Jewish Ravens Fans Get Psyched for Super Bowl

Celebrate Legacy of Art Modell, Who Moved Team to Baltimore

Art’s Army: Baltimore Ravens fan celebrate the win that sent their team to this Sunday’s Super Bowl. A group of Jewish fans are among the fiercest supporters, in part to honor the legacy of former owner Art Modell.
getty images
Art’s Army: Baltimore Ravens fan celebrate the win that sent their team to this Sunday’s Super Bowl. A group of Jewish fans are among the fiercest supporters, in part to honor the legacy of former owner Art Modell.

By JTA

Published January 29, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Every Sunday during the football season, a group of 30 diehard Jewish Baltimore Ravens fans suit up in purple pants, jerseys, socks, face paint and special Ravens tzitzit to watch the game together.

If the game falls on a Saturday, the club gathers for a “purple Shabbos,” when they wear Ravens jerseys under their suits, eat Ravens-inspired food from a purple menu and go into lockdown mode once the game starts so they don’t accidentally discover the final score before they can watch the recorded broadcast post-Sabbath.

“Yes, we’re all absolute Ravens nuts,” Noam Heller, a 25-year-old Baltimore native, told JTA. “We’re not just casual football fans like some other states. Everyone who knows our crew knows we’re crazy.”

The group has been reveling in the Ravens together for about five years at the homes of its members. Wives and kids come along now, too.

With their beloved squad slated to face off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, Heller and company no doubt will get even crazier than normal.

Adding to its significance, the showdown comes just six months after the death of former owner Art Modell, the Jewish Brooklyn native who moved the team to Baltimore from Cleveland in 1996. Ravens players dedicated this season to Modell, wearing a patch with “Art” on their jerseys.

And even more poignancy: The Pro Football Hall of Fame will announce whether Modell will be inducted the day before the big game.

“Honestly, I’m kvelling over this game,” David Modell, one of the late owner’s two sons and a former president and CEO of the Ravens, told JTA. “I’m not praying for results, I’m praying for the strength and courage of this team, and the rest will take care of itself. But a Super Bowl victory and a place in the Hall of Fame would be an incredible way to honor my father’s memory.”

Modell’s legacy is something of a touchy subject for football fans. Supporters see him as a brilliant businessman best known for his role in negotiations with the ABC television network leading to the creation of “Monday Night Football” in 1970, and for his support for community charities in Cleveland and Baltimore.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.