Tens of thousands of Ravens fans gathered outside of City Hall to welcome the Super Bowl Champion Ravens back to Baltimore this morning. Many, like Marchelle Wilson of Glen Burnie, said they had been waiting since 5 a.m. "I just want to see Ray," she told us. In the surrounding buildings, tons of people pressed their faces against windows and hung out on parking garage balconies just to get a glimspe.
They all got their chance at 11:45 a.m. when players appeared on the front steps of City Hall, including wide receiver Anquan Boldin, linebacker Terrell Suugs, linebacker Ray Lewis, running back Ray Rice, quarterback Joe Flacco, and safety Ed Reed with his son on his shoulders. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake got the crowd riled up by starting a "Seven Nation Army" chant before introducing Coach John Harbaugh. "How bout them Ravens?" he shouted to raucous applause. He also broke into a call-and-response-chant of "What's our name?" "Ravens!" three times before giving the floor to Reed.
Like he's been doing, Reed starting singing Eddie Money's "Two Tickets to Paradise" and let the crowd know that the Ravens were ready to repeat it next year. "They better look out for us, Baltimore," he said. Finally, Lewis spoke passionately to the crowd, saying "Baltimore, I love you, forever and ever and ever."
Soon, all the players, coaches, staff, family, and friends hopped on various humvees and floats, which were getting ready to meander through the downtown streets and end up at at M&T Bank Stadium, already filled with 100,000 fans. National media trucks—CNN, NBC, NFL Network, ABC—trailed behind them to show that, for today, all eyes are on Baltimore.
[Photo by Kaitlin Newman]