Boys To Men
Baltimore magazine|January 2021
Twenty years after their Super Bowl win, the 2000 Ravens are still talking about what it all means.
Corey McLaughlin

“Is it 20 years now?” Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, the Ravens’ first-ever draft pick—that likeable, gentle giant and early face of the franchise—can’t believe the first great season in team history was that long ago. He’s sitting in front of a laptop computer set up for a live video call in his Las Vegas home, sporting a black T-shirt, beard, and a short afro (which he just brushed, he points out), and he leans back, sipping something from a red Solo cup. Seven of his former teammates—Jamal Lewis, Edwin Mulitalo, Jamie Sharper, Tony Siragusa, Duane Starks, Matt Stover, and Rod Woodson—as well their forever head coach, Brian Billick, appear on the screen with him, looking like a Ravens’ alumni version of Hollywood Squares.

They’re taking a trip down memory lane, watching and reminiscing about a game they were all a part of, and won, 34-7, over the New York Giants: Super Bowl XXXV. On this pandemic midsummer night, the NFL Network is showing an edited, two-hour replay of the game to help fill the channel’s void of new sports content, and the Ravens public relations department, in a treat for fans, decided to gather as many members of the Ravens year 2000 edition as they could for this watch party streamed on Facebook Live. Siragusa is in his New Jersey living room, trying to get a good internet connection and playfully grumbling about why “a billion-dollar organization” like the Ravens is using video conferencing software called MegaPhone instead of Zoom. Starks is in his home office in Miami, with sports memorabilia framing his shot. Stover, who mostly lives in Baltimore, appears in the den of his house in Montana, where he likes to fish in the summer.

“How about that?” Billick says teasingly in response to Ogden. “How old do you feel?” Speaking from his home-office in central Ohio, Billick, now 66, looks largely the same as we remember him, except his hair is thinner and he’s wearing a blue button-down shirt instead of a purple Ravens polo.

Ogden doesn’t respond at first, but he’s actually 46. And, like a lot of his former teammates who we once watched play football as young adults, he’s a father of teenagers now. One of them, Jayden, just got home from high school football practice and made a brief appearance on screen, dressed in a Bishop Gorman High T-shirt, before ducking out of the frame.

Lewis, the team’s rookie running back way back when, and one of the three famous Lewises on the 2000 team, jumps in the conversation from his place in Atlanta. “Forty years old,” he says, his voice trailing off. “I’m 40.”

“Forty? That’s young,” Billick says.

“Oh my goodness,” Ogden says, to no one in particular. Then he rubs his face in astonishment and flashes that trademark wide smile you may recognize from various local commercials over the years.


YES, IT MIGHT be difficult to believe, but it has now been two decades since January 28, 2001, the date the Ravens beat those Giants to claim the franchise’s first NFL championship in just its fifth season of existence. It was a few hours of football that left a meaningful legacy for so many reasons.

For the older generation, the Ravens’ convincing victory on a cool, clear night in Tampa marked a cathartic step away from the nightmare of the beloved Colts leaving town in 1984. Owner Bob Irsay took everything: the team’s colors, its players, its history, including a Lombardi Trophy. (For some, seeing that Colts logo in Indianapolis still stings.) Baltimore was without NFL football for more than a decade until eventual Ravens owner Art Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, despite the objections of other NFL owners who wanted to put a new team in a bigger market or one that didn’t take a slice of revenue from franchises in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. In an acknowledgment, perhaps, of the pain the Colts departure had inflicted on Baltimore, Modell left the Browns’ history behind in Cleveland. No one there seemed particularly grateful.

The irony that it was NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue—the man who, only a few years earlier, had told Baltimore city officials they should “build a museum” instead of a football stadium—who handed Modell the Ravens’ first Super Bowl trophy, “was not lost on anybody,” says Billick, who was standing on the field next to Modell as the trophy ceremony was broadcast to millions across the world.

The Ravens’ 2000 team is remembered for having one of the best defenses of all time, for its braggadocio while punishing opponents, and for the saga of Ray Lewis’ murder trial—and the media circus that went with it. Outsized personalities, like Lewis and the massive, 300-plus pound defensive tackle Siragusa, who famously flopped on Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon during the playoff run to the Super Bowl, helped birth the first season of the still-running HBO all-access reality series Hard Knocks the next year.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine



BRIAN JONES explores unity in a world full of challenges and diversity. Through different analogies and his own personal experience with meditation, he finds effective ways to achieve unity through the silence of the heart.

6 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
May 2021

Hands Off My Football Team!

The European Super League followed a model shaped in the U.S. Opposition from fans scuttled the idea

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 26 - May 03, 2021 (Double Issue)

PUBLISHING AMID A PANDEMIC: How Board Games Survived and Thrived in 2020

COVID’s lasting impacts on our health and economy are still far from being understood. It will take many of us years, perhaps even a decade, to unravel what has changed in the last year. But some patterns are emerging, at least in the board gaming hobby, that indicate many publishers were well ahead of the curve even before the threat of a pandemic affected their supply chains worldwide. As the world began locking itself down to quell the threat of COVID-19, people continued to find solace in hobbies. Soon, the business journals and magazines of the world began tracking the increase of sales across a wide swath of interests as people did anything and everything to take their minds away from the weight of a pandemic circling the globe. Turns out, everything from toys, guitars, crafts, and board games were selling well despite a deflated economy. Report Linker’s “Board Games Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026” estimates that sales in the hobby will grow by 13 percent in the next five years, even with continued lockdowns. But what about the hobby as a whole? This article examines how 2020 affected the board gaming industry through three facets — big box stores, local board gaming cafes and stores, and the digital space — and how the pandemic has shaped them in the interim as well as moving forward. Is this projected forecast of its growth still as rosy?

7 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021


The $113 billion deal to telecast NFL games through 2033 is head-swimmingly large — until you consider that the very survival of broadcast networks as we know them may depend upon it.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine #491


Shaquil Barrett, Buccaneers 6-2 • 250 pounds • 29 years old

2 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
March 2021



3 mins read
Niner Report
March 2021

Q&A with Ron Rivera, Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney

Coach Ron Rivera, General Manager Martin Mayhew and Executive Vice President of Football/Player Personnel Marty Hurney met with the media via Zoom on Feb. 3 to discuss the direction of the new front office. The interview is edited for space.

5 mins read
March 2021

Shoots from the hip

Robby Anderson said he wasn't “genuinely happy ” with the Jets at times

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

What great culture looks like

Throughout the process of the Jets looking for a new coach, a buzzword we heard quite a bit was “culture.”

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

‘We showed we're a winning organization'

Here are some highlights from head coach Sean McDermott’s season-ending press conference.

10+ mins read
Bills Digest
February 28, 2021