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The Caw: Who Is the Ravens' Biggest Football (Soccer) Fan?


An argument broke out in one wing of the Ravens locker room Wednesday, and it had to do with the sport of football that won't be played at Wembley Stadium this Sunday.

I went around the locker room to find out who the team's biggest football (soccer) fan is, and it became a heated debate.

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who is often seen wearing a soccer jersey, proclaimed himself to be the biggest fan, followed by wide receiver Chris Moore.

"If it's a normal Sunday and there's a bunch of [American] football games on and there's a good soccer game on, I'm watching the soccer game, 1,000 percent," Stanley said.

Stanley is a big fan of Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, and the two have actually become personal friends. Stanley has made that abundantly clear to his teammates.

"If I played soccer, I imagine myself being somewhat like him," Stanley said.

Stanley said he became a hardcore soccer fan during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The FIFA video game hit shelves around the same time the Cup kicked off, and Stanley got really into playing the virtual game and watching the real thing on TV.

"I just think it's a beautiful sport. I really respect it," Stanley said.

"They're thinking so fast about the movements and people across the field, where they're going to be. It's timing and spacing. It's all there."

Stanley's favorite Premier League team is Manchester United because he likes Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Moore also got into soccer in part because of the video game Madden. He said he's beaten Stanley so many times in the video game that Stanley refuses to play him anymore. Moore's favorite team is the Italian football club, Juventus.

"My dream is to travel Europe and go to all the major soccer stadiums and watch them play," Moore said.

But just hold up one second. So you're telling me that the Ravens' resident Brit, rookie guard Jermaine Eluemunor, isn't the team's biggest soccer fan? Eluemunor was highly offended at the mere suggestion that anyone may top him.

"Just because Ronnie knows Jerome Boateng on Bayern Munich doesn't mean [anything]," he said. "I grew up watching football. He just got into it."

Eluemunor takes any chance he gets to hype his team, Arsenal, which is stationed about 20 minutes away from where he lived in London.

Despite Arsenal being the home team, Eluemunor's dad roots for Liverpool, mom cheers for Tottenham, brother pulls for Manchester United and sister likes Manchester City.

"Nobody gets along, especially me and my brother when it's the derby," Eluemunor said.

A derby is a game between two rivals of close geographical proximity. A little bit like Ravens-Steelers, though they may be a bit too far apart. So like Ravens-Redskins but more intense. See, I'm kinda getting this whole soccer thing.

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