Ultimate Baltimore Sports fan weekend, an experience of a lifetime

   If you are a true Baltimore sports fan like me, then you must add an item to your bucket list. This past weekend I, along with my father and a good buddy, got to experience the Ultimate Baltimore Sports fan weekend.
   Sunday morning, we hit the Bay on my father’s 32ft Donzi and cruised the 2 hours from Edgewater, MD up to the Inner Harbor where we docked at the finger point piers for the weekend. Lodging in the Inner Harbor on a boat provided us with spectacular views, allowed us to meet a lot of great people, and left us within walking distance of most of Baltimore’s sports attractions.
   After arriving in the Inner Harbor around 10:00 AM Sunday morning, and once we had finished docking and setting up the boat for our stay, we headed over to Pickles Pub for our pregame tradition of knocking back a cold one or two. Brooks Robinson’s statue right in front of Pickles was our next stop as we had to pay homage to the greatest third baseman in the history of the Orioles. Once we headed into Camden Yards we toured the beautiful bronze statues of the all-time Oriole greats, getting cold chills remembering those greats and the memories they provided us. At that point it was finally game time as we grabbed our seats in section 87 and although the O’s lost, enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere that is Camden Yards from the loud “O” during the National Anthem to the “Let’s go O’s” chants throughout the ball game.
   Phase one of the weekend was complete catching the Birds against the rival Yankees, but the weekend was nowhere close to over. After enjoying a gorgeous night on the boat in the Inner Harbor, we woke up Monday morning ready for the Ravens opening game of the season against the Bengals on Monday Night Football. With the game not starting until later that night, we decided to walk up to the Sports Legends museum right next to the Warehouse to bask in the greatness that is Baltimore sports. Two hours later we had completed a wonderful tour through the museum and I must say, if you are a Baltimore sports fan, you have to check out the Sports Legends Museum. It has everything Baltimore Sports fans could ever want to see and know about our sports teams, from the full detailed history of the Orioles and Colts/Ravens to Johns Hopkins lacrosse dominance. It is hard to pin point my favorite part of the museum so I will list six things that put me in awe: The 2131 number banners that hung on the warehouse on September 6th, 1995; The Orioles hall of fame; Baltimore’s Negro league history; Babe Ruth’s section; Colts/Ravens history; and perhaps the most surprising part, the amateur sports section including jerseys from all of the 2011 baseball state champions.
   The time had finally come to head down the Ravens Walk and experience Monday Night Football, Ravens style. Being my first Ravens game, I was blown away by the atmosphere, from the Ravens Walk to the pregame introductions to the sheer volume of the crowd. Two days later, my throat is still sore from the cheering. The Ravens did not disappoint either, as they demolished the Bengals 44-13. The Ravens performance itself would have been enough to make the game an everlasting memory, but the moment of silence and tribute to former owner Art Modell was touching and the standing ovation and “Let’s go O’s” chant that erupted when they showed several Orioles in attendance at the game on the jumbo-tron was out of this world. It also showed how Baltimore’s two major sports franchises are supporting each other and it’s great to witness.
   All in all, the Ultimate Baltimore Sports fan weekend was just that, an ultimate experience. To be able to watch both our franchises play on back-to-back days is a rare occurrence, not to mention the fact that the O’s are fighting to win the division for the first time since 1997 and the Ravens grabbed sole possession of first place in the AFC North with their victory. The memories that were made will never be forgotten and I just want to thank my father for the brilliant idea that was this trip, and a big thank you to Charm City for enabling fans like to us to be able to experience all that Baltimore Sports has to offer, plus the views weren’t too shabby either.
Go Ravens and let’s go O’s!

Baltimore Sports Nut photo, Old Otterbein UMC on the way to O's game