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PSL Owner Spotlight: Charlene Simonds

Section 150, Reisterstown, MD

Not much is more valuable than sharing something you love with the people you love. For Charlene Simonds, that means cheering on her beloved Ravens with the whole family. Learn more about her story as an original PSL Owner in this month's PSL Owner Spotlight.

What is your Ravens story?

Growing up in Baltimore County, football was a pillar of Charlene's childhood. Charlene's father, Fred was a season ticket holder for the Baltimore Colts, and they attended games together as she was growing up. She recalled fondly, "I don't remember all that much since it was so long ago, but I recall going to games in the freezing cold and walking up so many steps to get to our seats." As it turns out, their seats were in the all the way in the top row of Memorial Stadium. Charlene exclaimed, "Those were the best seats back then! Before there were video boards and instant replay, they were great because we had the best vantage point to see the whole field!"


Years later, Charlene was attending college when the Colts made the move to Indianapolis. "They were such a big part of the community, and when they left, my dad and I were two of the many Baltimore sports fans who were very unhappy with the move."

Luckily, the Simonds' would have a chance to see the NFL in Baltimore again in 1996. As soon as rumors were swirling about a team moving to Baltimore, Charlene already began putting money into an account in preparation. "I still remember when the news finally broke that the Browns were moving here. I was so excited, that I immediately bought PSLs for my dad and husband! We sat in row 4 of section 129, right behind the Ravens bench for many years."

More recently, Charlene decided it was time for a change as her father grew older. "It was a great opportunity to escape the rowdy fans that sat behind us for a more relaxed game day experience with a better point of view on the sunny side of the stadium." Charlene's father unfortunately passed in 2021, however the tradition of the Simonds family attending Ravens games together has continued. Charlene recalled wistfully, "My Dad was a real influence on my interest and love in following Baltimore sports. Supporting our local Baltimore sports teams as season ticket holders has always been part of my and my husband's lives." It is very appropriate then that Charlene would share her passion for the Ravens with her husband, Jay, and three children just as her father had done with her.


What do Gamedays look like for you?

Charlene doesn't have a specific game day routine; however, some aspects of game day are necessary. "I have never been a big tailgater, so my favorite place to spend time pre-game is on Ravenswalk. I really enjoy observing the Baltimore community and seeing people from all walks of life come together to support the Ravens." Charlene especially appreciates how the pregame environment has grown over the years. "It is so much louder than it used to be," she said gleefully. Two other aspects of Ravenswalk that are consistent in Charlene's game day are the Marching Ravens and the live radio broadcasts. "I always watch and listen to the marching band outside Camden Yards and I usually like listening to Keith Mills and the other local sports radio guys for more insight and details on the game."


After enjoying her time on Ravenswalk, Charlene heads over to the stadium for kickoff. Once in the stadium, Charlene has a tradition that has had to change in recent years. "Back when my seats were in section 129, I would always make a stop at the Guinness kiosk for a beer before heading to my seats." Unfortunately, the kiosk has changed, however Charlene was able to find a suitable replacement. "The new tradition that I follow every game is buying the Flying Dog beer with the purple can." Another tradition that Charlene typically follows involves sharing her love for the Ravens with her friends. "I buy Club Level tickets for one game each season for me and my friends to enjoy the indoor lounge and escape the cold."

Even after the final whistle blows, Charlene can't stop thinking about the game. "Every game I go to, I have to record it on my TV to rewatch when I get home," she said passionately. "There's just so much emotion and excitement in the stadium, it's hard to remember every moment!"


Favorite memories?

Having owned PSLs since 1996, there are too many great Ravens memories for Charlene to choose from. "Some great memories I have with the Ravens that I was able to share with my children were the Super Bowl parades! Since the first Super Bowl win was early in the kid's life, I took Amanda (now 31) and Josh (29) out of school to celebrate the team and enjoy the parade. Luckily, we won another Super Bowl in 2013, so I was able to take Claire, my youngest, out of school to experience what she couldn't see in 2001."

Despite a plethora of Ravens legends to choose from, Charlene found her new favorite player in the 2019 season opener against Miami. Laughing, Charlene said, "I just love Lamar [Jackson] to death. I know just how excited the stadium feels whenever he plays. It doesn't matter if we're winning or losing, Lamar is always the most electrifying player on the field". She was so impressed, that she purchased a Lamar Jackson jersey as soon as she got home. "I used to only buy a Ravens jersey after the player established themselves as a legend, but I had to make an exception this time." Jackson and the Ravens have created some great memories for Charlene already with more to come.

The freshest memory in Charlene's mind came on a chilly Monday night against the Colts. "I absolutely love M&T Bank Stadium at night. I bought Club Level tickets with my friend Catherine, and the game day environment was just incredible. I remember just how loud the crowd was after that game-winning touchdown in overtime. That was definitely one of the best game day experiences I have had!"


What does being a PSL Owner mean to you?

Charlene is very proud to be an original PSL Owner. "I have loved Baltimore my entire life, and I am glad I was a part opting in for Baltimore becoming a football-obsessed city. Baltimore has grown so much as a sports city since 1996 and I am proud to have been a part of that movement."

Proudly, Charlene said, "Being a PSL owner is all about the community. We live in such a polarizing world, and it is great to see that the Ravens are a common thread that connects people from all different backgrounds. Living near Owings Mills, I see players in the neighborhood or at the grocery store and that really adds to the community atmosphere."