Never mind that half of Howard County commutes to Washington. Or that its loyalties to the Redskins are about as strong as any community’s in the metropolitan area.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) has cast his lot with the Ravens of Baltimore — at least for this weekend. And in a snarky video invitation to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), whose county is the site of this year’s showdown between the Ravens and the Redskins, Ulman lays out the bet:
“Hey Rushern,” he says: “Here’s the deal ... I got a challenge for you if somehow you somehow sneak a victory, which I can’t imagine happening even though you got lucky this past weekend against the Giants, I will proudly wear an RGIII jersey for an entire day.”
But Ulman, a Howard County native, is counting on a different outcome. He predicts a Ravens victory (no point spread mentioned) and says if the Ravens win, Baker must wear Ulman’s favorite Ravens jersey 92 for defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. A Ravens victory means a “Purple Friday” for Prince George’s, home of FedEx Field in Landover.
Ulman made a foray into the heart of Redskins territory after issuing his challenge to Baker.
Speaking by phone from a Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce event Wednesday evening, Ulman explained his deep-seated support for the Ravens this way: He blamed his father. The Baltimore native went to City College, a high school directly across the street from Memorial Stadium, where the Colts used to play before decamping to Indianapolis.
“Many of my friends are Redskins fans,” Ulman said. “But my father was a diehard Baltimore Colts fan and he would not let his son be a Redskins fan.”
And he said, his loyalty is so secure that while he knows many of his constituents in Howard are wearing burgundy and gold, “I am not one of those politicians who pretends to be a fan of every team.”
So far, Baker says (via a spokesman) that he will up the ante, and make Ulman sing “Hail to the Redskins.” But Ulman is undaunted. “I don’t care, because we are going to win.”