ever since.
As a displaced Ravens fan in Ohio, I constantly receive hate. I live in a dangerous part of Ohio, and had been threatened multiple times for wearing my jerseys. I kept my head up. I’ve been a Ravens fan for about 10 years (almost half my life now) and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve gotten my mom (who doesn’t care for football) to root for the Ravens with me. I’ve gotten my girlfriend to switch over to Baltimore after being a Detroit native for most of her life and I plan to raise my children with the Purple Black.
If you’ve gotten this far, I appreciate you giving my story a read. I’d appreciate hearing anything back (criticism, pity, etc)
So there are some definite pains to being away from Baltimore and keeping up with the Ravens. Especially if your living outside of the Country. I moved to Germany in 2013 a few months after one of the best put together Ravens Team won the Super Bowl.
So following that high and being across the puddle I started searching for ways to watch. You can occasionally watch a live game on German TV but the commentary is all in German and a good bit of the commentary is filled with explanations of how the game works.
American Football is a sport that’s growing in popularity but most fans have very little knowledge of the game. So I shell out every year for an NFL Gamepass subscription. Which keeps me going through the season but there are still a lot of other obstacles. Sunday Night and Monday Night Football is great. Except those games start around 2:00am for me. So the next day is spent staying away from Social Media, email and anything that is going to spoil the game.
There is also the occasional unintentional text from a family member or friend over night that hits me in the morning. Every Sports Fan understand how annoying that can be. Tuesday at 8:00pm I just got to watch Lamar Jackson and the Ravens stomp the Rams on Monday Night. I get to watch 1:00pm games at 7:00pm and I get to watch them alone. It’s like the Buffalo Wild Wings commercial where the guy gets to sit on the couch getting excited alone and high fiving himself. It kinda sucks!
This season it’s been a bit easier to be a long distance away from home fan because they’ve been so much fun to watch but the last few years have been pretty brutal to keep up with. Two seasons ago I flew to London and got up close with Ray Lewis during pregame which was pretty cool. Yeah they lost to the Jags and the whole kneeling drama but it was still great to go to a game.
Then there’s Super Bowl. Game time starting around 11:00pm makes a Super Bowl Party pretty impossible. Who wants to eat tacos, pizza, hot wings and chips that late while staying up until 3:00am to watch the Super Bowl. Well I do but pickings are slim when it comes to the rest of the party. And I have to take the next day off from work too. I’ve gone in to work the next day twice in the last 5 years and it’s not fun with only 2 hours of sleep.
Being a long distance fan is not at all easy. But this seasons Ravens squad has definitely made the cost of an NFL Gamepass worth it.