* Please note that this post is about football, and more specifically the celebration of the Baltimore Ravens winning the Super Bowl. If none of those things interest you in any way, you may want to skip this post. This is fair warning.
(Ok, now that I have lost about 95% of my normal readers, I will continue to address the remaining 3 of you. Don’t you feel special?).
So, in case you live under a rock, you might have heard of this little game that was played last Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens played the San Fran 49ers in an epic hermano v. hermano battle of gridiron football, and the Ravens came out on top. This is only the second time the Ravens have gone to the Super Bowl, and both times they have emerged victorious. In 2001, after their first victory, the city of Baltimore rejoiced by having a parade for the players a few days after the big event. My husband was working in downtown Baltimore at the time, and actually had a view of the parade route from his office. So, I was able to see his bird’s eye view of many of the players after the fact when looking at his pictures from that day, but I was not there in person.
This year’s celebration would also involve a parade, which I similarly would not be able to attend. Although I work in downtown Baltimore, mere blocks from the planned parade route, I was due in court all day and would not be able to stand out in the street to cheer on the homecoming heroes. And while disappointed in this, I was resigned to my fate.
Driving into the city on the morning of the parade, I saw preparations were already being made. From news crews setting up . . .
. . . to people already standing against the fences in anticipation of the parade, a full 2 and 1/2 hours prior to the scheduled start time (oh yes, it started late . . . stay tuned).
Everywhere I looked, there were people walking around in purple. There was a certain anticipatory buzz in the air. And while some people were just walking to their offices, not wearing any purple at all, there was an obvious and significant increase in foot traffic that morning. Not to mention the numerous small business men who took this opportunity to sell bootleg Ravens paraphernalia on the street. Pennants and T-shirts were being hawked everywhere you looked.
Once I was safely ensconced in the courthouse and began working, I put the parade out of my mind. Although there was a significant lack of people showing up for court (assuming they took the day off to see the parade), it was pretty much business as usual, and we were able to get through most of the docket in a timely manner. But then . . . the time of the parade approached. We could hear a good amount of yelling and cheering outside our windows, as we were not far from the starting point of the parade. And then, oddly enough, the Judge took a “parade recess” so he could go back to chambers and watch the parade on TV. So, my colleagues and I sat around our desks, watching the live feed on an iPhone, and wishing we were just a mere couple blocks away enjoying the festivities, rather than sitting at a desk watching the announcers talk about how the parade was running late and that they were waiting for the players.
And then it happened. One of the guys who I work with in the courthouse had just finished up his job there for the morning and said he was going over to the parade. I said I wished I could join him, to which one of my colleagues responded, “if you want to go, you can. I’ll stay and wait for the docket to start again. We only have 2 more cases anyway.” Well, you didn’t need to tell me twice. I told my new parade buddy to wait up, I was coming with him to the parade. And we were off.
Unfortunately, because we were not one of the first ones there, and had not planned this out very well, we found quite the crown out on the street in front of us, thus impeding any view we might actually have of the parade. This is what we saw when we approached the route:
So many people. A lot of them so much taller than me. It seemed pretty hopeless that we were going to be able to see much of anything. But we stood, and we waited. And waited some more. I waited so long that I was starting to get concerned that I would have to go back to the courthouse to deal with the afternoon docket before I ever got to even see the parade start. And while I was waiting, I did get to see this:
Yes, that is in fact a woman blatantly walking around in head to toe Steelers gear, amidst a sea of diehard Ravens fans. If you are not aware, the Pittsburgh Steelers are hated rivals of the Baltimore Ravens, and her walking around like this was her attempt of making a statement. I was actually a little fearful for her, and thought this an unwise decision. Luckily, all that happened was a bit of booing when people saw her walking through the crowd, and that was it.
After standing with my friend for a while, waiting for something to happen, news started circulating through the crowd that the buses carrying the players were approaching. Then, I heard people screaming and a mad dash was made by a good amount of people in the direction of where the player’s buses would park. I had wedged myself into a good spot, and thought that leaving my post for the unknown was probably a bad idea, so I stayed where I was. Unfortunately, the next time I turned around to talk to my buddy, I found myself talking to some tall stranger. It seems that my (former) friend had run off, not telling me he was leaving, and was nowhere to be found. Oh well, I guess I was on my own.
Soon after (although a good hour later than scheduled) the parade started. I was able to climb up on one of those metal gates lining the street, and get a foothold, so I could get a decent, if precarious, view of the parade. I got to see quite a few of my favorite Ravens, including the owner, Steve Bisciotti, head coach, John Harbaugh, and many players, such as MVP Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin, Haloti Ngata, and of course, Ray Lewis.
Once Ray passed, the parade was done and people started following Ray’s car down the street, presumably headed to the stadium with the rest of the procession. I, on the other hand, needed to get back to work. When I got back to court, my colleagues were eating lunch and still watching the live feed on an iPhone, so I got to see a little of the rest of it. I was looking forward to seeing the news footage that the hubs was taping once I got home to get a really good look at who was on the floats, as it was difficult to see from where I was (and of note, I apparently somehow completely missed the Humvee with Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs. Even though they apparently drove right by where I was standing and looking right at the parade. Weird).
Later in the afternoon, my “friend” came back down to court, and of course, I asked him where he went. He told me that he went to see the players get off the bus (which I assumed) and that he came back looking for me (which is a bold-faced lie, because I had not moved), and then he moved to a different spot along the parade where there weren’t as many people. Then he told me this:
And I got to touch the trophy.
Hold up . . . what now? You meant the Vince Lombardi Trophy? WHAT???
Yeah, so apparently from his newly found perch next to the parade route, he saw Anquan Boldin walking down the street with the trophy, and when he reached out, he got to touch it as he walked by. The trophy. That Anquan Boldin was holding. Yeah.
So, as you can imagine this man is now dead to me.
Damn Trophy Toucher.
Oh, and did I mention that he was video taping this entire thing? Which he so kindly showed me. So I got to watch, as Anquan Boldin walked towards him, trophy aloft, and see his friend-abandoning hand reach out and touch it as it went by.
(Like this, only imagine he was walking by and holding the trophy out for everyone to touch).
Oh, but as I was leaving the parade and heading back to work, I did get to see this:
Leggings as pants, one white sock, one black sock and itty bitty purple gym shorts that she is sticking her hands down and are creeping up into her nether regions. Right in front of me. Like a gift. Like someone out there knew I was gonna need this to soothe my soul. Or something. I mean, it’s no Vince Lombardi trophy or anything, but . . .
Nope, still mad. Can’t even look at a bright side. Grrrr . . .
I mean . . . YAY RAVENS!!