Meet Ariana, a.k.a. THEaTEAM52, an interesting Baltimore Ravens fan.
Some of you may have seen Ariana on her YouTube Channel where her passion for the Ravens is clearly seen. She broadcasts everything from post-game analysis to rumors and news. Ariana only has about a years’ worth of uploads, but her popularity has grown quickly with over 1,000 subscribers to her channel.
But what makes Ariana so interesting and popular? Well maybe the fact that she was born and raised in Georgia might help answer that question. Ariana faithfully follows the men in purple even though she’s 600 miles away from Charm City, MD.
I’ve never met, or even seen such a die-hard Ravens fan living outside of Baltimore like Ariana (well besides myself, of course). I wanted to know why and how she first started liking the Ravens, so I decided to ask her a few questions.
1.) Congratulations on graduating college; what are your plans now that you’re finished with school?
I’m moving to Orlando in August to work for Disney World while I apply to graduate schools. It would be perfect if I could get accepted into the University of Maryland to obtain a graduate degree in criminal justice and be near my favorite NFL team.
2.) When and how did you become a Baltimore Ravens fan?
I became a Baltimore Ravens fan nearly six years ago after seeing some post-game highlights of Ray Lewis. Since that day, I’ve been hooked by Baltimore’s heavy hitting defense.
3.) Do you like your own hometown team, the Atlanta Falcons? If so, who do you like more: the Ravens or Falcons?
I started out as a Falcons fan because they were [my] home team. However, once I discovered the Ravens defense I’ve never looked back. The Ravens are my favorite team and it is doubtful that anything could change that. I get a lot of trash-talking from Falcons fans, but it makes it that much more fun when the Ravens defeat the Falcons. The Ravens/Falcons game on November 11th is one that I definitely plan to attend; It’s an awesome place to meet Ravens fans living in Georgia.
4.) How difficult is it being a fan of a team outside your home state?
As I mentioned in my previous answer, I encounter a lot of trash-talking from Falcons fans. It is especially bad wearing my Ray Lewis jersey in Georgia, considering the legal issues he faced in Buckhead 10 years ago. Even my landlord has told me that he hates all the Ray Lewis photos I have in my apartment (as [my landlord] was living in Buckhead when the murders happened)!
5.) What’s the best part of being a Ravens fan?
There are so many great things about being a Ravens fan. However, I would have to say that the best part is player involvement. Ravens players can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube. Through these sites they are able to communicate with fans and it has afforded me the opportunity to meet a few of the players, myself.
6.) Who’s your favorite Ravens player, and why?
Ray Lewis is, by far, my all-time favorite Ravens player. He is the sole reason for me being drawn into the team in the first place. Without him I may never have become a Ravens fan. Lewis has amazing talent, unmatched drive, and [natural leadership]. When I need motivation all I have to do is think of him.
7.) What are your thoughts on the Ravens’ recent draft picks?
I’m very excited about all of the draft picks, but especially [with] Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody. However, I was surprised that we didn’t pick up any corners, but “In Ozzie we trust,” right? Haha…
8.) What’s your outlook on the upcoming 2010 season? What’s your record prediction?
I don’t ever make specific predictions, but I think the 2010 season will be a huge success if Joe Flacco can properly utilize our newly signed receivers. For so long the Ravens have had a well-established defense, but last season Ray Rice helped the offense steal the show. I personally prefer to have an outstanding defense, but with the improvements on offense the Ravens will now be able to put more points on the board. This is key as many games last season were lost due to lacking only a few points.
9.) What’s your goal/What do you plan to achieve with the success of your YouTube channel?
Honestly, I started a separate channel for my love of sports because subscribers on my personal channel would complain any time I mentioned sports. I never expected to receive 1,000+ subscribers within a year of starting the THEaTEAM52. I guess [my] ultimate goals would include gaining more viewers, being able to meet more Ravens players, and covering other sporting events.
10.) Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions— just one last thing: what advice would you give to fellow Ravens fans like yourself that live outside of Charm City?
No problem – Grab a camera [and] start making videos! We could always use more Ravens Reign Gang members on YouTube from around the world. The internet is an awesome place for meeting others that share your common interest so even if you’re not the camera type, watching/commenting on the videos of others or reading/writing blogs may interest you.
It’s people like Ariana that makes me love the Ravens even more. We have a great organization along with awesome fans, and that needs to be recognized. It’s good to know that people from all over do realize that.