State House goes purple as speaker turns cheerleader

Busch and Ravens

Speaker of the House Mike Busch breaks out his Jonathan Ogden jersey and dances with Ravens mascot Poe in front of the State House.

The State House steps became the stomping grounds for chilly cheering and singing Ravens fans when the team’s pep squad rolled into the capital Friday afternoon.

A crowd of about 100 people led by Speaker of the House Michael Busch all decked out in a Ravens jersey welcomed the team’s cheerleaders, mascot and two live ravens to Annapolis.

“Let’s have a big cheer for the Ravens cheerleaders,” Busch shouted to the cheering crowd before dancing with Poe, the Ravens mascot, at the State House steps.

Busch  a former college football player and high school coach, wasn’t the only government employee who got to enjoy the afternoon.

Anne Arundel County government employee Jack Frye joined the rally once he got off work at 3:30.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to come over,” he said while sporting his Ravens regalia. For today only, county and state employees were allowed to wear Ravens gear to work in honor of the event.

Gov, Martin O’Malley declared Friday as “Purple Friday” for state employees, allowing the dress code for most employees to be relaxed to allow for Ravens gear to be worn. The governor also ordered that the State House dome to be lit in purple Saturday and Sunday night. His offficial website was also drenched in purple.

The Baltimore Ravens ace the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the first round of the NFL playoffs.

–Abby Rogers

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