That has a nice ring to it

what's in a name?

January 18, 2009|By Mike Klingaman | Mike Klingaman,mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

Want some Ravens autographs? Drive out to Mount Airy, in Carroll County. There you'll find Earl Raven, 57, his wife, Nina, and their two kids. The Raven family moved to Maryland five years ago and fit right in.

Visiting the Inner Harbor for the first time, Raven's daughter Tess, 11, pointed to a banner overhead and said, 'Look, Dad, they're welcoming us.' "

"Home of the Ravens," it read.

R-A-V-E-N

During the team's good seasons, like this one, Marie Raven of Laurel has no trouble making dinner reservations.

"The name is R-A-V-E-N, like the football team," she'll tell the restaurant.

In leaner times, she drops the football link:

"That's Raven, like the bird."

That's my name

Vikki Raven has season tickets to Ravens home games. Does the name get her a discount?

"I wish," said Raven, of Columbia. "People ask, 'Do you get any money or free merchandise from the team?' I say no, I had to pay for my Ravens jacket. But, hey, who else can go out to almost any store and buy anything they want with their name on it?"

Rare Raven

Mary Beth Raven is, admittedly, a rare bird in these parts - one uninterested in football. But in a town purple with excitement, Raven's indifference to her namesake team doesn't go unnoticed.

Last weekend she was grocery shopping during the football game when a cashier in a Ray Lewis jersey spotted the name on Raven's check card.

"Why aren't you wearing purple?" the cashier asked. "And why aren't you at home watching? I have an extra [Ravens] shirt here. Would you like to wear it?"

Raven demurred.

"These people are crazy. They're insane," the Catonsville resident said. Nonetheless, she will wear purple today "for all of the people who said I should."

"But if the Ravens lose, I won't be introducing myself for a while until people calm down."

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