Thursday, December 28, 2017

Volunteering at the Ravens/Colts Game 2017

I volunteered with our church's youth group to hand out programs at a Ravens game (just like I did last year). The weather was warm for late December (high 50s/low 60s). It was also rainy, though mostly on and off drizzles in the afternoon. I had no trouble getting to the stadium. Walking in I saw plenty of die-hard tailgaters doing their thing during the drizzle.

Tailgating tents across the street

Under an overpass

I arrived at the stadium just in time for the volunteer check-in, so I didn't get to stroll down Ravenswalk and pick up some swag. I did get a good look at the two statues out front of the stadium. 

Ravenswalk entrance

Ray Lewis was a linebacker for the Ravens, starting in their inaugural year (1996) and playing all seventeen years of his career for the Baltimore team. He is considered one of the best linebackers of all time.

Ray Lewis statue

Johnny Unitas also spent most of his career playing for the Baltimore team, but he played quarterback from 1956 to 1972 back when the Baltimore team was the Colts. He was a great player and a social celebrity too, turning him into a bit of a pop star back in the day.

Johnny Unitas--The Golden Arm

But back to volunteering. Our group was mostly stationed at Gate A, though the organizers needed three volunteers to go to Gate B with another group. I and a couple volunteered for the B duty, which was a quieter gate for most of the time (we covered the two hours prior to the game (it was a 4:30 game) to the end of the first quarter). Most of the time one of the ladies at the metal detector tried to flag down people to come to our gate. She tried waving and dancing.

Gate B

We were near the walkway from the light rail, so sporadic crowds came through. We also had a marching band march by, which certainly made the gate less quiet and more fun.

Marching band

More of the band

We were surprised to see some of the band made it inside the stadium.

More band members

Since the game was a few days before Christmas, plenty of people had Santa hats on, some colored Ravens purple! A few guys came in suits that definitely looked like they were made from wrapping paper.


We did not get complimentary seats this year (I think they might have been sold out or not enough for all the volunteers) so I watched a few plays from the end of the seating entrance. The rain had picked up and I had already been standing around for almost three hours, so I decided to head home at the end of the half.

View without a seat

Front of the stadium lit up for the holidays

I did get some free swag--a program (naturally) and a stocking cap for the coming winter months. I think it will probably clash with my New York Giants pullover, but I may wear them together anyway. Also, they were handing out car magnets as fans left the stadium. As is our family tradition, the car magnet is now a refrigerator magnet.

Program and hat

Multi-use magnet

Even without the free seats, I still had a good time and was glad to help out the youth group, which my children will one day benefit from.

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