Ray Rice Reaches Out To Boston Marathon Victim


Paul Norden has to be tough.

He's been a Ravens fan since the team's inception in 1996 and lives in New England Patriots territory.

But Norden's courage has been thoroughly tested over the past month.

Norden and his brother J.P. both lost their right legs in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Nine surgeries later, Paul was finally released from the hospital May 16. And he came out wearing a No. 27 Ray Rice jersey and a Ravens hat.


Ray Lewis is his favorite Ravens player, but Rice reached out to the Norden brothers via Facebook to provide support and invited them to a game.

"J.P. and Paul, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this tough time right now," Rice said in a video. "The whole country is behind you. So as you guys get back healthy, I want to invite you to a Baltimore Ravens game of your choice as my special guest. Please continue to be strong, and just remember you guys are an inspiration to everyone out there watching, especially myself, to keep going and be the best athlete I can be. But in return, I can't wait to see you guys at a game. Please be able to push through during this tough time because as you continue to grind, I will as well. Go Ravens."

The message surprised Norden to say the least.

"Who would have ever thought he would have done that?" he said. "In the beginning it was nice because not too many things looked good."

Norden, 31, and his brother were outside a Boylston Street restaurant when the second bomb detonated. Norden wasn't knocked unconscious, and remembers looking down to see most of his leg missing. A marine rushed to help him.

In shock, Norden was rushed to the hospital and there was fear that he wasn't going to survive.

The Norden brothers were separated for two weeks after the explosion, but their football rivalry has helped them keep in touch and recover. J.C. is a big Patriots fan and the brothers got a hospital visit from Patriots Owner Robert Kraft.

"I made sure to tell him that I was a Ravens fan," Paul said. "He said as long as I wasn't a Jets fan it was alright."

The brothers returned to the site of the bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 200, exactly one month afterwards.  Their two sisters, Colleen and Caitlin, along with their uncle, Peter Brown, walked the entire 26.2-milesroute to show their support.

The brothers are continuing their sibling competition. Paul has the upper hand considering he was at last season's AFC championship game in New England, where the Ravens won, 28-13. Now the two are planning on taking up Rice on his offer to attend the Week 16 game against the Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium.

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