You’ve probably seen, heard and/or read by now that the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII this past Sunday night against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans! I can’t even begin to describe how incredible it felt as the game clock expired and the Ravens officially became world champions. My favorite team had just won the freaking Super Bowl!
As I watched the purple and white confetti rain down and the team celebrate, I couldn’t help but wonder if it could get any better than this (other than seeing it live of course)! It was in that moment that I decided that I
needed to absolutely had to be in Baltimore for the Super Bowl parade celebration.
Missing it because of work was just not an option. You never know when your team will be the champion again. While it only took the Ravens 12 years since their Super Bowl XXXV win in 2001, some teams haven’t won in decades, or even ever. (Besides your
gross beloved Patriots. ;))
I was 11-years-old when we first won the Super Bowl, and this time around, it felt way more emotional and real. I think as a twenty-something, I could finally understand the magnitude of it all, including bringing home the Lombardi trophy to the city of Baltimore.
When our train pulled up to the Convention Center on Tuesday morning, the day of the parade, I was completely blown away by the sea of purple that stretched for miles downtown. There were thousands upon thousands of die-hard Ravens fans lined up to watch the parade in hopes to catch a glimpse of players and coaches as they passed by. My brother and I decided beforehand to skip the parade and mobs of people, so we headed straight towards M&T Bank Stadium… It was the final stop of the parade and included a special celebration.
Thankfully, we were already inside when they started turning fans away from entering the stadium. As we made it to our seats, I took a minute to look around. I was stunned. Each and every seat of the 71,008 capacity stadium was filled, hundreds stood in the aisles and there were at least 10,000 people standing on the field. Pretty crazy, right?!
We watched the opening ceremony at City Hall and the rest of the parade up on the jumbo-trans. They showed footage of the 100,000+ parade-goers sprinting towards the stadium… and being turned away. SO glad I wasn’t one of them!
As the coaches and players emerged from the tunnel, fireworks erupted and the stadium roared. And then it was Ray Lewis’ turn; the moment we had all been waiting for. He emerged out of the tunnel for his final time as a Raven, of course while doing his signature dance, “The Squirrel.”
During the rest of the celebration, the owner, head coach John Harbaugh and a few key players including Lewis spoke and thanked the fans for the constant love and support. At the closing, they showed a highlight reel from the Super Bowl and also played We Are the Champions.
I’ve never felt so happy and so proud to be a Baltimorean. Lewis said it best: “There is no place on this earth that’s better than Baltimore!”
While I did have to take the day off of work (and returned to an even larger pile on my desk), it was totally worth it. As twenty-somethings, we have at least 40 years of working days ahead of us. Don’t you think we deserve to take advantage of at least one, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?
Going to the Ravens’ Super Bowl celebration and getting to see Ray Lewis dance one last time was definitely an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. It was an experience that I will never, ever forget.