'The caw' produces big serving of crow Ravens officials react after players and fans squawk about noise

August 07, 1996|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

To caw or not to caw, that was the question.

And here is the answer: "We're going to scale it back, use it more appropriately," said David Modell, one of the Ravens' executive vice presidents. The decision came down yesterday after nearly three days of reaction from fans and team officials.

The caw, a recording taken from an authentic raven, was played repeatedly at Saturday night's NFL preseason opener between the Ravens and the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to Modell, people either loved it or hated it. There was no gray area.

"It had a polarizing effect," said Modell. "Usually, if you ask 10 people, you get 10 different perspectives. This time it was either love or hate.

"So what we plan to do is use it like we did when the Eagles were in a third-and-short situation. People seemed to get into it then. Maybe it will have some disorienting effect on the other team. It got the people aroused Saturday night."

The tape played Saturday night was from an Edgar Allan Poe commercial recorded by the team earlier this year. The bird was taken into a studio, and when it became agitated, it squawked and the sound was recorded.

The tape also was played at the unveiling of the team's logo and uniforms.

"We wanted to try something different, something cool. It was just an experiment," said Modell. "But there were some people who left the stadium Saturday cawing into the night."

One of them was not owner Art Modell, who recommended that the caw be put into semiretirement or on waivers.

The players didn't think too much of it, either.

"I thought it was a joke at first," said center Steve Everitt. "Whoever came up with that idea should be fired. It was worse than any arena football game I've been to."

"I can do without it," said safety Eric Turner. "I knew it was coming because they were playing it the day we practiced at the stadium. I could have done without it then."

Said linebacker Ed Sutter: "Oh, I would say it's very unique. I guess it will have to grow on me like everything else."

Pub Date: 8/07/96

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