Ravens, O's fans torn about showing (two) true colors

Fans weigh Purple Friday vs. Orange Friday; some eschew good taste to back both teams

  • Sisters Paula Somerville, left, and Karen Schickling show their O's and Ravens colors at the Orioles game Friday at Camden Yards.
Sisters Paula Somerville, left, and Karen Schickling show… (Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore…)
September 07, 2012|By Jill Rosen, The Baltimore Sun

Tom Rowe, like many in Baltimore, woke up conflicted on Friday.

When he opened his closet but got no answers, he took to Twitter.

"Purple or orange?" he typed. "I'm torn."

With the Ravens kicking off their season Monday and the Orioles on a jaw-dropping winning streak that many believe could lead to postseason competition, Baltimore's fans find themselves in the happiest of conundrums, torn between the tradition that is Purple Friday and the sudden chance — pushed this week by the city's mayor — to give Orange Friday a whirl.

Which bird will it be?

"How do we balance a football team and a baseball team when we're excited about both?" Rowe asked. "When was the last time that happened? Obviously there's now a conflict."

He ended up going with a purple plaid shirt, mainly because his only orange one was at the laundry. In the name of fashion, he chose to ignore a suggestion to wear both.

Yet both it was, all over town.

As the Legg Mason building and City Hall installed orange lights, the Hotel Monaco planned to offer purple cocktails from a bar bathed in violet.

As some pulled on purple and others orange, plenty of folks wore one team's jersey with the other's hat. Actor Josh Charles, a Baltimore native and a fan of both teams, went online to ask, "So, purple and orange really don't go together. What's a Baltimore boy to wear to work today?"

Towson University sophomore Wes Stryker said the campus was nothing but purple and orange — everywhere. He wore his Natty Boh-timore t-shirt, which is orange, and put the Ravens purple on his head.

One cafe in the city split the difference, flying purple and orange balloons at the entrance.

Downtown Partnership spokesman Mike Evitts was floating the idea of a brand-new color, either "orple" or "purange." "Both," he said laughing, "were met with equal disdain."

Worse yet, the result might be a suspiciously muddy, Cleveland-esque hue.

Opting to be the city's "Switzerland," Evitts just wore green.

Fans pondered the predicament on Twitter.

WMAR-TV's Joce Sterman wondered which color she should wear for her turn on the anchor desk. "Big decisions," she said.

Emily Rogers observed, "If you're not wearing orange or purple today you're obviously not from Baltimore."

Social media was also a hub for folks showing how they balanced their allegiances.

Nikki Rettman from Perry Hall said she was wearing her Ray Lewis jersey accented with a string of orange beads.

David Fuller posted a picture of himself in a Ravens jersey and cartoon bird cap.

After tweeting, "Does purple go with orange #BaltimoreProblems," Katie Blaha, a 25-year-old from Towson, ended up wearing an orange cardigan with purple shoes, a purple bracelet and purple nail polish, held together, at least she thought, with a bit of grounding black.

"I think it works," she said. "Any true Baltimorean will tell you purple and orange are just great complementary colors. It's the Baltimore-goggle syndrome. There's so much passion and so much excitement, we overlook any Tim Gunn fashion police stuff."


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