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About The Baltimore Ravens
On November 6, 1995 Art Modell shocked the football world with the announcement that he wanted to move the Cleveland Browns football franchise to Baltimore Maryland because of the inadequacy of the Cleveland stadium. The Cleveland Browns fans were fit to be tied and many law suits were thrown around.
Finally in 1996 the city of Cleveland and the NFL had given permission to move the team but Art could move only the team, the Browns name, colors and history would stay in Cleveland. Which means Art Modell would have to start from scratch as an expansion team.
Once in Baltimore the team needed a name, and the city decided on the Ravens which was derived from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem titled “The Raven”
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I ponder, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten love,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door;
Only this and nothing more.”
Edgar Poe spent the remainder of his life in Baltimore.
After relocating according to the strict contract, Art Modell hired long time Cleveland Brown Ozzie Newsome as Baltimore’s Director of Football Operations, and he was then promoted to Vice President General Manager.
The 1996 Debut season after thirteen year hibernation on September 1, 1996, the Ravens beat the Oakland Raiders 19 to 14 despite the uplifting start and Vinny Testaverdes thirty-three touchdown passes, fourteen of which were to Michael Jackson, the Ravens finished with a heart breaking four wins and twelve losses.
Their loosing streak continued until 1999 when the Ravens signed Quarterback Tony Banks from the St. Louis Rams. Tony had his best career season with the Ravens, he had a record seventeen touchdown passes and an 81.2 completion percent. With the help of Qadry Ismail who had a thousand yard season they put the Ravens in playoff contention only to be cut short by a final week loss that sent the Ravens to the locker room with an eight win and eight loss season record.
In 2000 you could say it was the year of the Ravens. Between Banks and Trent Dilfer plus the thirteen hundred yard season of Jamal Lewis the Ravens Finished with their best record of twelve wins and four losses. They had to play in a wild card division because the Tennessee Titans had a thirteen and three record. But that didn’t matter to the Baltimore Ravens; they dominated the playoffs and went directly Tampa to play in Super Bowl XXXV against the New York Giants and like the playoffs the Baltimore Ravens capitalized the whole game with a recorded four sacks and five forced turnovers. They smashed the Giants 16 to 3 becoming only the third wild card team to win the Super Bowl.