Father’s Day: Sharing My Love For The Ravens With Dad


This post is for my Dad, but I think Ravens Nation will enjoy it: Happy Father’s Day Weekend!

Baltimore Ravens football makes the world go round, at least to me. This was especially true when I was a ten-year old boy; one that had recently fallen in love with the game. My Dad and I were going to Baltimore, I was going to my first Ravens game. I was filled with Super Bowl pride, months ago the Ravens defeated the New York Giants and won the Lombardi Trophy.

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I was a little ball of energy that day. We took the Metro to the city. It was my first time on the metro. Much like almost everything at that age, it was an exciting new experience. I thought riding backwards was the coolest thing.

In the city everything seemed huge. Everything seemed louder than my young ears were used to. As we walked closer to the stadium, you could smell grills doing their magic. Dad and I stopped at a cheeseburger stand.

I got a burger so greasy that it dripped over my Ravens t-shirt. My Dad stopped at the condiments and suggested I put mustard on it. I followed my Dad’s advice, and I’ll never eat a burger without mustard again. Every time I drop a dab of that yellow goodness on a burger it is an ode to the best day of my childhood.

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We got to the stadium and I was in complete awe. It was so big. There were so many people. I remember Dad telling me to finish my Dr. Pepper, and chugging it before we went inside. We climbed the stairs to get to our section. My Dad made sure to keep me close to his side, I was distracted by everything. Often I go in sensory overload, but at the stadium it all meshes in a beautiful way.

We went to the restroom before we got to our seats. I did not want to miss any of the action. Dad on the other hand was just trying to avoid the treacherous lines later. We walked into our section in the stands. I stopped and paused. Completely in the moment, I stared at the field. It looked so much more beautiful than it did on the TV. I felt a combination of wonder and joy that I hope every child gets to feel at least once.

We climbed more stairs to our seats and we waited for the magic to begin. Before the kickoff there was a little celebration of last season’s Super Bowl victory. The 2001 season was about to begin against the Bears. I was convinced, all the way to my bones that the Ravens were going to win it all again. Ray Lewis and company could not be stopped, I thought.

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When the players came running out of the tunnel, it was surreal. The moment seemed so big. When Ray Lewis did his dance, and the crowd erupted, I gave my dad a high-five. In all honesty my Dad prefers to watch the game at home. He was doing this for me. I think my Dad enjoyed watching me be so happy as much as I enjoyed the game. That’s what a Dad is and that’s what a Dad does.

The Ravens defense was dominant on that day. Heck the Ravens defense was dominant throughout my entire childhood. Ray Lewis was amazing. He could run sideline to sideline. That entire defense was incredible. The Ravens won 17-6. It was a classic Ravens game, the defense was the main attraction.

I went crazy the entire game. I shouted like crazy for the defense. I celebrated every first down like a man who won the lottery. I jumped up and down with complete glee and jubilation. I gave high-fives to complete strangers. I was ten years old and I was probably the loudest one in my entire section. The scary thing is, my love for the Ravens has only grown since then.

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Nothing will ever beat my first day at a Ravens game. That being said, Dad and I also enjoyed the 2003 comeback against the Seattle Seahawks. That game was complete euphoria and is right up there with my first game. I am so thankful that I could have that perfect day. I am so glad that I shared my passion for the Ravens with my Dad.

I love you Dad. You’re my rock man.