The Ravens are celebrating their 25th anniversary season and are inviting fans to join in.
Baltimore's NFL team officially became the Ravens on March 29, 1996 during a ceremony at the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre. The late, former owner, Art Modell, stepped to the podium and made the pronouncement, holding up a card with the word "Ravens" on it.
It was a significant moment in Baltimore history, the naming of a franchise that has brought pride, championships and special memories to the city. Throughout the upcoming season, the Ravens will celebrate their history in a variety of ways that showcase the great moments, players and games of the past 25 years.
The process of naming the Ravens began in February of 1996 when Modell received permission from the league to move the franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore. Modell's son, David, who was the team's Assistant to the President, met with NFL Properties to discuss possible names. A focus group began narrowing the possibilities, then the team partnered with the Baltimore Sun to conduct a fan vote.
The team name options were 'Ravens', 'Americans', 'Marauders', 'Mustangs' and 'Railers.' The Sun reported that 33,748 fans voted and Ravens won in a landslide with 22,463 votes, followed by Americans (5,635) and Marauders (5,650). The local ties to Edgar Allen Poe and the lore surrounding him undoubtedly played a part in the overwhelming decision.
Once named, the Ravens were officially launched, and it has been a memorable ride. The name Ravens has come to symbolize toughness, consistency and teamwork. Players and fans in Baltimore know what it means to "Play Like a Raven." Great players like Hall of Famers Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed have performed with excellence, while two different coaches have led the Ravens to Super Bowl victories - Brian Billick who is a member of the team's Ring of Honor, and Head Coach John Harbaugh who is the winningest coach in franchise history.
This is the perfect season to remember signature triumphs, remarkable plays and special people who have made the Ravens who they are. Coming off a franchise-best 14-2 season led by MVP Lamar Jackson, the Ravens are looking forward to a 25th season that produces more memorable moments, while the organization's history is celebrated.