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Daniel Park's earliest Ravens memory

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The earliest memory I have of the Baltimore Ravens is handwritten, logged in this girly-looking journal I received from my aunt back in 1998.

Ah, how fortunate. The earliest memory I have of the Baltimore Ravens is handwritten, logged in this girly-looking journal I received from my aunt back in 1998. Don't judge me. Judge my aunt's taste in journals.


Back in 2001 -- when I was possibly the only seventh grader wearing contact lenses ... when the World Wrestling Federation's owner Vince McMahon created the XFL ... when I championed the 'newbs' in math class as the biggest nerd whiz ... when Adam took my expensive, prized Pokemon card (a Charizard), out of its case and kicked the holographic card down the bus aisle to never be found again -- I for some reason, knew in my soul that the Ravens would crush the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

Ravens Super Bowl

"So I'm listening to da radio...Super Bowl dis watching it 2...Baltimore's gonna win! I bet dis dude $2."

While a Minnesota Vikings-Ravens bout would have served as the league's dreamiest babe of a matchup, the NFC was represented by a galvanizing, ground-shaking Giants team coming off a confidence-fortifying, 41-0 shutout of the Vikings. Still, I'd be verbally destroyed if I denied this fact: watching Minnesota's high-octane offense featuring four Pro Bowlers quarterback Daunte Culpepper, running back Robert Smith, and receivers Cris Carter and Randy Moss challenge the league's second-best defense would have been much, much more enticing.

I recall the Ravens defense under defensive coordinator - whoa - Marvin Lewis demoralizing the Giants offense play after play under - double whoa - current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. Some fans love offensive shootouts; for others, a stout defensive stand is a crisp refreshment.

Welp, I prefer shootouts and for that reason my expectations were derailed after the third quarter, when the scoreboard read 24-7. That outcome taught me an invaluable lesson: never take Super Bowls for granted. I was naive to think that the game would end with Ray Lewis holding back the outstretched arm of Tiki Barber, failing to break the plane of the goal line -- by a yard -- the same pose Titans' receiver Kevin Dyson pulled in the Super Bowl a year ago

The Giants registered 152 yards on offense, the third-lowest total ever in a championship. The Ravens sacked Kerry Collins four times and forced five turnovers. That's no joke. All Giants' possessions, 16, ended with punts or interceptions, with the exception of their last drive, due to time running out.


Check the chart out below. Makes you wonder when the Ravens defense will ever be that talented again.

Baltimore Position
N.Y. Giants
Qadry Ismail WR Ike Hilliard
Jonathan Ogden LT Lomas Brown
Edwin Mulitalo LG Glenn Parker
Jeff Mitchell C Dusty Zeigler
Mike Flynn RG Ron Stone
Harry Swayne RT Luke Petitgout
Shannon Sharpe TE Ron Dixon
Brandon Stokley WR Amani Toomer
Trent Dilfer QB Kerry Collins
Priest Holmes RB Tiki Barber
Sam Gash FB Greg Comella
Rob Burnett LE Michael Strahan
Sam Adams LDT Cornelius Griffin
Tony Siragusa RDT Keith Hamilton
Michael McCrary RE Cedric Jones
Peter Boulware LOLB Micheal Barrow
Ray Lewis MLB Jessie Armstead
Jamie Sharper ROLB Emmanuel McDaniel
Duane Starks LCB Dave Thomas
Chris McAlister RCB Jason Sehorn
Kim Herring SS Sam Garnes
Rod Woodson FS Shaun Williams

What are your earliest Ravens childhood memories? Comment below!