In order to qualify for the NFL’s championship game, the Baltimore Ravens had to pull off a miracle in mile-high Denver, and then overcome a halftime deficit in chilly Foxborough, Mass.
The road after the Super Bowl – from City Hall to M&T Bank Stadium – was much easier.
An estimated 200,000 fans turned out Tuesday morning to cheer on the newly crowned champions, kicking off the celebration with retiring legend Ray Lewis:
Next, the purple-clad faithful lined the streets as Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco and his mates jumped into camouflaged military vehicles to roll slowly towards their home stadium under a near-constant cascade of confetti.
Those that were able grabbed a seat in the stadium before it filled up, surprising organizers by reaching capacity around 12:30 p.m.
There were even some celebratory tunes amongst the speeches, as safety Ed Reed treated the 71,000 fans in attendance to a cover of everyone’s favorite Eddie Money song:
Amid all the day’s movements, perhaps the most meaningful were the few steps taken by future first-ballot Hall of Famer Lewis, as he exited the field at M&T Bank for the final time in his illustrious career:
In the end, the Ravens proved that while life on the road can be rewarding, there’s no party quite like the one you throw yourself -- at home.