BALTIMORE (WJZ) –Ravens fans packed the city’s Inner Harbor Amphitheater before the start of day and in the cold wet weather Monday. It was a once-in-a lifetime chance to send their team off to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
Kai Jackson has more.
It starts with a beat. Mix in the screams from excited fans. Add in hundreds of smart phone cameras. And this is a Super Bowl sendoff for the Baltimore Ravens, who are Big Easy bound.
Former Ravens from Super Bowl XXXV, including Michael McCrary, first took the podium, talking about the “heart” of the team.
Then, with a police escort and on several buses, the Super Bowl-bound Ravens arrived downtown. All of the players were announced and made their way to the podium.
Many of the Ravens players took out their phones and recorded the massive crowd, which was chanting the “Seven-Nation Army” song.
“This year our team is on a magical run,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Let them keep underestimating our Ravens because that’s when we shine.”
“Let’s go win the Super Bowl for Baltimore,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.
It’s reason to dance.
“This is awesome. This is how you’re supposed to be sent off. This is awesome,” said Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens safety.
After 12 years, fans and players knew this pep rally would come.
“I just had to be here. I’ve been with them since day one, and they’re like our family,” said Mary Watkins, Ravens fan.
And the team did not disappoint.
As hundreds of fans gathered at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, the Ravens told the crowd that losing isn’t an option.
“We’re not going to New Orleans for nothing else but to bring back another ring back to where it belongs in Baltimore,” said Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens linebacker.
“There’s no better team than Baltimore today,” said John Harbaugh, Ravens coach. “We’re going to be taking you in our hearts. You’ll be in the Superdome with us.”
“We’ve got two tickets to paradise,” Reed sang.
Web Extra: Ravens Sendoff
The rally was also a chance for fans to send Lewis to the Super Bowl–his last game before retiring.
Neal Spears still has the ticket from Lewis’ first game back in 1996.
“It just seems like it flew by. But there will never be another like him, on and off the field,” Spears said.
“He started in here. He’s going to finish here. He’s going to go down there as the general, and he’s going to lead his troop to the Vince Lombardi trophy, baby,” said David Washington, Ravens fan.