BALTIMORE (AP) - Purple-clad Ravens fans crowded Baltimore bars to watch their team's second Super Bowl appearance on Sunday, hugging, cheering and throwing their hands in the air at every touchdown.
Fans came hours before the game to get seats. Women arrived with their nails painted purple. Men wore purple Mardi Gras beads. There were purple-feathered boas; purple, black and white camouflage pants; and a sea of purple-and-black jerseys. And it seemed no jersey was more popular than that of retiring middle linebacker Ray Lewis, No. 52.
Whether they were wearing his number or not, fans said they wanted to win for Lewis, the only current player who started with the team when it came to Baltimore in 1996.
"We have to do it for Ray. It's not all about Ray. It's 90 percent for Ray, 10 percent for the city of Baltimore," said Darren Love, 40, an off-duty police officer who was celebrating at Mother's Federal Hill Grille.
Love, who said he watches the Ravens every Sunday, said there were only two choices for him about where to watch the game: live at the Superdome in New Orleans or at Mother's.
"I was going to be either in the Superdome or here, and here is a lot cheaper," said Love, who was wearing one-piece, zip-up pajamas with the Ravens' logo in addition to purple wig.
Fans at Mother's cheered for a minute or more after some touchdowns, high-fiving and singing.
"I love our team, win or lose," said Ashley Vierra, a 23-year-old student at Stevenson University whose outfit included dangly earrings in the shape of a raven's head and a purple-sequined fedora hat.
Fans said they were excited for the team's first Super Bowl appearance since the 2000 season, but before the game some fans said they didn't believe it was going to be an easy win.
At Pickles Pub, just a few blocks from the Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium, Jessica Quinton, 28, a massage therapist who was wearing purple down to her socks, predicted a tight game between the two teams. But Dan Louisignau, 23, a soccer coach at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, said his team has something the 49ers don't: Ray Lewis.
"Ray Lewis gives us extra energy," Louisignau said.
Dave Roberts, 48, who was watching the game outside a bar called Sliders, where it was projected on the side of a white van, wasn't as confident as the game started. But Roberts, who was born in Baltimore, was hopeful his Charm City team would win.
"It would be great for the city," he said.