ANNAPOLIS, Md.(WMAR) - The seats in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium may be emblazoned with the words ‘Go Navy', but the fans who packed the stands Sunday were there to see another team entirely, the Baltimore Ravens. Annapolis native Ginny Dauses was among them. She says, "It's just practice, but I love my Ravens."
And Dauses isn't the only one. Ravens fans like her came by the thousands to see the players they love up close and personal at a free, public practice. For Dauses, it was a thrill, "It's maybe not as big of a hype to some people but I think it's fantastic. I mean you're closer than you'd ever imagine. John Harbaugh was walking over here talking to us, things you could never get on a game day."
Her six-year-old cousin Alexis Hyle also knows about the great things that come from this event. She left the game with a practice ball tossed from the side lines by someone high profile, team owner Steve Bisciotti. She didn't know who he was, but her dad, Walter Hyle, was well aware. He says, "It was the chance of a lifetime. It's great. She'll know in a couple of years and realize it."
Someday Alexis may realize that the man who owns the team she already loves gave her a gift even better than the one the fans who attended received. They got better access to their team, although some would like to get even closer. Shean Poole of Waldorf was at the game with his toddler. He told us, "He's a Ravens fan and he wanted to get his jersey signed."
The quest for autographs and memories was on the mind of man fans, who know that if their team wants to make it to the Super Bowl, they've got to work. Even 12-year-old Robbie Baranoski understands the importance of the practice, "Even if it's not a game, it's still important."
If you didn't make Sunday's public practice, you've got one more chance to see the Ravens on August 19th at Stevenson University. But you've got to win your way in. Tickets for that practice are being awarded through a lottery system, with fans that made the cut having tickets sent to them.