BALTIMORE (WJZ) — From soldier to singer, Baltimore’s own, Joey Odoms, belts out the National Anthem before every Ravens home game.
But how he landed his dream job is a story of destiny that begins half a world away. Marcus Washington tells how courage and a chance meeting with Ravens head coach, John Harbaugh, lead Joey to the 50-yard line.READ MORE: Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School Shortens Commencement In Response To Record Heat
Baltimore’s own, Joey Odoms, is living his dream, singing for his city and his favorite team.
Washington: Right before you go on… you walk down the hall… what are you thinking?
Odoms: Don’t mess up! Honestly, I’m trying not to think at all. I think the nerves are natural, because it means that you don’t wanna mess up, that you have pride in what you’re doing.
Every time the Ravens take the field at M&T Bank Stadium, Joey is there too, belting out the National Anthem in front of tens of thousands of fans.
Joey’s road to the Ravens begins at a very young age. Growing up in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood, downtown, his dream of becoming a singer takes shape at his grandmother’s church.
“I’ve always loved music, but in church, for me, that was always the best part of church when I was younger,” Odoms said.
His church’s choir director, Mishael Miller, inspires Joey every Sunday with his amazing voice.
“It was almost like being at a concert!” he added.
Even more amazing, Mishael is the National Anthem singer for Joey’s favorite team, the Ravens!READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Heat Is Here, Alert Day Tomorrow For Record Heat
“I actually got to see him at a game, at my first Ravens game,” Odoms said
Joey grows up wanting to sing for his city just like Mishael, but he puts his dreams on hold.
Washington: From music as a child… you end up going into the military. Explain that decision.
Odoms: I love music and I love the art, but you still need to make a living.
Joey goes halfway across the world to Afghanistan to fight for his country. which ironically, brings him closer to his dream. Joey finds out Mishael, the Ravens National Anthem singer is retiring and the Ravens coach, John Harbaugh is visiting his base. It’s the perfect chance to make his pitch.
Washington: You told him you wanted to sing… you had the nerve to ask!
Odoms: I was thinking, why not? Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?
“He felt like he’d be the man for the job and he k new that we were going to have an opening, I think… I didn’t know we were going to have an opening… but he did… and he wanted to know if he was going to get a chance,” Harbaugh said.
“I came back home three weeks later. I was told that I was one of the 10 finalists so I went from the sandbox of Afghanistan to the 50-yard line of M&T Bank Stadium,” Odoms said.
Joey might look familiar. He also appeared on HBO’s “The Wire,” which was famously shot in Baltimore. Joey is just the second National Anthem singer in Ravens history.
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