- Baltimore Ravens
NFL team | name = Baltimore Ravens
founded = 1996
colors = Purple, Black, Metallic Gold, White
general manager =
mascot = Poe
hist_yr = 1996
NFL_start_yr = 1996
American Football Conference(1996–present)
no_league_champs = 1
no_sb_champs = 1
no_conf_champs = 1
no_div_champs = 2
sb_champs = 2000 (XXXV)
* AFC: 2000
* AFC North: 2003, 2006
- NFL: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006
no_playoff_appearances = 4
* Memorial Stadium (1996–1997)
M&T Bank Stadium(1998-present)
** also known as The NFL Stadium at Camden Yards (1998)
** also known as PSINet Stadium (1999–2002)
** also known as Ravens Stadium (2002–2003)The Baltimore Ravens are a professional
American footballteam based in Baltimore, Maryland. They compete in the AFC North Division of the National Football League(NFL). The Ravens have won one Super Bowltitle, Super Bowl XXXV, in the 2000 season against the New York Giants.
After relocating his franchise, retaining the current contracts of former
Cleveland Brownsplayers and personnel as per the agreement made by the city of Cleveland and the NFL, owner Art Modell hired Ted Marchibroda, who had previous experience with the Baltimore Colts during the 1970s and the Indianapolis Coltsduring the early 1990s, as head coach. Ozzie Newsome, the Browns' tight end for many seasons, joined Modell in Baltimore as director of football operations. He was later promoted to Vice President/General Manager.
Focus groups, a telephone survey, and a fan contest were all held to help select a new name for Modell's relocated club. Starting with a list of over 100 possible names, the team's management reduced it to 17. From there, focus groups of a total of 200 Baltimore area residents reduced the list of names to six, and then a phone survey of 1000 people trimmed it down to three, Marauders, Americans, and Ravens. Finally, a fan contest drawing 33,288 voters picked "Ravens", a name that alludes to the famous poem, "
The Raven", by Edgar Allan Poe, who spent the latter part of his life in Baltimore, and is also buried there. [cite web | title=Baltimore Ravens History | url=http://www.profootballhof.com/history/team.jsp?franchise_id=3 | publisher= Pro Football Hall of Fame| accessdate=2006-08-25]
The team's first season as the Ravens was the 1996 season, in which they played in Baltimore's old Memorial Stadium and finished with a 4-12 record. The 1997 Ravens started 3-1, and
Peter Boulwarewas named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year with 11.5 sacks, but the team finished 6-9-1. Baltimore then began the 1998 season by moving into their new stadium Raven Stadium (eventually the stadium would be called PSINet Stadium and later M&T Bank Stadium). Vinny Testaverde, who had left for the New York Jets, was replaced by former Indianapolis Colt Jim Harbaugh, and later Eric Zeier. Cornerback Rod Woodsonjoined the team after a successful stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Priest Holmesstarted getting the first playing time of his career and ran for 1,000 yards, but the Ravens finished with a 6-10 record.
After three consecutive losing seasons, Marchibroda was succeeded in 1999 by
Brian Billick, who had served as the offensive coordinator for the record-setting offense of the Minnesota Vikingsthe season before. The 1999 season showed a marked improvement, as quarterback Tony Banks came to Baltimore from the St. Louis Ramsand had the best season of his career with 17 touchdown passes and an 81.2 pass rating. He was joined by receiver Qadry Ismail, who posted a 1,000-yard season. The Ravens struggled early starting 3-6 but managed to finish with an 8-8 record.
