BALTIMORE (AP) -- One more chance to wear purple and black. One more chance to paint faces and wave signs. One more chance to scream and cavort in appreciation of a history-making team.
What's a little rain?
The Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens paraded through soggy downtown streets Tuesday morning and police and city officials estimated that 200,000 fans braved the cold and damp weather to line the route and squeeze into a plaza in front of City Hall.
Ravens owner Art Modell rewarded them with an impromptu dance on stage with linebacker Ray Lewis, the Super Bowl MVP who led the Ravens' defense in its 34-7 dismantling of the New York Giants on Sunday.
Lewis, the Ravens' most popular player despite his legal troubles -- he pleaded guilty last year to obstruction of justice after being charged with double murder -- sent his fans into a frenzy when he performed an expressive slide dance and led the crowd in the team's pregame chant.
Baltimore's Marching Ravens led the parade, along with the team's three mascots, Edgar, Allan and Poe -- named for the 19th-century writer of the macabre poem from which the team derived its name.
Joe Dillon, 59, of Glen Burnie, a retired city firefighter, found a spot on the terrace of the Baltimore Convention Center directly overlooking the parade route.
"If we had popcorn and beer, this would be perfect, absolutely," he said.
He was joined by his sister, Mary Arthes, 57, of Ocean View.
"I told my husband this morning: It's raining too much. The weather's not good. Stay home, but I'm going," Arthes said.
Team president David Modell proudly held the Vince Lombardi Trophy aloft as he walked the parade route. Art Modell, 75, rode in a limousine while the players rode in a convoy of Humvees.
But outspoken defensive lineman Tony "Goose" Siragusa, a fan favorite, walked for portions of the route, basking in the attention from ecstatic fans screaming his nickname. At one point, he hoisted his 340-pound frame onto the hood of a police car.
As thousands more waited at War Memorial Plaza in front of City Hall for the ceremony, fans screamed, danced and hammed for the cameras to a nonstop hip-hop soundtrack. Many perched in trees and lined the rooftops of downtown office buildings.
Bill Kulbicki, 48, an employee of the city housing department, said he couldn't afford to take an hour or two off work to watch the whole parade, but he stood outside a city office building in his sport coat and tie, serenely smoking a cigarette as the Ravens rode by.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime deal," Kulbicki said. "I don't even think when the Orioles won the World Series it was anything like this. And it's a cold, dreary day on top of it."
Kulbicki said he held the players in great esteem.
"The most exciting thing is that the players brought their wives and kids," he said. "You see your father play, that's one thing, but if you see your father greeted like this, it's something else."
Mayor Martin O'Malley was the master of ceremonies, introducing each player in turn and presenting the keys to the city to Art Modell.
Modell thanked the crowd, which responded, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
Lewis then joined Modell on stage as the owner tried to imitate the linebacker's dance. The two then hugged, perhaps to stop Modell from dancing.
Coach Brian Billick credited the fans.
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