Baltimore Ravens: The Football Team Named After a Poem

Raven, Edgar Allen Poe, Baltimore, the Baltimore RavensA lot of football teams are named after birds (e.g., the Philadelphia Eagles, the Atlanta Falcons), but of all our feathered mascots only one comes from a poem: The Baltimore Ravens.

The dark American poet, Edgar Allan Poe spent the end of his life in Baltimore and is buried there. His poem “The Raven” tells the story of a man, tormented by loss, who becomes the unwilling host to a raven. The bird flies in through his window, perches on a rafter of the ceiling and refuses to leave, replying only “nevermore” to the narrator’s increasingly frantic questioning.

Poe’s raven is a mysterious and powerful character poised to terrify, or at the very least “creep out” most readers. We’ll see if “The Raven” can work the same dark magic on the 49ers.

(And why is the San Francisco football team called the 49ers?)


  1. HI -  February 26, 2013 - 7:18 pm

    Nice description of The Raven poem. Just in case you didnt already know what it was

  2. Formule 1 -  February 6, 2013 - 8:17 am

    Nice history detail. Ravens are awesome

  3. Peej -  February 4, 2013 - 9:33 am

    No comments? Huh. Here’s one: Browns and Ravens, friendly rivals nevermore!

  4. Chris Sargent -  February 4, 2013 - 6:54 am

    I now hate ravens! For I am a 49er fan!

  5. LitLover -  February 2, 2013 - 11:05 pm

    Actually, the Raven flies in and perches on the bust of Pallas Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, which the man has above his door.

    “But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door – perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door – Perched, and sat, and nothing more.” (Poe, Lines 40-42)

    Also, the man is willing to keep the Raven, and that is why he continues to question it, as he sits below it to ponder it. Only at the end, when he can’t stand to be tormented anymore by it, does he bid it go, but it “shall be lifted – nevermore!” (Poe, Line 109)

  6. Pam -  February 2, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    Go Ravens!

  7. anonymous -  February 2, 2013 - 5:02 pm

    First Comment!! And I love his poem about the raven!!

  8. Loretta Brewer -  February 2, 2013 - 1:53 pm

    Philadelphia picked a good name for the football team. Raven in Siritaulity means ” Magic in the air, and something special is about to happen.” A Raven is a spirit animal , and your football team has the spirits behind them on Sunday. The Raven team can look it up i the book called “Pocket Guide To Spirit Animals By Dr. Steven Farmer” Every animal delivers a message, and the Crow is simular the same as the Raven is. I strongly wish the Raven’s the best of luck and the Spirits ar with you. Loretta

  9. Kayla -  February 2, 2013 - 1:36 pm

    Did you know that their three mascots are named Edgar, Allen, and Poe?

  10. Zaki Siddiqui -  February 2, 2013 - 1:05 pm

    Wow. This is very interesting. Thanks for the information.

  11. Tom Evans -  February 2, 2013 - 10:00 am

    Well, let’s hope there is “pure poetry” in the way Flacco throws the ball tomorrow.

  12. RAVENS | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  February 2, 2013 - 8:42 am

    [...] “Ravens” — “Annabel Lee” — A Pro Poe by any other named. — Though “Nevermore” the glorified scenes of Darkness and Poetry and what it all means — Or what’s simply gamed.  — Of Pelicans footballing, — Poindexter and other traces of thought. — Ravens calling — Following and Ushers so loosely not taut — It’s Only a Game after All.  –>>L.T.Rhyme This entry was posted in DICTCOMHOTWORD, L.T.Rhyme and tagged LT, LTRhyme, the HOT WORD on February 2, 2013 by LTRhyme. [...]

  13. Cyberquill -  February 2, 2013 - 3:04 am

    Jacksonville Jaguars: The only football team named after a car!

  14. john -  February 2, 2013 - 2:47 am

    What a nice literary team! Actually, the football team at my high school in Alabama — named for the 19th Century poet Sidney Lanier (The Marshes of Glynn and Song of the Chattahoochee) — plays under the nickname “the Poets.” It sounds kind of precious and unathletic until you consider the fact that the winning quarterback of the first two Super Bowl games played for “the Poets” in high school. That would be Bart Starr of the Packers.

  15. Moti Lal -  February 1, 2013 - 7:06 pm

    There is a famous saying that, “Crows are never whiter for the washing”. But the way this batlimore raven became the chief character of the poem, one can say that it doesn’t matter the raven has a black colour but its heart is as holy as it should be.


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