BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Ravens fans are hoping for a win this Christmas Eve. But what does the holiday mean for the coaches and players?
Jessica Kartalija finds the Christmas spirit is alive and well.
This holiday season, the Ravens say playing in the NFL is a gift in itself.
“Too many guys can’t be a NFL player, so you’ve got to feel blessed,” Pernell McPhee, defensive lineman.
The team says Christmas is time spent with their biggest fans.
“It’s a very important time to spend with family and friends and to give back, most importantly to people who are less fortunate,” said Michael Oher.
“It’s about family, you get gifts, and you really want people to show expression of love for everybody,” said Chris Carr.
“Christmas to me means the celebration of the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. That’s what it means. No greater celebration than that,” said Coach John Harbaugh.
Memories of Christmas past are kicking in for punter Sam Koch.
“We used to—on Christmas Eve–go to my grandma’s, and it was a way to get the family together and see each other,” said Koch said.
“When I think of Christmas, I think of a time to be around family, and relax and yeah, think about how fortunate we are and try and help other people out there who might not be in the same situation we are,” said Joe Flacco.
For Matt Birk, his kids are the center of attention.
“Now, with six young kids at home, there’s nothing like Christmas morning,” Birk said.
Ravens rookie Torrey Smith is looking forward to starting a new holiday tradition.
“It’s a time to realize how thankful you are for everything from family, to football to life in general. I’m excited, and it’s the first time I’m on my own and my family is coming to Baltimore to celebrate it with me,” Smith said.
Every player we spoke with expressed their appreciation of being in the NFL, saying it’s their responsibility to help others less fortunate.