Fans cook up fun, pig out with friends

The Fans

Ravens 22 Rams 3

Ravens Gameday

October 15, 2007|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

THE SCENE A little more than a month ago, Toza Crnilovic, Mike Keating, Ryan Preston and several other friends were sitting around in one of their houses in Locust Point brainstorming about what to cook before Ravens home games.

They settled on a treasured dish that cheerily reminded them of their childhood pasts in Toronto: a roasted pig.

So before yesterday's game between the Ravens and the St. Louis Rams, Crnilovic, Keating and Preston set up shop at the corner of Hamburg and Russell streets outside M&T Bank Stadium roasting a 47-pound pig.

"We've always done it before," Crnilovic, 27, said, recalling their days of pig and corn roasts during long weekends in fields outside Toronto. "We thought it would be cool to do it at a Ravens game."

Said Keating, 29: "It's different. But it's a great way to bring all of your friends together and meet new people, too."

Roasting a whole pig can be laborious. The day before a game, one of the friends buys the pig at Fenwick's Choice Meats in the Cross Street Market. The inside of the pig is coated with generous amounts of garlic salt and olive oil before the meat is stored in a keg refrigerator for a few hours.

By 5 a.m. on game day, the friends are in the parking lot outside the Staples store heating charcoal in a rotisserie spit, and about 90 minutes later, the pig is cooking.

The rule of thumb is that it takes one hour for every 10 pounds of pig to cook sufficiently. The guys use a brush taped to the end of a hockey stick to baste the pig with barbecue sauce and beer.

Crnilovic said he has considered painting the pig in the opposing team's colors but hasn't found food-safe paint that would melt off the pig.

Even without paint, Preston, 27, said the pig is an eye-catcher.

"We get such a reaction from people walking by while we're cooking it," he said, adding that he and his friends have teased people by saying that the pig was a stray or is actually a dog. "They'll say, `What is that?' "

Wayne Wagener, a 49-year-old fan from Millersville who was strolling past, admired the sight.

"Now that's the way to cook," he said.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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