Nothing like a good ol’ Ravens Super Bowl rally and time spent with my two (little) girls to get you in the spirit of life. Back at the beginning of the month it was a day I set aside on my calendar to spend time with Sophie and Emily, since school was closed that day. It was supposed to be an early morning of snow tubing up in the mountains of PA, but the day before I saw the forecast for Monday and knew that was probably not going to happen. A thin layer of ice covering pretty much everything, made the trip up north a bad idea. But then I realized the Ravens were going to be at the Inner Harbor at lunchtime for a last minute Super Bowl rally before heading to New Orleans… and it seemed like we had a plan.
It actually took a little convincing since the weather pretty much sucked when I woke up, and even into late morning, but the ice pellets turned to rain and I turned on the reasons for the girls why we should go. Let’s go see Ray Lewis one last time… live and in person. Who knows, even if the Ravens win the Super Bowl, if we’d make it to the parade. There are no guarantees, and today we had the time and the purpose. My girls like sports, but they don’t like cold and rain. I told them to get on their Ravens gear, a pair of gloves a warm coat with a hood and it would all be good.
And it was. We drove downtown, and made our way through the sea of purple people. It was crowded, but I knew Sophie especially likes the crowds and the energy. It was tough for Emily to see, but I kept lifting her up when the “good parts” happened, and I knew she too especially wanted to see Ray Ray. Half the time she couldn’t see a thing, but Emily is great like that, most times she just goes with the flow… with little complaining.
The rally was worth it. Plenty of chanting, plenty of hollering, another chance to answer the age old question, “What time is it?’ and to prove there are some “dogs in the house!” It was inspirational to hear Ray Lewis, Jon Harbaugh and Ed Reed take to the mike. And then there were the fireworks, confetti and the cool sight of the buses pulling away down the streets of Baltimore, on their way for a chance to dance with history.
My day was history in the making. Sophie, Emily and I headed up Pratt street to grab lunch and then we hopped in the car and over to Hampden for chocolate milkshakes at Cafe Hon. A couple of the waitresses said I looked so familiar, and realized that was because they watched me during my years at WJZ-TV in Baltimore. My girls were delighted to see the ladies were excited that “The Blade” was in the house. They still get a kick out of it when it happens. I spent 15 years in my prior career at that TV station, doing live shots as producer and reporter on the morning show, got to have my own segment called “Fly Friday” and won an Emmy as a producer of the 5pm news. It was a good ride. No regrets.
It was a great day to spend with the girls. And at bedtime, when I came in to say goodnight to Emily, I asked her if she had a good day. She said “yes, it was fun” and said she felt famous at Cafe Hon when they realized I used to be on TV and, oh yeah, by the way I’m her Dad. I asked her if she missed me working there, (and to be honest, I was only doing live-shots as a free-lance reporter by the time she was born), and she said “no, she didn’t care”. I told her if I was still there, doing the same thing I had been doing, there was no way we could have attended the Ravens rally together, because I would have been WORKING it. Sophie knows the story a bit better than Emily. She knows why I left TV, because of the responsibility of the two jobs I was doing at the time, as a reporter in the early morning and as a producer for the 5 o’clock news. The lack of flexibility in my schedule seriously cut into my hours to be at home. I was leaving for work at 5am and getting back home at 7pm. It was too much. And the one thing I knew I would regret, big time, was missing Sophie & Emily growing up. It was unacceptable. Sophie’s birth started me thinking and eventually led me to the decision to make a change. I never, ever wanted anyone to tell me I couldn’t spend time, or take the time to be with my girls. Their spirits are what lift mine every day. Yesterday was yet another chance to share our spirits together. That’s my Super Bowl, every day.
Now…. it’s the Ravens turn.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.