Purple Craze: 200,000 Fans Flood Baltimore For Ravens' Championship Celebration
An estimated 200,000-plus people from "across Maryland poured into the heart of" Baltimore yesterday for the Ravens' Super Bowl parade, "standing shoulder to shoulder before City Hall, lining both sides of Pratt Street and filling M&T Bank Stadium to capacity," according to a front-page piece by Jill Rosen of the Baltimore SUN. Delays "plagued the afternoon rush hour and stymied the light rail too, as demand overwhelmed the system and trains stopped altogether several times when fans broke through barricades and spilled onto the tracks." Traffic in the morning was "so bad even the team had trouble making it to the celebration." Before the parade "even started, it was all but impossible to find parking in lots surrounding M&T Bank Stadium" (Baltimore SUN, 2/6). In Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd writes it was "the biggest and loudest and most boisterous victory parade you've ever seen, a two-hour party through downtown Baltimore." Cowherd: "Trust me, this one was bigger than the Orioles parade in 1983 when they won the World Series" (Baltimore SUN, 2/6). Meanwhile, David Zurawik wrote Baltimore's four "affiliate or network-owned stations blew out about four hours of mid-day programming to go all-hands-on-deck-live in coverage." Having reporters "wear purple scarves or stand on corners and act like crowd cheerleaders, which is what I saw too much of from WMAR during the parade, isn't enough." Zurawik: "The other thing that annoyed me, and it has been building for weeks, involves veteran reporters acting like they are buddies with the players." WBAL-NBC had "much of the best coverage." From "great helicopter shots of the massive congestion downtown in advance of the parade, to some of the most enterprising and perfectly pitched big-event reporting I have ever seen" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/5).