BALTIMORE — Baltimore celebrated with its Super Bowl champion Ravens on Tuesday, with thousands of fans in purple lining the streets and packing the team's stadium for a celebration.
Fans filled the square in front of City Hall and cheered when the team arrived and when players held the silver Lombardi Trophy aloft. The Mayor's Office of Emergency Management estimated that 200,000 took part in Charm City.
Coach John Harbaugh thanked fans for their support, and safety Ed Reed sang the melody of Eddie Money's Two Tickets to Paradise. Retiring middle linebacker Ray Lewis, the only current player to have started with the team when it came to the city from Cleveland in 1996, told fans the team had fulfilled a promise to go to New Orleans and win.
"The city of Baltimore — I love you forever and ever and ever and ever," Lewis told fans in front of City Hall.
Fans wore every article of purple imaginable. In addition to jerseys, people were dressed in purple hats and scarves, purple Mardi Gras beads, purple wigs. Many women wore purple lipstick and eye shadow.
Lewis Neal, 59, born and raised in Baltimore, was decked out in a purple tie, vest, pants and shoes.
"My heart goes out for them," said Lewis, who said he had tears in his eyes Sunday when the team beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.
Nancy Monseaux, 63, a Baltimore resident for nearly four decades, cheered the team on Pratt Street, where fans lined the sidewalk five or more people deep in some places. She held a sign that said "Doubt the Ravens nevermore."
"These boys earned it," she said, cheering as team members passed along the parade route.
There was a ceremony at M&T Bank Stadium. But the 71,000-seat stadium reached capacity around 12:30 p.m., a police spokesman said, and late-arriving fans were turned away.
Also, Harbaugh said he hopes a compromise can be reached between Reed and the team on a contract. Reed is scheduled to meet with general manager Ozzie Newsome in the next few weeks; the perennial All-Pro's contract has expired.
SUPERDOME OUTAGE: Concerned the Superdome might not be able to handle the energy needed for its first Super Bowl since Hurricane Katrina, officials spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades to decayed utility lines, according to documents obtained by AP. The improvements weren't enough, however, to prevent a 34-minute power outage Sunday. Two days later, officials still had not pinpointed the cause of the outage.
ONLINE INCREASE: The Super Bowl was streamed online by 3 million people, an increase from 2.1 million online last year, according to CBS.
BENGALS: Adam Zimmer, the son of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, was hired as an assistant defensive backs coach.
BROWNS: Defensive end Frostee Rucker was released as part of the switch from a 4-3 to a multi-front system of new coach Rob Chudzinski and coordinator Ray Horton.
CARDINALS: New coach Bruce Arians completed his staff, announcing of the hiring of 13 assistants including former Cardinal Stump Mitchell as running backs coach and Amos Jones as special teams coordinator.
COWBOYS: The team promoted Wes Phillips — son of former Dallas coach Wade Phillips and grandson of former Oilers and Saints coach Bum Phillips — to tight ends coach and hired Frank Pollack as assistant offensive line coach.
GIANTS: Linebacker Michael Boley was released after appearing in all 16 games this season.
JETS: Former punter Louie Aguiar was hired as an assistant and offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo was fired.
LIONS: They released two starters, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and guard Stephen Peterman.
RAMS: Receiver Titus Young was claimed a day after the Lions released him.