Ravens' tailgaters express gratitude for Lewis in his playoff farewell

  • Marquetta Sullivan tailgates outside her purple van with a Ravens wine bottle holder and other items. Sullivan says she'll be cheering for Ray Lewis on Sunday in his final home game.
Marquetta Sullivan tailgates outside her purple van with a… (Photo by Jill Rosen, Baltimore…)
January 06, 2013|By Jill Rosen, The Baltimore Sun

Marquetta Sullivan, 56, of Annapolis, sparkled like a purple jewel on Lot J on Sunday morning — metallic ribbons in her hair, nine necklaces around her neck, frosted purple eye shadow and a Ravens' tattoo on her cheek — all for the playoffs and to mark her hero's last home game.

"I've been a Ravens fan for life, but the only reason I became a die-hard is because of Ray Lewis, she said.

Lewis is the reason she and her husband, Jim Gerety, invested untold thousands into a purple game day bus, and he's the reason their tailgate spread includes a cake iced with the number 52.

This week Lewis announced that he would be retiring at the end of this season after 17 years in the NFL, all with the Ravens. Even if the team advances in the playoffs, today is the final game he'll play on his home turf.

"The highlight of going into the stadium is watching him come out of the tunnel," Sullivan said.

"Today, I'm going to be screaming, 'Yeah!' but I'm going to be crying at the same time."

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