"They're going to win, just so you know," the Baltimore woman said Monday morning, little more than 12 hours after her team stunned the favored New England Patriots to win a trip to New Orleans for the title game Feb. 3. "This will be a major occasion for Baltimore."
It will be Baltimore's first Super Bowl appearance since the 2001 championship. While Las Vegas oddsmakers made the San Francisco 49ers 4.5-point favorites in early betting, Ravens fans said they liked their team's chances.
"The way they're playing together, the way they've come together as a team — I don't think anyone can handle them," Les Davis said while thumbing through stacks of AFC Championship T-shirts at Dick's Sporting Goods in White Marsh.
"We are basically proving everybody wrong," said Anthony Milburn Sr., wearing a Ravens ball cap and jacket as he waited in his Hummer for a train to cross Boston Street in Canton. "Nobody gave us credit."
Milburn said he knew the Ravens had a chance. Six hours before the opening kickoff, he played Baltimore against New England in a game on his mobile phone. The final score: Ravens 25, Patriots 13 — just a Baltimore field goal shy of the actual 28-13 result.
On an ordinary Monday, Great Moments Sports Memorabilia probably would be empty, manager P.J. Tebin said. But with the Ravens Super Bowl-bound, a dozen shoppers crowded the store on the Avenue at White Marsh, and Tebin said the flow had been steady all day.
"We're selling everything," he said. "Championship, Ray Lewis. People are decorating their basements for Super Bowl parties. Decals for their cars. Face paint."
Anderson joined friends to collect her free lunch at Z-Burger on the Avenue — the restaurant again offered burgers to fans who said "Super Bowl," as it did last week after the Ravens' divisional championship win over the Denver Broncos. She said she has been a fan since the team started playing here in 1996.
Anderson savored the team's Super Bowl victory in 2001. But she said this year's run has been more emotional.
"It's because of Ray," Anderson said, referring to Lewis, who has announced his retirement after the season, and is looking for a second title to cap his 17-year career. "It's definitely special."
"That's the sweet thing about it," agreed Milburn. "We're getting ready to lose a great player. We're going to have the chance to say thank you."
Jerry Jones said he sees Super Bowl enthusiasm growing.
"With each win, you see more and more purple," he said as he tried on an AFC Champion Ravens shirt at Great Moments. "There's more vendors. It's encouraging."
Liz Gomes, who moved to the area from New York a year ago, has just joined the Ravens bandwagon. But she enjoys a connection to the team: She was a year ahead of Ray Rice at New Rochelle High School.
"I'm starting to get into the games," said Gomes, who is Facebook friends with the star running back. "I'm very excited."