Gee, Big Football Makes For Big Pride

16 Jan

For me, there is absolutely nothing like Baltimore Ravens football. Nothing else has the power to simultaneously tug at my heart strings and fire me up. I know that football is just a game, but this team means so much more.

Sporting my Torrey Smith jersey.

When I returned home for Christmas this year, our family bonded over our team’s triumphs. We exchanged an array of purple, Raven-themed gifts – license plate holders, pillow pets, framed stadium portraits…you name it. We are all rather obsessed. In Baltimore territory, the purple passion is electric. It is this intense appreciation that I miss the most when I leave the land of crabcakes and football.

When I was studying in Brussels, Belgium during the fall of 2009, I excitedly followed my team’s progress throughout the season. Of course I jumped at the chance to watch a live Ravens game on the television at an American bar near the Parliament. For those four quarters of hard hitting competition, I was home again.

My Ravens Family

The other day, I met a native Atlantan who said, “Ya know, the people I’ve met from Baltimore are so proud of their city. It’s truly a part of their identity. It’s kind of like Boston or New York. That pride is pretty special.” I would have to agree.

It is so reassuring to know that the team connects me to my hometown, my home people. I may be hundreds of miles away from the place where I grew up, but I feel like I’m back in the Land of Pleasant Living when those purple warriors step onto the field. Watching Ray shout at the top of his lungs in the pre-game huddle sends chills up my spine.

No matter where you are from, be it a tiny town or a bustling city, it’s truly amazing when you find something that connects you to your people and your home. Hold onto it. Don’t be ashamed. No matter how much slack you get from the people who just don’t get it.

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