Bears bare Ravens allegiance

Fans looking forward to playoff game with Steelers

January 15, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Two stuffed bears sport Ravens attire outside an antique consignment store Friday in Funkstown.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Two bears were spotted Friday on Baltimore Street in Funkstown rummaging for scraps of burger — Ben Roethlisberger that is.

The stuffed bears, dressed in Baltimore Ravens outfits, are how Valley Antiques and Uniques is showng its support for the Ravens when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers today in the second round of the NFL playoffs.

Valley Antiques and Uniques Manager Patty Owens said the bears are a way to have some fun celebrating the bitter rivalry.

"People drive by and have stopped and taken pictures of them," Owens said. "It's all in good fun. It's just to make people smile."

The male bear is dressed in a Ravens hat and shirt, while the female bear is holding pompoms and wearing a sash that reads: "Do Not Enter. Ravens Fans Only."

Valley Antiques and Uniques was one of the few businesses in Washington County that displayed its team spirit. Most of the storefronts were business as usual.

Even bars that were planning to host parties for the game held off until Friday afternoon to start decorating.

Joanne Leazier, co-owner of Colonial Sports Bar & Grill at 14130 Pennsylvania Ave. in Hagerstown, said employees would start decorating the bar Friday for the game today.

Colonial is the official home of the Steelers Fan Club in Hagerstown.

"We are a Steelers bar, and we have some Ravens (fans) coming in," Leazier said. "We are expecting a big turnout."

Leazier said that although the Ravens and Steelers play twice during the regular season as members of the AFC North, the bar doesn't decorate for the rivalry unless the two teams meet in the playoffs.

State employees in downtown Hagerstown didn't wear their Ravens clothing on Friday despite an announcement from Gov. Martin O'Malley that allowed state workers to dress down and wear purple.

Donna Ashton-Vallar, a revenue examiner at the Maryland Comptroller's Office on South Potomac Street, said she didn't wear purple during work because she planned to wear it Saturday when friends and family watch the game at her house.

"I love their defense," Ashton-Vallar said of the Ravens. "I'm a Ray Lewis fan. It's going to be a really good game no matter what."

Ralph Bartels, manager of the local Comptroller's Office, said he would have worn purple if he had some.

"I just don't have purple," he said.

The spirit also flowed at Williamsport Town Hall, but none of it was for the Steelers.

Town Clerk Donald Stotelmyer said town employees are allowed to wear their Ravens garb every Friday during the season.

"I'm hoping for a Ravens victory," he said. "I know they're going to win. It's going to be a close game."

Stotelmyer, who also serves as ex officio chief of the Ravens Roost No. 7 in Hagerstown, a Ravens fan club, said town employees are permitted on Fridays to wear the colors of any team they support.

Nicole Row, town administrative assistant, wore a Chicago Bears jersey to support their playoff game on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Row said she likes the Bears because she fell in love with Chicago after visiting her two brothers there.

As for her feelings about today's game between the Ravens and the Steelers, Row said the mood in Town Hall was one-dimensional.

"We don't talk about the Steelers here," she said.

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