When the Cleveland Browns relocated to Baltimore in 1996, part of the agreement between then-owner Art Modell and the NFL was that the Browns name, colors, uniforms and history would remain in Cleveland for a future expansion franchise.
With that, Modell approached the Indianapolis Colts to gauge their interest in parting with their nickname, seeing as the franchise played in Baltimore from 1953-83. But when they refused, Modell and The Baltimore Sun conducted a fan poll to select a new name.
More than 33,000 votes were cast, and on March 29, 1996 — 12 years to the day after the Colts skipped town in the middle of the night — Modell announced before a large crowd at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor that the Ravens (21,108 votes) had outdistanced the Americans (5,597) and Marauders (5,583) in the poll.
The name was inspired by the famous poem written by Edgar Allan Poe, who spent a significant portion of his life in Baltimore and is buried roughly one mile from M&T Bank Stadium.
Since their inception, the Ravens have been one of the more successful franchises in the NFL with 12 trips to the playoffs and two Super Bowl titles. But we’ll just have to forgive their social media team for confusing the 24th anniversary of their founding with their upcoming 25th season, for which they unveiled a commemorative logo on Sunday morning.
Tt’s unclear if the Ravens will wear this logo as a uniform patch in 2020, just as they did for their 20th campaign in 2015.
The Ravens are coming off a franchise-best season in 2019, when they went 14-2 and were led the NFL MVP, quarterback Lamar Jackson. The team was eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans.
Photo via @Ravens on Twitter.