The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Big Read Blog: Super Bowl Edition

The mascot for the Baltimore Ravens is a Raven named Poe. The Ravens, the 2013 Super Bowl Champions, are the only football team to be named after a poem. Photo by Phil Hoffman

I have to admit, I've never really shown much interest in football. But my husband is a big sports fan, and so our Sunday afternoons in the fall months generally consist of him on one end of the couch watching a football game, while I'm on the other end reading a book. So when Super Bowl Sunday came around and we made plans to watch the game with friends, I was excited to be able to root for a team whose mascot wasn't a Lion, a Tiger, or a Bear, but instead a Raven, chosen in tribute to writer and Big Read author Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe lived in Baltimore for several years, and died there in 1849 at the age of 40. When the Cleveland Browns relocated to Baltimore in 1996, residents chose to celebrate the city's connections to Poe, and named their team after the writer's most famous poem, "The Raven." Today, Poe is one of the most popular Big Read authors, with ten communities (including Baltimore!) reading his poems and stories for their Big Read programs this year.

I certainly wouldn't want to mess with a team named after the author of some of the world's most frightening horror tales, which got me thinking: are there other Big Read novels that could inspire a new sports team? How about the Bucks (in tribute to Call of the Wild's loyal and cunning hero)? Or the Atomikos (in tribute to Into the Beautiful North's warrior of the garbage dump)? If there are any fledgling sports groups out there, I hope they'll turn to their bookshelves for inspiration in the future. In the meantime, congratulations to the only football team named after a poem, the Ravens!

Visit the Big Read website to learn more about Edgar Allan Poe and all of the titles in the Big Read library.


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