2000 season — Super Bowl champions
Banks shared playing time in the 2000 regular season with Trent Dilfer. Both players put up decent numbers (and a 1,364-yard rushing season by rookie Jamal Lewis helped too) but the defense, led by current
Cincinnati Bengalshead coach Marvin Lewis, became the team's hallmark and bailed a struggling offense out in many instances through the season. Ray Lewiswas named Defensive Player of the Year. Two of his defensive teammates, Sam Adams and Rod Woodson, made the Pro Bowl. Baltimore's season started strong with a 5-1 record. But the team struggled through mid-season, at one point going five consecutive games without scoring an offensive touchdown. In spite of the offensive drought, the team still managed 2 wins during that stretch. The team regrouped and won each of their last seven games, finishing 12-4 and making the playoffs for the first time.During the 2000 season, the Ravens defense broke a notable NFL record. They held opposing teams to 165 total points, surpassing the 1985 Chicago Bearsmark of 198 points for a 16 game season.Since the divisional rival Tennessee Titanshad a record of 13-3, Baltimore had to play in the wild card round. They dominated the Denver Broncos21-3 in their first game. In the divisional playoff, they went on the road to Tennessee. Tied 10-10 in the fourth quarter, an Al Del Greco field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown by Anthony Mitchell, and a Ray Lewis interception return for a score put the game squarely in Baltimore's favor. The 24-10 win put the Ravens in the AFC Championship against the Oakland Raiders. The game was rarely in doubt. Shannon Sharpe's 96-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter, followed by an injury to Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, was crucial as the Ravens won easily, 16-3.Baltimore then went to Tampa for Super Bowl XXXVagainst the New York Giants, cruising to a 34-7 win for their first championship in franchise history. The Ravens recorded four sacks and forced five turnovers, one of which was a Kerry Collins interception returned for a touchdown by Duane Starks. The Giants' only score was a Ron Dixon kickoff return for another touchdown (after Starks' interception return); however, Baltimore immediately countered with a TD return by Jermaine Lewis. The Ravens became only the third wild card team to win a Super Bowl championship. The interception return touchdown, followed by two kick return TDs, marked the quickest time in Super Bowl history that three touchdowns had been scored.
Steve Bisciottibought 49% of the Ravens in 2000 from owner Art Modell.
In 2001, the Ravens attempted to defend their title with a new quarterback,
Elvis Grbac, but an injury to Jamal Lewisand poor offensive performances stymied the team. After a 3-3 start, the Ravens defeated the Minnesota Vikingsin the final week to clinch a wild card berth at 10-6. In the first round the Ravens showed flashes of their previous year with a 20-3 blowout over the Miami Dolphins, in which the team forced three turnovers and outgained the Dolphins 347 yards to 151. In the divisional playoff the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers. Three interceptions by Grbac ended the Ravens' season, as they lost 27–10.Baltimore ran into salary capproblems in 2002 and was forced to cut a number of impact players. The Ravens stayed somewhat competitive, until a losing streak in December eliminated any chances of a post-season berth.
With all of the top quarterbacks in the 2003 draft gone, The Ravens would go on to use the 10th pick to select Arizona State defensive end
Terrell Suggs. Still in need of a quarterback, however, they would later trade their 2nd round pick and their 2004 1st round pick to the New England Patriotsfor the 19th overall selection, which they would use to select Cal quarterback Kyle Boller. The Patriots would use the Ravens' 2004 1st round selection to take defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.
After the 2003 season, Art Modell officially transferred his remaining 51% ownership to Bisciotti, ending over 40 years of tenure as an NFL franchise owner. Modell still has an office at the Ravens' headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland, and acts as a consultant.
The Ravens named Boller their starting QB just prior to the start of the 2003 season, but he was injured midway through the season and was replaced by Anthony Wright. Jamal Lewis ran for 2,066 yards (including 295 yards in one game against the Cleveland Browns on
September 14). The Ravens held a 5–5 record until, in a home game against the Seattle Seahawks, wiped out a 41–24 gap in the final seven minutes of regulation, then won on a Matt Stoverfield goal in overtime for a 44–41 triumph. From there the Ravens won five of their last six games. With a 10–6 record, Baltimore won their first AFC North division title. Their first playoff game, at home against the Tennessee Titans, went back and forth, with the Ravens being held to only 54 yards total rushing. The Titans won 20-17 on a late field goal, and Baltimore's season ended early. Ray Lewis was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career.
The Ravens were not able to advance to the playoffs in 2004 and 2005. Boller remained the quarterback through the entire 2004 season.
Ed Reedbecame a full-fledged star on defense, with nine interceptions. Reed was also named the league's defensive player of the year. He broke the NFL record for longest INT return, with a 106 yard return against the Cleveland Browns.
In the 2005 offseason the Ravens looked to augment their receiving corps (which was second-worst in the NFL in 2004) by signing
Derrick Masonfrom the Titans and drafting star Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Clayton in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. However, the Ravens ended their season 6-10.
The 2006 Baltimore Ravens season began with the team trying to improve on their 6-10 record of 2005. The Ravens, for the first time in franchise history, started 4-0, under the leadership of former Titans quarterback
The Ravens lost 2 straight games mid-season on offensive troubles, prompting coach Brian Billick to drop their offensive coordinator
Jim Fasselin their week 7 bye. After the bye, and with Billick calling the offense, Baltimore would record a five-game win streak before losing to the Bengals in week 13.
