I recently reached out to Daniela Pane, one of the Co-Founders of The West Wing, to do an interview on her group. In short, The West Wing is a group dedicated to Baltimore Ravens fans living in the general area of Los Angeles; they meet every week at a bar called The Parlor to watch the game with fellow Ravens fans.
When I first heard about them a couple months ago, I remember them celebrating their 100th Facebook fan. Now, they’ve expanded to 300+ members, and they’re still growing every day.
With all the media attention surrounding The West Wing lately, I decided to do an interview with the founders.
But just after a couple days of talking to Daniela, she told me about some extremely unfortunate news involving one of her family members being a victim of a homicide. Daniela’s sister-in-law, Christina Pane, informed her about the murder of her cousin, Patrick Dolan, which occurred last Wednesday, November 23.
Here’s the letter that Christina sent to Daniela directly (some minor edits were applied):
“On Wednesday of this past week at 10:30 in the morning, my cousin Patrick Dolan was killed in Baltimore City. He got off the bus 2 stops too late, and who would have thought we would never see him again? He decided to walk back a couple blocks; and while he and his friend were walking, two boys approached them for change for a ten dollar bill. When Patrick pulled out his wallet, the boys attempted to rob him. [This attempt] turned into an assault and just a few seconds later, he was stabbed and killed. An innocent 19-year old was killed over some pocket change in our very own streets of Baltimore City.
Needless to say this past week has been so tough; our family has been changed forever. I also realized over this past week how strong our family really is, and how many people have reached out to our family. My cousin, Patrick, was a huge Ravens fan. His viewing was on Friday; living in Baltimore, we all know that Fridays are “Purple Fridays.” We knew Pat would not want us to break this tradition, so almost everyone was in Ravens gear for the viewing, including Patrick. He was buried in his #21 Lardarius Webb Ravens jersey.
During the viewing, a friend of the family had a football dropped off, [and on the ball were] a bunch of Ravens players’ signatures… it read “We are playing for you this Sunday.” “Amazing” is all I can say. It was really hard to get anyone in my family to smile this week, but I have to say, when we saw that ball, it did brighten our day. I wish there was some way we could thank the players. I hope they know what they have done for this family. I would also like to add [that] the family of Patrick Dolan will be attending the game on Sunday. Win this one for Patrick boys!!”
My prayers go out to Patrick, his family, and all that have suffered from his loss. I don’t know how far this article will go in reaching the players, but I do hope someone relays the gratitude and joy received by the Dolan family. Whether or not the Baltimore Ravens win this game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Patrick gets to watch his favorite team play for him— and that’s all that matters.
My interview with Daniela has since been postponed, but check back for one coming soon.
[UPDATE Nov. 28: Daniela told me today that, according to a source close to the Ravens organization, Head Coach John Harbaugh addressed the team just before the game about playing for Patrick. What a wonderful thing the Ravens have done; hopefully now Patrick may rest in peace.]
[UPDATE Dec. 4: Peter Hermann of the Baltimore Crime Beat posted a full story on how Lardarius Webb got the ball signed for Patrick. You can see it here: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/blog/2010/12/buried_in_his_ravens_jersey.html]
[UPDATE Dec. 4: FOX 45 also released a story about Patrick and his family, you can see the video here: http://www.foxbaltimore.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wbff_vid_6037.shtml?wap=0]