Prior to the Super Bowl last week, I had the opportunity to journey to Seattle, Washington for the mid-winter meeting of the American Library Association. While there, I was consistently surprised by the uniform response I got when folks found out that I lived in the Baltimore area. To a person, they were happy and excited for the success that the Baltimore Ravens have enjoyed on the football field this season. It was truly a pleasure to see such good feelings from people living in different parts of this country.
As nice as this positive reception while traveling out-of-state was, something else has been even more special. When I returned home from the west coast, I have seen just how much the sporting success achieved by the Ravens has done to bring Marylanders together. No matter where I went last week—from business meetings in downtown Baltimore, to conducting community advocacy at the General Assembly session in Annapolis, to shopping here at home in Perry Hall— for an impending home-town Super Bowl victory.
My family and I have had the chance to enjoy this experience with friends and neighbors from our own community of Nottingham Woods. For each of the playoff games—and also for the Super Bowl—about a dozen or so families from where we live got together to watch the game and enjoy each other's company. With each successive Ravens victory, the sense of excitement grew, and the length of these parties continued to stretch out!
This most recent groundswell of community enthusiasm shows how much a shared interest in professional sports can bring a city and surrounding communities together. The exciting season put together by the Baltimore Orioles during 2012 is another great example this phenomenon. Common sources of pride that can be a by-product of victorious local sports teams offer a welcome change from the day-to-day routine that we all live through.
Whether you call it Purple Pride, Purple Passion, or something else, this sense of unity in the community is a great thing. The Baltimore Ravens and their feats on the football field have generated an experience that will not soon be forgotten.