January 14, 2011

Blog: Game time in the purple-passioned House

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The 2011 "Ravens Caucus" in the Maryland House of Delegates

"Purple Passioned" delegates pose for pictures on Friday.

The Maryland House of Delegates has a new caucus, and it’s members are excited, rowdy and purple.

At least half of the members of the House who came to Friday’s session were decked out in purple, with purple ties and sweaters, purple scarves, purple shirts and quite a few Ravens jerseys dominating the chamber to root for the Baltimore Ravens. The team takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL Divisional playoffs Saturday.

The 2011 "Ravens Caucus" in the Maryland House of Delegates

"Purple Passioned" delegates pose for pictures on Friday.

Wearing a Ravens jersey under his sportcoat, Speaker of the House Michael Busch closed off the session by calling on the chairman of the “Ravens Caucus,” Del. Curtis Anderson of Baltimore City, to rally the fans.

“I just have one question, Mr. Speaker,” Anderson said. “Are there any dogs in the house?” a few enthusiastic woofs answered. Anderson continued. “What time is it?”

“Game time!” several delegates shouted.

Anderson then invited all the “purple-passioned” Ravens fans — and Redskins fans, since they have nothing else to do this weekend — up to the speaker’s podium to take fan photos with Busch.

Busch agreed — as long as Anderson stayed on as chairman of the Ravens’ caucus.

As the purple-wearing delegates came up to the speaker’s podium, Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell — wearing Steelers colors with his black jacket and yellow tie — looked on. O’Donnell said his wardrobe choice was an unfortunate mistake and did not signify his preference in the upcoming game.

“I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan,” he said.

In the red-carpeted Senate across the hall, there was a barely a hint of purple. As the session closed, Senate President pro tem Nathaniel McFadden, a Baltimore Democrat presiding for the absent Mike Miller, simply wished everyone a happy Ravens weekend.

As delegates posed for photos, they also got into the game day spirit.

— Abby Rogers and Megan Poinski