The parade was supposed to start at like 10 or 10:30. I went outside at 10am. And stood there. For 2 hours. In the cold.
Funny thing is - there was a coworker next to me with his daughter and her friend and they were probably high school aged. They got to talking about their high school teacher Mrs. Blah Blah. I comment, "My 11th grade English teacher was also named Mrs. Blah Blah." I then asked if she was probably in her early 60's with reddish grey hair, tall, thin, first name Blah?" Yep. Same woman. Another coworker who also attended Blah Blah High School, though a few years later than me, joined me. I then said, "Hey, these girls have Mrs. Blah Blah as their 11th grade English teacher." Small world.
Finally the parade started. It was pretty cool. I missed everything in 2001.
Here come the Baltimore City motorcycle police down Pratt Street. That SUV behind them contains Mayor SRB, that's Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for you out-of-towners. She was on the other side of the car, so I didn't get a picture of her.
The first people in the parade not seeking to take advantage of the situation were owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome. Keep up the good draft picks, Ozzie!
Ravens Coach John Harbaugh. He looks intense.
Here is Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees. Being that he's a Defensive Coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, we can only assume that he'll be a head coach of his own team in a year or two, though the performance of the defense in the Super Bowl wouldn't land him an assistant coach position at Fallston High School at this point.
Some of the lesser players and their girlfriends were on this float, though kicker Justin Tucker is there. And sadly, he's closer in age to my daughter than to me. Assuming the little red head is his girlfriend, she's cute.
Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. He was filming me at one point, but of course that picture is blurry. I think I heard him say, "all you bitches will be paying my $20 million contract next year."
Center Matt Burke and someone else whom I cannot figure out. I don't know my players like others. Take away their number and helmet, put them in jeans, and I have no idea who they are. And what's that on Burke's head? A camera? Or one of those things you put on the front of your car to get deer off of the road?
The grand attention seeker himself, the politician to never miss an opportunity to shine his mug in our direction, the Governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley. Believe it or not, this is the first picture I ever took of the Guv. I actually got a bunch of them. Can't wait to doctor those pictures as he leads up to a run for President. The rumor is that he was pissed that he couldn't ride with Ray Lewis. I did hear quite a few boos. And he's up there all like, "Look at me! I helped win the Super Bowl. I'm awesome." And I think I heard him say, "all you bitches are paying more in taxes next year to fund my pet projects and to replenish the Transportation Fund that I depleted to balance the budget."
Ray Rice and his thugs. Or teammates. Not sure which. He's definitely the attention seeker of the team.
Terrell Suggs, better known as T-Sizzle. Filming me. He was one of the few that wasn't filming the event with his iPhone. He's obviously old.
Haloti Ngata. To NFL announcers, that's NAHHH-tah. He's a big dude. The Humvee was leaning to that side. And he's filming with his iPhone. So he's young.
Crazy free safety Ed Reed. He's videotaping the parade with a camera strapped to his head. And I heard he got those beads from flashing his boobs down in the French Quarter last week.
Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith with Boldin holding the Vince Lombardi trophy. Boldin is holding the trophy just like Ed Reed would hold a ball that he intercepted. Note the guy filming the parade with his iPad. He must be REALLY young.
Super Star of the show, Ray Lewis. We are happy to report that he was able to get the paint off of his face. We are sad to report that he did not ascend into heaven from the 50 yard line at the end of the game. But no weapons. God wanted the Ravens to win this game because God is good. That's who he is.
And here comes the insanity down Pratt Street, pulling down the police barricades as they went.
As far as you can see there are people. It was like this in both directions.
After the parade these 300,000 people (fire marshall estimates) headed toward M&T Bank Stadium, which had already been closed because it was at capacity. They estimate that 80,000 - 100,000 people were in the stadium when they closed it. Yes, I get that we're not New York City, where several million people show up. We're not as big as NYC, so we shouldn't expect as many people.
Later, as the crowds dispersed, from my office window, I saw a kid, probably late teens early 20's, get a beat-down by high school-aged thugs roaming the streets. About a dozen other kids were filming it. Fortunately a couple of adults jumped in and protected him and the thugs moved on. That's more typical Baltimore than you realize.
Sadly, a good friend of mine spent several hours trying to get to the stadium before giving up and heading back home. The good thing is that we'll be better prepared next year when the Ravens repeat.