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Let the Voting Begin


Updated 6/27/08; 10:04 AM

Due to technical difficulties related to voting, the poll was taken down one day early. Check back July 7th, as reveals the names of our two new real ravens. Thank you to all those who participated in the naming process!

As head coach John Harbaugh sifts through the names of those players he'll take with him into the regular season, the Ravens are looking to pin down the names of their two new mascots.

They already have the beloved Poe, but he'll be joined by two actually feathered friends this season and long into the future. Originally born April 26, 2008 (coincidentally, the same day of the NFL Draft), the two rare African White-Nape Ravens have nearly grown to full size in only a few short months.

The birds currently reside in Commerce, Ga. with renowned wildlife expert Daniel Walthers, who has more than 30 years of experience with exotic animals.

Now, the Ravens are calling for purple and black fanatics to cast their vote on what these live birds will be called.

After two weeks of taking fan submissions, the Ravens have whittled an overwhelming number of entries down to the four most popular pairs.

Here is a rundown of the potential candidates:

  • Ray-Ray & J.O.These two are pretty self-explanatory, as they serve homage to the first two draft picks in franchise history. With the fourth-overall selection in the 1996 NFL Draft, the Ravens - at that point without a logo or team colors - nabbed tackle Jonathan Ogden out of UCLA. Miami linebacker Ray Lewis came 22 spots later.

The duo went on to mark the faces of Baltimore football, with Ogden providing rock-steady guidance on a smash-mouth offensive unit and Lewis' tenacity and passion leading a feared defense. Combining for 20 Pro Bowls between them, it will take a lot for two players to surpass the standard Ogden and Lewis set during their tenure in Charm City. * Rise & Conquer
The inspirational nature of the names "Rise" and "Conquer" would serve the birds well. As the Ravens players line up in the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium amid the smoke and glowing red ravens eyes, the plan will be for the birds to fly out and lead the team across the field.

And, what better way to get fans on their feet and players amped up than with Rise and Conquer ascending from the field to their perch high above the turf. * Blitz & Rush
Just as Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden are synonymous with Baltimore's defense and offense, so should the words blitz and rush.

The Ravens' defense has always been known as a quarterbacks' nightmare, using multiple alignments to bring pressure from all angles. Blitzing is king in Baltimore.

On the other side of the ball, the ground game traditionally took precedence, whether it was Priest Holmes, Jamal Lewis or now Willis McGahee toting the ball. With new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron taking the reins this year, the Ravens fully expect to have a more explosive output, and racking up rushing yards will be a big part of that. * Guntram & BranFor two outside-the-box ideas, another popular submission was these names with more of a mystic feel.

Guntram is a German name composed of two words - "gund," meaning "war," and "hram," which means "raven." War Raven.

In addition, Bran is a term from the ancient Celtic world. To the Celtic peoples of Britain, Ireland, and no doubt more than a few tribes on the Continent, the word Bran translates as raven, and denotes a man of strength, of battle, of intellect, and skill in arts and other such forms of culture.

One legend tells of Bran the Blessed, a Welsh god whose head became an oracle after he was decapitated. The head was buried in the Tower of London as a safeguard against attacks, and many ravens still live in the tower to this day.

There are four diverse choices in naming the fledgling mascots, and it is going to come down to who you want representing the team.

The ravens will make their debut during Training Camp next month. Fans will be able to interact with the birds, while learning more about these unique creatures.

Until then, those Ravens fans have a tough decision to make.

Let the naming begin!

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