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Bird Watcher
By Ken Rossman
For BaltimoreStories.com

Every town has a sports tradition as well as loyal, hardcore fans, and Baltimore is no different. Baltimore has a long, rich history of football, having housed two NFL franchises, the Baltimore Colts and Baltimore Ravens.

Look no further than this diverse group of fans in order to understand the gargantuan appeal of football. Among them is a cheerleader who became a fan through her job, a pair of middle-aged Baltimoreans with memorable anecdotes, a college student whose analysis of the Ravens rivals that of an ESPN anchor, a couple made up of a Baltimore fan and Pittsburgh fan, and of course, some of those crazy tailgaters and costume wearers who offer insight into how they help make Baltimore a true “home field” advantage.

To every one of these people, being a fan of Baltimore football means something. Just ask Bill Cervenka and Bob Salveron, who run a charity entitled “Ravens’ Nest,” or some of the old-school Colts fans like Jim DeMoss who compare relentlessly the differences between the game today and the sport they grew up with. Every fan has a profile and a reason for being a fan. These are just some of the “Bird Watchers” you can find in Baltimore.

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Big George: Tailgater Extraordinaire: The game doesn’t kick off until 1 p.m., but the fun starts much earlier for tailgaters in any football town.

Bob and Bill: The Givers: For most of us, being a Ravens fan is like being part of a club at school.

Dan: The Critic: Ask Dan Steil that same question and he’ll give you an in-depth answer that rivals that of an ESPN analyst.

Jim: The Old Timer: At a tailgating lot just outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards, you’ll be certain to run into Big George’s tailgating party.

Rick and Shawn: The Village Orators: When one thinks of the term “old-school football fans,” men like Rick Dashiell and Shawn Schmidt should be considered icons.