Monday, January 7, 2013

Just a game

The big news around Baltimore this past week has been the retirement of Ray Lewis, the linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens.  Ray was an original member of the team, having been drafted out of the U of Miami in 1996, and this, his 17th season in the National Football League, will be his last.

He now joins what people are calling the Mount Rushmore of Baltimore.  Not that we have any mountains around here in which to carve four illustrious faces, but if we did, Ray's visage would be up there along with Cal Ripken, Jr, Brooks Robinson and Johnny Unitas.  Sports heroes all, and contributors to the community at large as well.  It's nice to imagine what such a monument would look like and how much fun it would be to ride past it.

The Ravens won their game yesterday (ironically played against the Indianapolis NFL team, who used to play here until the Devil moved them to the Hoosier state in 1984) and so will advance in the playoffs, although there will be no more home games.  Therefore, yesterday was the final time for #52 to do his "Squirrel Dance" before the roaring crowd.  You can see that by clicking here.

When you see the video, and hear the tumult, and you realize that this sort of thing brings cities together. Look at Facebook while the games are going on; people change their status minute to minute to reflect their joy or disappointment, as the game develops.  Look around the grocery store or the office or the mall on a Friday and see the people in their purple and black, the Ravens colors.  It's good for the town's morale and good for business, too.  People are happy to join the fun, wearing jerseys and t-shirts and eating purple cupcakes and so on.
I was watching the game yesterday while looking over emails, etc.  On Instagram, a friend who is in Rome posed for a picture in the Colosseum, which was like our M&T Bank Stadium.  In the early Roman days (the amphitheater was built in 80 AD) crowds of 50,000 people would gather there to watch mock sea battles, dramas, animal hunts and executions.  71,000 people jammed into our stadium yesterday to watch a football game.  Nothing has really changed, except for a greater seating capacity.


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