Philadelphia Eagles fans, you might want to just simply walk away, and not read this article. Maybe go back to working on your effigy of Andy Reid or staring longingly at your Brian Dawkins jersey, because this one just isn’t for you.
On Monday, Mayor Randy Brown issued a proclamation declaring that Sunday, Jan. 15 be known as “Baltimore Ravens Day” in the township. Of course, Brown is a kicking coach for the AFC Ravens, and supported his team at the annual reorganization meeting by wearing a Ravens hat during the proceedings.
“On behalf of council, I will accept this proclamation,” Brown said with a chuckle. “I’ll be presenting it to Coach John Harbaugh and Ray Lewis this week at practice.”
There’s a huge contingency of South Jersey fans who come to each game, Brown said, with starting quarterback Joe Flacco graduating from nearby Audubon High School and starting running back Ray Rice enjoying his college years up at Rutgers University.
Since the Eagles aren’t in the playoffs, Brown said, why not support the Raven as your official AFC team?
Coach John Harbaugh agreed with Brown and thanked the residents of Marlton for at least hearing Brown out during the proclamation.
“It’s cool. We always appreciate the support and we appreciate the people of Marlton for letting Randy come down here and being a part of our team,” he said. “He helped us with the Philadelphia Eagles and now with Baltimore he’s done a great job, he’s been a big part of our success.”
Having spent so much time in the area during his tenure with the Eagles, Harbaugh said it’s easy to see that the Philadelphia fans and fans from South Jersey are some of the most passionate in the world.
“We can be their AFC team, right?” Harbaugh said.
Brown and Harbaugh both coached with the Philadelphia Eagles throughout the 2000’s. Harbaugh was the Eagles widely acclaimed special teams coach from 1998 to 2007 before coaching the defensive backs for a season. He was offered the head coaching position for the Ravens in 2008 and has enjoyed four straight playoff appearances since, including an AFC championship game in the 2008 season.
When asked if Brown should have saved the proclamation for the inevitable Raven Super Bowl victory of the San Francisco 49ers — coached of course by his younger brother Jim Harbaugh — Harbaugh laughed and said it sounded like a great idea.
“I don’t think there’s a maximum number of proclamations that can be issued, so that would be perfect,” he said.
Also, the topic of Harbaugh jumping ship and leaving the Ravens to take over for one Andy Reid next season — along with some begging and tears from a reporter who shall not be named — may or may not have come up in the conversation.
“I’m not too sure about that. Andy Reid is a great coach and Juan Castillo is fantastic as well,” he said. “Andy will figure it out. I have to say I was extremely impressed with what they did in the final four games of the season.”
So what do you say Evesham Township, can the Ravens be everyone’s AFC team or is it blasphemy to even bring it up?
The Raven take on the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Baltimore. The game will be on CBS.