Fifteen hours ago, running back Willis McGahee was in Houston, scoring a touchdown to help the Ravens beat the Texans in a prime-time showdown.
Now, he's standing completely nude in a Fells Point row house, with his own "end zone" facing the third-story windows.
Following in the tradition of other tattooed sports stars like Chad Ochocinco and Dennis Rodman, McGahee has agreed to be photographed in the buff as part of PETA's "Ink Not Mink" campaign.
After getting into town at 5:30 a.m. and catching a couple hours of shuteye, McGahee rolls into the cramped, unmarked studio of Charm City Photography just after noon wearing a white Adidas track suit.
McGahee looks calm as the photographer warms up with some shirtless shots of the offensive star lounging on an antique chair ("It's not leather, is it?" asks the PETA representative in attendance), cradling a football—synthetic pigskin of course—and showing off his biceps, on which the words "The" and "Boss" are tattooed in gothic script. After a few minutes, the PETA rep announces, "I think we're good with the clothed shots."
Moments later, McGahee drops trou and starts jumping from pose to pose, one with the football placed front and center, another modeled after "The Thinker."
"I walk around the locker room naked all the time, surrounded by a bunch of men," McGahee says, explaining why he's not nervous. "I'm very confident with my body."
After a while, it's decided that the subject's posterior could use a bit more shine and makeup artist Tomara Watkins is called in to apply some gel. "That was exciting," McGahee says with a grin.
Afterwards, Watkins looks both star-struck and shell-shocked. "I've worked with Beyoncé before," she says. "But I've never done anything like that."
McGahee says he's not a vegetarian, but he never wears fur and he has a long connection with dogs. "I've been around pit bulls all my life," he says. "I watched my cousin breed them and bring them up."
Soon, the shoot is over, but not before McGahee and Watkins exchange Twitter handles.
It's New Year's Eve, and the giant ball looms overhead, ready to make its dramatic drop. Anticipation grows as the clocks gets ever closer to 12.
No, we're not in Times Square, and Ryan Seacrest is nowhere to be found. The crowd here is generally very short and the hour they're anticipating isn't midnight, but noon—at the Maryland Science Center's "Midnight at Noon" celebration.
Since 10 a.m., mini-revelers have been busy making noisemakers—sure to be drowned out by the pipsqueaks themselves—and party hats. At 11:30, perennial peewee party starters Milkshake take the stage and reel off classics like "Shake It Up" and "Baseball," which sees dozens of inflatable balls bouncing off the lobby's glass walls.
Singer Lisa Mathews shouts, "What time is it?" It's actually 11:55, but close enough to the appointed hour for this ersatz countdown and moments later, the chant begins, "10, 9, 8..."
Soon, the giant silver ball with a "2011" flag is lowered by a pulley, everyone shouts "Happy New Year!", and a massive supply of bright yellow confetti showers on the delighted tots.
"We're gonna do a couple more songs," Mathews declares, once the hubbub dies down. "Then we gotta start cleaning up this mess."