This is a big weekend in Maryland for professional football: Baltimore's Ravens will try to defeat Indianapolis, and the Redskins will host the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field in Landover.
Both teams are trying to make it to the Super Bowl, and both teams have their local fans.
But, what about the Marylanders who live between Baltimore and Washington? Say, in Laurel, which is the midpoint between the two cities.
A quick survey of bumper stickers and magnetic stickers on cars parked in Laurel indicates more people there are Ravens fans. Ron Weathers has a Ravens license plate. "I started off as a Baltimore Colts fan. So, even when I grew up in P.G. County, [I] never switched over to the 'Skins," said Weathers during an interview, and he added, "I stick with Baltimore."
But, if you ask Don Shin, who runs Pi's Deli in Laurel, this community in the middle is definitely Redskins territory. Shin told us: "I [see] that my customers, they've got Redskins T-shirts, Redskins hats, even gloves -- everything's Redskins."
Some locals say: a slight shift in geography makes a big difference. "The further you go up -- like to Jessup, Elkridge -- you got more Ravens fans," explained Carl Jeffers, who lives in Laurel. "[But] right here in Laurel, it's more Redskins fans."
Because Baltimore's NFL team has been a serious contender in recent years, some Laurel residents are beginning to pull for the team from the South. "Actually, I would like to see the Redskins win," said Torrey Cotey, somewhat sheepishly. "Even though I lived in Baltimore, I would like to see [the Redskins] win because it's been so long."
Tunde Olowosuko agreed: "I have been rolling with the Ravens, but now, since RGIII is with the Redskins... I'm starting to like the Redskins as well." And, if it came to a Super Bowl between the Ravens and the Redskins? "I would go with Redskins."
Barry Graham, another Laurel resident who previously rooted for the Ravens, says he also is now leaning toward the Washington Redskins -- because of quarterback Robert Griffin III "With the pass, or with the run," said Graham, "he's opened a whole offensive scheme, you know, for the Redskins that is... dynamic right now."
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