THE TEAM AND THE FANS: Today was an amazing experience. I got to the stadium and was able to get onto the field before the celebration. Looking at the fans from the field; and there were plenty. Watching the stadium fill up, all the way to the top. Listening to the cheers, the chants. Watching the love between a football team and its fans. Watching the players taking pictures and video of the fans. Feeling the bond that can bring a team to the people that support them, that help pay for it to function, whose presence is the market that drives a business; and that draws a special feeling between parents and children; between siblings; between friends; between partners. A common interest; a common topic; a common love.
The parade route was packed; the stadium was packed; the day was electric. The owner made us feel special; the coach engaged us; the players thanked us. A day that cannot be re-created; only cherished.
In 2001, I took my four children and their cousins to the city to experience the parade. I felt they needed the life-experience and not the adult's version of events. In 2013, my daughter drives from Myrtle Beach to Baltimore to let her six-year old son (and her 15 month-old daughter) soak in the celebration - and to let Dad enjoy her being there again. Those hours will not be forgotten. And her quick turn-around will catch up with her tomorrow; but it is worth it (although she may not feel that way when it does).
The Ravens deserve our thanks for so many reasons. And they thank us for just as many reasons.

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