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Ravens Head To New Orleans
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January 29, 2013
Baltimore Ravens fans sent their team to Super Bowl in New Orleans Monday with a raucous pep rally at the Inner Harbor. WYPR’s Joel McCord was there and has more.
Joel McCord: It was cold, it was wet, it was miserable. But that didn’t stop thousands of Ravens fans from packing the amphitheater at the Inner Harbor. Wearing purple hats, purple scarves, purple and white camo gear and anything else purple they could find, they jammed up 10 and 15 deep along the barricades that lined the team’s way into the rally and crowded the balconies of the Harbor Place pavilions. There was Mike Brown from Cherry Hill.
Mike Brown: We love the Baltimore Ravens, man. You know, they really doing they thing for us. (They’re doing it for us?) Yeah. for Baltimore.
McCord: Like most of us, he’ll be watching the game on TV. It’s part of the reason he came to the rally.
Brown: Yeah, man. It’s like, it’s like, it’s awesome, though just being, to be a part of their send off, you know?
McCord: Rich Polan, who was standing nearby, compared the crowd to the postal service.
Richard Polan: Neither rain nor shine nor sleet, foul weather won’t keep us away from rooting for those Ravens. We want to cheer ‘em on.
McCord: About a block away on Pratt Street, Robert Shoreman was hawking t-shirts, sweatshirts, flags and whatever other Ravens memorabilia you could think of as the crowds streamed by. He’s been doing this for years outside M&T Bank Stadium before Ravens games and at any other likely place he can set up shop.
Robert Shoreman: Mainly when big Super Bowl stuff like this comes along, we worked it. Last Super Bowl we had in 2001 was really good, we did good.
McCord: But things weren’t moving all that quickly.
Shoreman: Ohh, it’s a little slow cause of the rain, but hopefully it will pick up when they leave.
McCord: Like many trying to get into the city, the Ravens’ buses got stuck in traffic on the Beltway. And again on I-95. But still the crowd waited. There was Omar McCloud and his wife Gabrielle, all decked out in purple.
Gabrielle McCloud: He dragged me here a little bit cause of the rain, but I love the Ravens, but I had to get some strength to come out in the rain.
McCord: She said she got that strength thinking about retiring defensive star Ray Lewis and quarterback Joe Flacco. Finally, the buses pulled alongside Harbor Place. And the noise was so loud you could barely hear WBAL’s play by play announcer introducing the players. Once the team was on the stage, it was Ray Lewis’s turn.
Ray Lewis: There is no Ravens without you guys. We did this in 2000. And we’re not going to New Orleans for nothing else but to bring another ring back to Baltimore. We love love you, we love you, we love you. We’re going to give you everything we got.
McCord: Head Coach John Harbaugh praised the best fans in the world. He said he couldn’t wait to see all those Ravens fans he knows will be in the Super Dome next Sunday. And for those of you who couldn’t go, well, you’ll be there anyway, he said.
John Harbaugh: You know why? Cause you’re going to be in our heart. We’ll be taking you down there in our heart. You’ll be in the Super Dome. I promise you.
McCord: Then it was time for safety Ed Reed to lead the last cheer. Reach out and touch someone, he said.
Ed Reed: On the count of three. We want it loud and proud. We want to hear it across the world, from here to New Orleans. Baltimore on three, Baltimore on three. One, two, three, Baltimore.
McCord: With that the team climbed back on the buses, headed for New Orleans. I’m Joel McCord, reporting at the Inner Harbor for 88.1, WYPR.
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