Ravens nation: today we partied like it’s 2001

Crowd shows up at City Hall at start of Ravens Victory Parade to M&T Bank Stadium.

city hall rally 2

Ravens rally at City Hall today.

Photo by: Gerald Neily

Today we savored our sweet Super Bowl victory hangover at a City Hall Ravens rally followed by a parade to M&T Bank stadium.

It was less spontaneous than Sunday night after the game when fans poured out of the bars and onto the streets of Federal Hill, Fells Point and Canton.

But at today’s downtown rally, there was more time for reflection: Baltimore really is the Super Bowl champion again, just like 2001.

The main difference is that instead of 2001’s “Who Let the Dogs Out,” now we have “Seven Nation Army,” the White Stripes anthem about the chips on each of our shoulders.

The rally finally got underway with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake trying to rouse her subjects by leading them in the chant, “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. . . ”

Walt Griffin, 50, from South Baltimore celebrates in purple plumage. (Photo by Gerald Neily)

Walt Griffin, 50, from South Baltimore celebrates in purple plumage. (Photo by Gerald Neily)

Then the mayor yelled to the crowd, “You can do better than that!” To which a Raven fan named Elaine from Woodberry yelled back, “So can you!”

Then came Elder Statesman Ray Lewis, the only Raven who had already seen the promised land in 2001, followed by Ed Reed.

Late Start to Parade

The City Hall rally started over an hour late, doubling the length of the New Orleans power failure delay, which will forever define the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory.

This Pigtown resident says she's a "true Ravens fan no matter what." (Photo by Geral Neily)

This Pigtown resident says she’s a “true Ravens fan no matter what.” (Photo by Gerald Neily)

The podium view was blocked for most fans by the prominence of the media scaffold, marking this as a “Made for TV Event,” with the crowd as mere props.

If only Ozzie Newsome was running this city. . .

The plaza crowd of only a few thousand (most probably went straight to M&T Bank where the parking was free) just sort of took it all in with a soundtrack including the real version of “Seven Nation Army” with Jack White singing over the crowd “oh” chant.

The indecipherable lyrics made it all the more of a Ravens song, so I took several liberties below with the libretto to make it more Ravenous:

I’m gonna fight ’em off 
A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back 
They’re gonna rip it off. Taking their time right behind my back
And I’m talking to myself at night because I can’t forget 
Back and forth through my mind behind a Ravens bet
And the message coming from my eyes says leave it alone
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. . .

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  • Gerald Neily

    Footnote: A massive understatement: “…most probably went straight to M&T Bank where the parking was free.” As it turned out, there was simply a massive aversion being at the City Hall start of the rally among the hundred-thousand-plus Ravens fans who descended on downtown.

  • discer

    Even during such a positive event you just can’t resist a cheap shot at the mayor and the city.

    • Gerald Neily

      You make an excellent example of the concept of “buy in” that I raised about Edit Barry’s civic engagement article, Discer. The mayor is using the Ravens to promote civic buy-in without even having to say what we might be buying into. We just need to be “positive” as you put it. Awk82 takes the alternative to the extreme – moving to Glen Burnie.
      The most blatant current example of “buy-in” that comes to mind is a local Toyota TV commercial that asserts that Baltimoreans have more pride in their communities and sports teams than other cities, which somehow should lead us to buy a Toyota. Then it shows a map of the region with all the Toyota dealers outside the city limits. Go figure.

  • ushanellore

    Walt Griffin takes the cake or should I say his hat does.  He looks like Henry the 8th might have looked before the execution of Anne Boleyn, in royal purple garb, happy as a clam.  So SRB is milking the win for all its worth.  Why not?  It seems this kind of success for a sports team comes once in a dozen years.  The Ravens put Baltimore on the map although I sensed, via the CBS sportscasters, there is a decided prejudice against Baltimore in the national scene.  The losers, SF 49ers seemed to be getting wall to wall coverage and praise for losing.  Strange.  Baltimore does not evoke a warm fuzzy feeling in the nation.          

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