Distract yourself tomorrow afternoon

Un-football: Time out for those of you not planning to watch the game between the Ravens and Raiders. There are plenty of alternatives and none of them require you to wear purple.

January 13, 2001|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF

News flash! Tomorrow afternoon, there are other things going on.

Other things, that is, than the Ravens playing their biggest game ever, giving Baltimore football fans 1) something to cheer wildly about and 2) a reason not to move an inch from in front of their big-screen TVs.

But guess what? While the Ravens are - annihilating, we can only hope - the Raiders in Oakland, some people - yes, we know it sounds like heresy - actually won't even be near a television set.

"I'll hear the score later, but I won't be watching," says Yalonda Rice, who works in the public relations office for Center Stage.

She won't be alone. As far as Rice can figure, attendance at Center Stage did not fluctuate much last Sunday when the Ravens whipped the Tennessee Titans. And, so far anyway, there has been no massive call for ticket cancellations for this Sunday's matinee and evening performances of "Short Plays" by Thornton Wilder.

But Rice is not taking anything for granted two Sundays hence if the Ravens win this weekend.

"Now the Super Bowl, on the other hand ..." Rice says. That could mean a few empty seats.

Of course, not everyone will be forced to choose to completely forgo the AFC championship game if they go out to do something else.

At the Inner Harbor Ice Rink, skaters will be going round and round as usual, says Tina Seward, the receptionist for the ice rink. Although, if you look closely, some might have telltale earphones on.

"It's pretty hard to say what it will be like," Seward says when asked what sort of crowd she expects. "Most of our kids are college kids, younger kids."

For the record, she points out that the ice rink (open noon to 5 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) is ideally located for those who absolutely, positively need their Baltimore Ravens fix. It's a matter of location.

"We aren't far from ESPN Zone," Seward says. "Some may go there and then come here."

Or they might wander over from PSINet Stadium, which will be open to football-crazed fans who'd like to watch Sunday's game (on the stadium's huge video screens) with thousands of their closest friends. (Not that you're interested, of course, but details are available by calling 410-481-SEAT, or online at www.ravenszone.net or www.ticketmaster.com.)

Maybe your nerves just can't handle the suspense or the craziness of a team on the brink of the Super Bowl. What better place to totally escape Raven mania than a nice, quiet movie theater?

For instance, a moviegoer could indulge in a different sort of purple passion at the Rotunda tomorrow by catching "Chocolat," the chocolate-infused love story starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Screenings are at 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.; running time is 132 minutes.

While the Ravens have won nine games in a row, Sunday attendance has remained pretty steady at the Baltimore Museum of Art and is expected to again tomorrow.

So if fine art rather than football is your game, there's a gallery talk, "African Heritage, American Expression," at 2 p.m. and a jazz performance by the Hilton Ruiz Quintet from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., among other things, says BMA spokeswoman Anne Mannix.

Across town at the Walters Art Museum, they're expecting a decent crowd tomorrow for its docent-led tour, "Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Monument Drawings." But you can bet the Walters team will be keeping a close eye on the Ravens-Raiders game.

That's because if - or should we say when - the Purple Pride of Baltimore win that one, they go to the Super Bowl. That's played on Jan. 28 - the same day the Walters opens its next major exhibit: "Manet: The Still Life Paintings."

Manet is big, but he's never gone one-on-one with Ray Lewis.

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