Bill Andrews was better known as "Willie the Rooter," all the way up to his funeral, where his pallbearers included Johnny Unitas, Art Donovan, Raymond Berry, Gino Marchetti and John Steadman.
"They were all personal friends of my uncle," said Matt Andrews, better known as Fan Man, of Forest Hill.
Now Matt is trying to carry on the tradition of passionate Baltimore football fans, but with a little help. He and the rest of the Ravens "Bus Boys" are some of the most passionate season ticket holders at M&T Bank Stadium, and are eager to see the Ravens' first home game Sunday.
"Oh, man, we can't wait. We're right there where Ray Lewis comes out in the smoke," Matt said. "When he comes out—chills. I had some fans that came from Cincinnati say, 'The only reason we came here was we wanted to see Ray Lewis come out of the hole.'"
Joining Fan Man will be Camo Man, Fired Up, Ravin' Rick and Off the Hook in the first of what they hope is 10 home games this season, including the playoffs. First, though, they had to take care of some business in downtown Bel Air.
"Steelers are everywhere. And they have been recognized in the northern part of the county as existing," Matt said at yesterday's Ravens Rally.
The Bus Boys are probably the right men for making the presence of Ravens fans known as evidenced by the towel on the back of their bus proclaiming that "Pittsburgh is Ravens Country."
"We took that to Pittsburgh and hung that up in their new stadium," Matt said. "You get a little grumbles, nothing to be concerned with. You treat them nice, they treat you nice."
There were no grumbles, however, Saturday when the County Executive officially proclaimed Harford County as Ravens Country.
"I have to tell you I came from a little family problem just a minute ago," David Craig said before reading the proclamation. "My son-in-law is a Buffalo Bills fan and I'm trying to make sure he does not raise my grandson … [so] that he becomes a Buffalo Bills fan."
Craig then read the proclamation that extinguished all other teams from staking claim to Harford County as their kingdom.
"We want to let the world know that Harford County is Ravens Country," Matt said.
Uncle Bill would be proud.
See facebook.com/BelAirPatch for additional photos from yesterday's rally.