With the nation seemingly in constant tangles with chaos and confusion it’s always nice to have something that we can count on to keep us distracted.  That my friends is the role of professional sports for so many Americans and here in Maryland we are fortunate enough to have a developing trend of our hometown team keeping us distracted for longer than most.  That’s right, it’s that time of year again as for the third year running our Baltimore Ravens have plowed their way into the playoffs and the ever-spreading epidemic of Ravens fever is in full effect.

As today’s game approaches, the excitement around town is coming to a climax and if you’ve so much as ventured into any local sports bar, shopping center, or church you’ve surely seen the telltale purple jerseys being brandished with pride.  Inevitably, conversations about politics turn slowly but surely to dissections of the 3-4 defense and talks of cousin Marty’s new baby are casually transformed into commentaries about moving Houshmanzadeh to the slot.  Let’s face it folks, even the most apathetic amongst you are starting to get the bug and it’s time to let the purple passion pull you in.

All over town citizens are wearing their fandom triumphantly such as Susie Webster, a retired mother and part time dog groomer who was spotted in the Eldersburg Plaza shopping center dressed head to toe in Ravens gear.

“My husband and I have been fans since the beginning.  Our children played in the old Colts band and now we always try to spread the Ravens spirit to my family in Florida and Tennessee,” said Susie when asked about her history as a Ravens fan.

Like Susie, season ticket holder and recent graduate of West Virginia University Eric Krzys did his best to spread the fever across state lines however this year he is taking more of a cautiously optimistic approach.

“I’m not as confident as I have been in the past.  This isn’t the most consistent team we’ve ever put in the playoffs, but I’m hoping that if the matchups fall in our favor we can make a nice run.”

When asked about his thoughts on Ravens fever local resident and lifelong Steelers fan Peter Sunder-Rao said—you know what, who cares what he said this column is about us.

All across town local bars and restaurants are preparing for the flood of rowdy fans that will fill their establishments Sunday, decorating accordingly and implementing all sorts of events to celebrate what will hopefully be the first of many playoff weekends to come.  Whether you are a homebody who needs to soak in every down in isolation so as not to lose your cool, or someone who thrives on the art of successive high-fives with every fellow patron at your favorite bar, the wait is over, the real season starts now.

So there it is Eldersburg, we’re infected and we’re proud.  I know the urge to be humble is tempting but come on, that just doesn’t feel like us now does it?  So join me all ye members of Flacco’s Fleet, of Ray Ray’s Brigade, of Webb’s Warriors, of Cundiff’s Crusaders (that’s right, I gave a kicker his own band of followers!).  It’s time to march forth into Playoff Land and whether or not we triumph, one thing is for sure, they’re going to hear our footsteps.

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