Baltimore Ravens – The Brief History

A professional American Football Team, the Baltimore Ravens is based in Baltimore, Maryland. They are a member of the National Football League (NFL), the largest American football league in the planet, and are one of four member teams in the American Football Conference (AFC) North Division. The Ravens’ football uniforms are colored black, gold, and purple. They play at the PSINet Stadium in Baltimore.

The Birth of the Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens was founded after the 1995 NFL season, when Arthur B. Modell, owner of what was then Cleveland Browns, decided to move his team to Baltimore and renamed it as the Ravens (a new Cleveland Browns franchise was put up in 1999), which came from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” (Poe lived in Baltimore during the 1830s). Modell brought with him a team of veteran football players including running back Earnest Byner and quarterback Vinny Testaverde, and hired Ted Marchibroda, former Baltimore Colts coach, to lead the new Ravens team. Despite the roster of star players and a long record of wins for Marchibroda in the mid-1970s when he was handling the Colts, the Ravens struggled in the 1996 and 1997 NFL season, and ended up finishing at the bottom. After the 1997 season, Testaverde left the team and signed with the New York Jets as a free agent. In the 1998 season, the Ravens had six wins and ten losses, and it was then that the Ravens hired Brian Billick, Minnesota Vikings offensive, as their head coach.

Three Consecutive Losing Seasons

The Ravens didn’t have a successful beginning as it flopped in its first two seasons. The 1996 Season was the first season of the Ravens, where they played at the old Memorial Stadium of Baltimore and finishing a dismal record of 4-12. The 1997 season was more promising, starting off with a record of 3-1. Ravens player Peter Boulware also got the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year Award having 11.5 sacks. When the season ended, however, the Ravens finished with a score of 6-9-1. Vinny Testaverde who then left for the New York Jets, was replaced by Jim Harbaugh, originally from Indianapolis Colts and then later by Eric Zeier. Priest Holmes, running 1,000 yards for the Ravens, also joined the team, as well as cornerback Rod Woodson. Still, the Ravens lost 6-10. Marchibroda was finally replaced by Brian Billick as head coach in 1999. The 1999 season was a big improvement , managing an 8-8 record.

The 2000 Super Bowl Championship

Under the wing of Brian Billick in the 2000 NFL season, the Ravens rebuilt their team and strengthened their defense. They became more aggressive and picky with free agent signings and draft pick ups. Led by one of the top defenders and leading tacklers in MFL history, linebacker Ray Lewis, the Ravens achieved a record-low 165 defense and allowed only 23 points in the postseason. In the Super Bowl XXXV, they finally won a 34-7 victory against the New York Giants and was announced as the champion for that season.