Still ranked second overall to first-place San Diego, The Ravens continued on. They defeated the Chiefs, and held the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers to only one touchdown at Heinz Field, allowing the Ravens to clinch the AFC North.
The Ravens ended the regular season with a franchise-best 13-3 record. Baltimore had secured the AFC North title, the #2 AFC playoff seed, and clinched a 1st-round bye by season's end. The Ravens were slated to face the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the playoffs, in the first meeting of the two teams in the playoffs. Many Baltimore and Indianapolis fans saw this historic meeting as a sort of "Judgement Day" with the new team of Baltimore facing the old team of Baltimore (the former Baltimore Colts having left Baltimore under questionable circumstances in 1984). In one of the most bizarre playoff games in NFL history, both Indianapolis and Baltimore were held to scoring only field goals as the two defenses slugged it out all over M&T Bank Stadium. McNair threw two costly interceptions, including one at the 1-yard line. The eventual Super-Bowl-Champion Colts won 15-6, ending Baltimore's season.
From 1996-1998, the team originally used a logo that featured raven wings flanking a shield with the letter "B". However, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict that the logo infringed on the
copyrightin a logo drawing by Frederick E. Bouchat, a Maryland amateur artist and security guard.
Bouchat sued the Ravens, claiming that he was the first one to design the "B" shield shortly after the team announced their intentions to move to Baltimore. The team defended themselves, claiming that the logo was made independently. But the court ruled in favor of Bouchat, stating that team owner Modell had access to Bouchat's work: Bouchat had faxed a copy of his design to then-chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority
John Moag, who shared the same office building as Modell. [ [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=4th&navby=case&no=991617P&exact=1 FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code ] ] Ultimately, however, a jury later awarded Bouchat zero damages during the damages phase of the case. [Bouchat v. Balt. Ravens Football Club, 346 F.3d 514, 519 (4th Cir. 2003), cert. denied 541 U.S. 1042 (2004) ("The damages trial was conducted over a period of six days, from July 17 to 24, 2002. On July 23, 2002, at the close of the evidence, the jury was asked to decide whether the Defendants had proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the Non-Excluded Merchandise Revenues were attributable entirely to factors other than the Defendants' infringement of Bouchat's copyright. If the jury found that they were not, then it was charged to decide the percentage of the Non-Excluded Merchandise Revenues attributable to factors other than the infringement. After a full day of deliberations, the jury answered the first question in the affirmative, thereby denying Bouchat any monetary recovery.")]
As a result of the lawsuit, a new logo was designed, featuring a purple and black raven's head in profile, with the letter "B" superimposed in metallic gold and white. The secondary logo of the Baltimore Ravens is a shield with alternating Calvert Banners in kind with the
flag of Maryland(which incorporates the flag of Baltimore) interlocked with a stylized "B" and "R".
Despite the logo controversy, the Ravens' uniform design has essentially remained the same since the team was established in 1996. In 1996, the team exclusively wore black pants with a large white stripe on it. The Ravens were the first team to wear dark pants with a dark jersey, which has now become common with many NFL teams, although the Ravens' pants were darker than the jerseys; the practice of pairing jerseys and pants of the same color did not come into vogue until 2001, when the
New Orleans Saintswore an all-black combination in three games. They wore white socks with black and purple stripes.
In 1997, the team introduced white pants with black and purple stripes to be worn with the purple jersey. They also changed the black pants by adding a purple stripe to the white. The uniform consisted of black helmets, white pants, metallic gold trim, and either purple or white jerseys. Purple "talons" rise up from the facemask up the center of the helmet.
In November 2004, the team introduced an alternate uniform design featuring black jerseys and solid black pants and black socks. It was a home game victory versus the rival Cleveland Browns, titled "Black Sunday." It has been worn for select prime-time national game broadcasts and other games of significance. The black pants are different than those worn by the '96 Ravens. There is no white stripe, instead the pants are solid black with the Ravens gold "B" logo on each hip.
In 2008, the Ravens wore their white jersey during their opening home game win versus the Bengals with the black pants. It is the first time the Ravens have worn black pants with a white jersey this decade.
Players of note
Notes and references
* [http://www.baltimoreravens.com/ Baltimore Ravens official web site]
* [http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nfl/baltrav/ravens.html Sports E-Cyclopedia.com]
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