The reason that I am a Ravens fans is simple: They represent Baltimore, the city I live in and love; therefore, they are my team.
In 1996 Art Modell brought football back to a city that craved it for 12 years and I thank him for doing so. I grew up hearing stories from my dad and grandfather about the Baltimore Colts and how they were more than just a football team—they were Baltimore as a city.
My whole childhood, I was longing to have a team that I could make my own memories with, wondering if that would ever happen.
Baltimore is an incredibly passionate football town, and we felt slighted on numerous occasions as the NFL put teams in football "hotbeds" like Jacksonville and Carolina.
My favorite team growing up was the 49ers, but I always made it known that I would immediately switch my allegiance to the local team if there was one.
From the minute it was announced that the Browns would be moving to Baltimore, I instantly dropped my loyalties to the 49ers and became ensconced in everything that was Baltimore football.
People came out in droves just to witness the naming of the team, and that is when I finally realized this was more then just a football team to these fans.
When I say I live and die by the Ravens, I mean it. I am in a better mood when they win and everything around me is better. Food tastes better, beer is colder, the weather doesn’t bother me. I know I am not the only one to feel this way.
The Ravens were not successful their few seasons, but that did not stop me from being a rabid football fan. As the organization grew older, my love for them increased every day.
This organization is surrounded by classy people, and that is something that makes me love them more. Art Modell—despite what Browns fans think of him—is one of the classiest men in all of football and the rest of his front office reflects this.
On the field, the Ravens identity was hard-nosed, tough defensive football team which a blue-collar town like Baltimore appreciated. Players like Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware, Tony Siragusa and Michael McCrary embodied the tough-nosed identity of this team and were instant fan favorites.
Throughout their Super Bowl season, the Ravens were viewed as "bad boys" and "punks" with a brash, cocky head coach that every football fan outside of Baltimore seemed to hate. Every time people look at Baltimore in a negative light, the city comes together and is that much stronger. Every time a bad word was uttered about the team, the fans embraced this team even more.
That is one of the reasons I am so passionate about this team. As Baltimore fans we often feel slighted and overlooked. When people disrespect our team, we get mad.
These are just some of the many reasons that I am a Ravens fan, and I would not have it any other way.
The Ravens are "my" team and they represent "my" city. I will love them for my whole life.
Hopefully, they'll be around for my whole lifetime and my children’s lifetimes as well