So why do I own this jersey, if I hate the Ravens. Well, two reasons. First, I own a jersey of EVERY NFL team, so that's why I have a Ravens jersey. But, more specifically, there's a story behind this one.
It was the end of the 2001 season, and the business manager at my school paper asked me if I wanted to go with him to the Ravens game that week. He had season tickets and normally he went with his father, but that week was a Monday night game, specifically the Monday night game that had been delayed from earlier in the season (due to 9/11). Since it was now January, his father wasn't really interested in sitting out in the cold to watch a good Ravens team dismantle a bad Vikings team (in Mike Tice's coaching debut). So my friend offered me the ticket with the stipulation that I couldn't wear my authentic Vikings Randy Moss jersey to the game.
Now, he didn't say I had to wear a Ravens jersey either, and even if he had, I could have worn my out-of-date Vinny Testaverde Ravens jersey, but I decided to go out and buy a new one. At the time, there was a store at the White Marsh Mall that stocked authentic NFL jerseys and usually by the end of the season they were selling them at half price. That was the case here, which is how I ended up with this Jamal Lewis number, with his full name on the back (at the time, the Ravens had more than a few players on their team with the last name "Lewis", including Jamal and Jermaine on offense, thus the FNOB). I wore the jersey to the game, and we froze our asses off as the Ravens sleepwalked through an uninspired 19-3 win that featured five field goals and a defensive touchdown. I haven't been to a whole lot of NFL games in my life, but I'd be hard pressed to go to a QB matchup worse than Elvis Grbac against Spergon Wynn.
Jersey Monday will continue every Monday until I run out of jerseys to spotlight. And since I’ve got more than 150 of them, that could be awhile.