Baltimore Ravens Football
The Baltimore Ravens are an American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland. Located in the AFC North (along with the Bengals, Browns and Steelers), they have one Super Bowl win in franchise history (Super Bowl XXXV in 2000).
Baltimore Ravens Football History
The team known as the Ravens were once the Cleveland Browns. But dissatisfied with Cleveland Stadium and deep in debt, owner Art Modell decided to relocate the team to Baltimore in the middle of the night. So the entire operation was packed up and transported via Mayflower moving trucks. Needless to say, this made Modell quite hated in Cleveland.
Fans were asked to select a new name for the team. The names were reduced to three candidates: Ravens, Americans and Marauders. “Ravens” received 33,288 votes.
The team struggled during its first four seasons, and coach Ted Marchibroda was let go after three straight losing seasons. Players during the early days included Jim Harbaugh, Peter Boulware, Rod Woodson and Priest Holmes. After Marchibroda’s dismissal, the team brought in Brian Billick to serve as the head coach.
The Promised Land
Led by quarterback Tony Banks and receiver Qadry Ismail, the Ravens finished the 1999 season at 8-8, their best record to that point. In 2000, Banks shared time with Trent Dilfer, and the Marvin Lewis defense became one of the most dominant of all time. Ray Lewis would be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and teammates Rod Woodson and San Adams would be voted to the Pro Bowl.
The team continued to win thanks to the defense. In one stretch, the Ravens went five games without scoring an offensive touchdown and still won two. They finished 12-4, winning their last seven games.
After dominating the Broncos (21-3), Titans (24-10) and Raiders (16-3), the Ravens found themselves in Super Bowl XXXV against the New York Giants. The team turned in another smothering performance, routing the Giants by a score of 34-7.
Ravens Ups and Downs
With players like Elvis Grbac and Jamal Lewis, the Ravens looked to repeat the following year. They clinched a wild card spot, and advanced to the divisional round against the Steelers. Grbac threw three interceptions, and the Ravens lost 27-10. They missed the playoffs entirely in 2002, putting together a regular season record of 7-9.
In the 2003 draft, the team selected defensive end Terrell Suggs and then traded away picks to move up and take quarterback Kyle Boller. The team finished 10-6 that year and lost to the Titans in the playoffs. Along the way, Jamal Lewis rushed for 2,066 yards, and Ray Lewis was named Defensive Player of the Year for a second time.
In 2003, Art Modell sold his shares of the team to businessman Steve Bisciotti. This ended Modell’s 40 years of owning a NFL franchise.
The team struggled through 2004 and 2005. It was becoming clear that Boller was not the player they had hoped for. Even the addition of receivers like Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton didn’t seem to help, and the team finished 6-10 in 2005.
Veteran quarterback Steve McNair was brought in for the 2006 season. His presence made a difference, as the team started the year 4-0. They would win the AFC North and finish with a 13-3 record.
In the divisional playoffs, they met the Indianapolis Colts and eventually lost 15-6. The Colts would go on to win the Super Bowl that year.
In 2007, the NFL Baltimore Ravens finished 5-11. Brian Billick was let go at the end of the season, and John Harbaugh was hired to replace him. Prior to the 2008 season, quarterback Steve McNair announced his retirement from the NFL.
Ravens Team Logo
The original logo featured raven wings flanking a shield with the letter “B,” but a court ruled that this infringed on the copyright of a Maryland resident. The current logo features a raven’s head in profile, with the letter “B” superimposed.
Ravens Team Mascot
The official mascots of the Baltimore Ravens are a trio of ravens named Edgar, Allan and Poe. They are named after legendary writer, and Baltimore resident, Edgar Allan Poe.
Edgar is the leader of the group, and he represents the “backfield” of the team. He is known to be very proud.
Allan is short and somewhat thin, representing the receivers and running backs. He has lots of energy, and is known to be a very excitable bird.
Finally, Poe is short and stout. He represents the lineman, and he’s lazy yet lovable. He’s been known to show up at tailgate parties in search of the perfect cheeseburger.
Ravens Hall of Fame and Retired Jerseys
At this time, the Ravens have not retired the jersey of any players. They also do not have any players in the NFL Hall of Fame, although players like Ray Lewis will certainly be candidates upon retirement.
Current Baltimore Ravens Stars
Some of the more recognizable and popular stars currently on the roster include:
- Willis McGahee (RB)
- Derrick Mason (WR)
- Todd Heap (TE)
- Jonathan Ogden (OT)
- Trevor Pryce (DE)
- Ray Lewis (LB)
- Chris McAlister (CB)
- Ed Reed (FS)
- Samari Rolle (CB)
- Matt Stover (K)
- Terrell Suggs (LB/DE)
- Joe Flacco (QB)