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Members of the AFC North Division, the Baltimore Ravens franchise was founded in 1996. After the mid-80s departure of Baltimore’s Colts, the city searched to bring a football team back to its inhabitants. The Ravens were a result of the then-owner of the Cleveland Browns attempt to move his franchise to Baltimore. Subsequent to much wrangling, a deal that saw the shell of the Browns stay in Cleveland while the integral insides moved to Baltimore was reached.

The Raven’s moniker is a nod to “The Raven” writer Edgar Allan Poe. The author spent a considerable amount of his life in Baltimore as well as rests there.

In anticipation of their new hometown pride, elated local fans snatched up Baltimore Ravens tickets. The Ravens triumphed over the Oakland Raiders in their opening game. Unfortunately the team did not sustain this momentum and they finished the season 4-12. Spanning the next few years the Ravens continued to win individual games, though they never seemed to be able to tackle an entire season.

The new millennium brought renewed hope to the Baltimore Ravens as the team developed one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history. In 2000 the Ravens won the Super Bowl XXXV title against the New York Giants. Between 2000-12, the team made six playoff appearances and brought home two division championships. For the Ravens, rivalries follow divisional lines in the form of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. With the Ravens and Steelers both exhibiting a hard-hitting style, it’s easy to see why this rivalry is top-notch.

2012 saw a change for the Ravens in the form of the retirement of their entrenched linebacker Ray Lewis. Many claim that the team’s fortitude, which saw a major win against the Indianapolis Colts in a wild card game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, was a direct result of Lewis’ announcement. Regardless of the motivation, the Ravens proved unstoppable as they took home the Super Bowl XLVII title that season.