Whether you've been a "true and purple" fan since 1996 or more recently jumped on the playoff bandwagon, one thing is for sure in Dundalk – folks love to wear their Baltimore Ravens’ gear.
Jerseys, jackets, sweaters, shirts, socks, earrings and every other article of clothing, including underwear I understand now, fans love to show they bleed genuine black and purple.
Looking for some Ravens’ gear advice this past week, I visited the Rav-in store located at 6901 Eastern Avenue.
At the store, I met employee Trish McAvoy, who, while donning her Ravens’ purple, happily volunteered to show me the hundreds of different Ravens’ items (no exaggeration) that they carried in the store. Owned by Melvin Ruzicka and in operation for about 10 years now, if you have a Baltimore Ravens’ item in mind, then this is the place.
Trish walked me around and showed me the clothes, accessories and knick-knacks. Apparently, flying the Ravens’ colors at home became a must this fall.
"The 3-foot-by-5-foot Ravens’ flags are one of our hottest items, people love them,” Trish told me.
No surprise, official jerseys, of all colors and sizes, are also one of the most popular items. And wearing black isn’t just fashionable for New Yorkers anymore.
“We sell more black jerseys than any other, people just really like the look, they look for Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, (Anquan) Boldin and (Ed) Reed,” Trish said.
Not something you’d normally associate with football, another top seller at the Rav-in is men and women's jewelry. They’ve got a big collection, it turns out.
"We sell lots of earrings, men's rings, Pandora bracelets and even some homemade consignment items,” Trish said, helpfully. Looking around the store, they certainly seemed to have something for everyone.
When I asked Trish for a unique or bizarre item that folks called for – but the store didn't carry – she laughed immediately.
"Ravens’ underwear,” she said. “Most recently someone asked for Ravens’ G-string, I had to say ‘Sorry, we don't carry that.’"
I asked Trish, based on her expertise, what’s the quintessential item that every fan has to have?
“You gotta have a jersey of your favorite player," she said, then moving her hand over the glass case in front of me, Trish added, "and the ladies need their men to buy them some nice earrings."
Nothing says love like purple, football-shaped earrings. Keep than in mind, Valentines Day is around the corner, guys.
Finally, I asked Trish for one more thing, a prediction for the game on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“The Ravens are going to win, my guess 17-10,” she said. “(That) sounds good to me." I think that sounds good to everyone in Baltimore.
If you would like to stop by to shop for some Ravens' gear this weekend before the big game, they’re open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You can also call ahead to see if they have your desired item in stock at 410-288-6100.
Assuming the Ravens win, the store’s regular weekday hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Plenty of time to load up before the conference finals and, we hope, our second Super Bowl title.