Fans stake their turf for area bragging rights Baltimore, Washington driven by expectations

October 27, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER -- Ervin Reid tried to warn the Washington Redskins fans long before game time yesterday that Ravens running back Bam Morris was going to grind the home team into the Jack Kent Cooke Stadium turf.

"Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!" Reid screamed in a high-pitched voice as he walked around the stadium more than two hours before the game.

Several of the Washington fans couldn't help but turn their heads upon hearing the shrill yells of Reid, smile and whisper to their friends, "Who's he kidding?"

As Reid, 40, walked on, the Mitchellville resident said, "Bam will score two touchdowns and Vinny [Testaverde] will throw for two. We'll show these Washington people a real quarterback and their fake quarterback [Gus Frerotte] will throw two interceptions."

He also made a bet with his Laurel friend and Redskins fan, Antonio Deans, that the Ravens would win.

Deans would have to wear Reid's Ravens jacket all day today if Baltimore won, and if Washington won, Reid would have to treat Deans, 35, to a seafood dinner this week.

Reid grew up in the Cherry Hill section of Baltimore before moving to Mitchellville, which is five minutes from Jack Kent Cooke.

Deans lived in Washington a long time before moving to Laurel.

There was at least one instance of a Ravens fan doing everything he could to be on hand yesterday for the Redskins-Ravens meeting that was the first NFL showdown between the two cities in 16 years.

Chris Rouse, 33, sold a set of golf clubs to a friend in Georgia to get eight tickets for the game.

Rouse now lives in Roanoke, Va., but he once was an assistant golf pro at the Country Club of Maryland and used to talk to the likes of John Unitas, Art Donovan and Bruce Laird when they played at the club.

"Imagine me being a kid on the course when guys like Unitas came around," Rouse said. "I loved the Colts and I love the Ravens."

However, several other Ravens fans such as Odenton's Brian Wisniewski and Dundalk's Darryl Malkus weren't quite as driven as Reid and Rouse.

Wisniewski, 28, and Malkus, 27, came to the game because they were able to get tickets from a friend and wanted to party a little while watching their team play.

And there were Ravens fans like Arnold Feldman, 35, of Owings Mills, and Bill Molloy, 31, of Fredericksburg, Va., who just want to be part of what they hope is a growing rivalry with at least a preseason meeting every year between the Redskins and Ravens.

But that will not happen until 1999 at the soonest.

Redskins spokesman Mike McCall said yesterday Washington owner John Kent Cooke is maintaining the same stance his father, the late Jack Kent Cooke, took in regard to playing Baltimore.

McCall said, "Since we now require our regular-season ticket holders to purchase preseason games, we want to show them as many NFL teams and stars as possible. Down the road, we might play the Ravens in some preseason games but we have no plans right now to do it."

Ravens owner Art Modell has gone on record as favoring preseason games with Washington and yesterday Baltimore spokesman Kevin Byrne said, "It's a natural for fans of both cities. We're for it. It would make the preseason interesting for the fans. It makes sense distance-wise but it won't happen next year for sure. Maybe down the road."

Pub Date: 10/27/97

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