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Retro Ravens : What’s in a Name?

Ravens Logo 1996-1998

I was thinking about a new segment to add to the report (besides re-instituting Purple Fridays Bird Droppings) and as usual if I see a good idea out there on the interwebs I will snatch it up and make it our own.

Oddly enough it came from the great basketball site Bullets Forever where the writer went discussed past players and events and let fans comment on their remembrances. I should clarify that I’m not really a huge Bullets fan. I have room for only one inept franchise in my fandom and that’s the Orioles but there’s always hope in March – right?

So hopefully each weekend ( I hesitate putting a certain day on this because as soon as I do then I’ll miss it) until Training Camp I will attempt to bring you good people a person, place, thing, or event in the history of the Baltimore Ravens. Feel free to comment and tell your friends.

Baltimore’s Team is Officially Named Ravens

Named after a mythical bird in a famous poem, the new NFL team in Baltimore became the Ravens “evermore” team on Friday, March 29, 1996.

“In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
…Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

— Edgar Allen Poe, 1845

Testaverde (12), Burnett (90), Jackson (81)


The process of naming Baltimore’s new football team started around Mid-February when Modell got permission to move out of Cleveland. The settlement that the league brokered with the cities and the Browns was one that was unique which kept the Browns legacy in Cleveland. After three years of being de-activated there would be a new team for Cleveland either from expansion or an existing one that moved, where the Browns’ name, colors, history, records, awards and archives would remain in the city. (Would have been nice to get that deal when the Colts left)

A list of possible names had been reduced from about a hundred to seventeen. Focus groups then narrowed the field to the remaining five – Ravens, Americans, Marauders, Mustangs and Railers.

The Baltimore Sun partnered with the Modell family to involve the fans further in choosing a name. The finalists would be a part of a 24 hour telephone poll on March 28.

The name – RAVENS far and away crushed the competition. The Sun had released the top three vote getters: Ravens 22,463, Americans 5,635, and Marauders 5,650.

David Modell made this statement regarding the name.

“The name Ravens won the Sundial poll, and the name tested very well,” said David. “It’s a strong nickname that is not common to teams at any level, and it means something historically to this community.”

So what do all of you think? Would you have liked a different nickname or has it been long enough that any other name would be unthinkable at this point?

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3 Responses to “Retro Ravens : What’s in a Name?”

  1. Brad says:

    I still think its one of the stronger names in the list of recent teams to joins the NFL. Especially if you add the combo of name plus team colors. (thank God I don’t live in Jacksonville).

    The only thing I miss is not having that history other teams enjoy (Steelers, Packers, Bears, etc). I know as time passes that becomes less an issue especially when that time hits when people who were alive when the Colts were here become fewer and fewer. But that will take a while considering I don’t plan on dying anytime soon. All in all nothing will top going from no team to being able to sit next to my dad and watch a game AND even see a Super Bowl title. Amazing.

  2. Will says:

    The Ravens was by far the strongest candidate. Additionally, the others were not wasted…the runners-up gave me the recurring name for my fantasy team…Charm City Marauders. I use the outline of the bomber as the team logo.


  3. Baltimore Ravens Tickets says:

    I like the name Mustang but Raven was way better for the name of the team. It was a good name and the color is good. Ravens are a very strong bird and ready to won in battle in life.

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