By Laurent Thomet and Paul Schuler
ANNAPOLIS – There’s no such thing as casual Friday in the Maryland Senate, some senators say, even when the home team is playing in the AFC championship game.
While many delegates and senators showed their support for the Ravens – who face the Oakland Raiders Sunday with a Super Bowl bid on the line – by wearing purple and saying prayers for the team on Friday, some senators thought their colleagues were taking the celebration too far.
Even Sen. Ida G. Ruben, D-Montgomery, who had opposed funding for the Ravens’ stadium, wore a purple suit for the occasion.
“It’s the uniform of the day,” said Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, D-Baltimore, who entered the Senate chamber in violet-hued camouflage-print pants.
But some senators took exception to the attire of Bromwell and Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, D-Baltimore, who wore a Ravens jersey onto the Senate floor.
Sen. Walter M. Baker, D-Cecil, 73, started the protests, sarcastically asking if he could come to the Senate wearing overalls in the future – a dig at those not wearing the customary suit and tie.
Baker was backed by Sen. Clarence W. Blount, D-Baltimore, 79, who launched into a long speech about showing respect for the Senate.
“I don’t expect the new generation to be the same as it was 30 years ago,” he said. However, “I would hope that we would dress appropriately, and that . . . men would have a shirt, tie and a coat.”
McFadden, who put his suit jacket over his football jersey after Baker’s remark, said he wasn’t trying to bring disrespect to the Senate, but he thought the jersey was an appropriate tribute to the Ravens’ success.
“I don’t think I’m unruly or out of uniform,” he said.
The delegation’s football attire would have been at home in Baltimore, where Mayor Martin O’Malley requested city employees wear purple Friday in support of the home team.
Things were taken more lightly over at the House chamber.
Delegate Ann Marie Doory, D-Baltimore, also wearing a Ravens jersey, closed the session by asking the other delegates to support the Ravens Sunday.
Doory stood up and cheered “Defense! Defense! Go Ravens!”
Gov. Parris N. Glendening took Ravens fever one step farther, wagering with California Gov. Gray Davis on the game’s outcome.
If the Ravens lose, Glendening will forfeit a bushel of Maryland blue crabs. A Raiders loss will cost Davis a case of Napa Valley red wine.
“After the Raiders are soundly defeated, I look forward to traveling to Tampa to toast a Ravens’ Super Bowl victory with a glass of vintage California wine,” Glendening said.
That’s exactly what Glendening will be doing, Bromwell predicted, although it’ll be a squeaker: He predicted Ravens by 2, 23-21.
– 30 – CNS-1-12-01