By Zach Sparks, The Baltimore Sun
7:13 PM EST, January 17, 2013
Mike Naused is not the Ravens fan who concocts a costume, slips on a mask or creates an alter ego. But his passion stands out nonetheless.
"I may not wear a million pounds of beads or things like that, but I love the Ravens," Naused said. "Charity is what it's all about."
As chairman of the board for Ravens Nest No. 14 in Eldersburg, he helps organize fellow fans in fundraisers for causes to house sick children, fight cancer and help poor neighbors.
"The Ravens Nest members get together and celebrate the Ravens, but our main purpose is to raise money for different charities," said the lifelong sports fan.
"I used to be a Baltimore Colts fan, but I was more of an Orioles fan growing up," said Naused, a husband, father and account manager for an international paper company. "I'll always be an Orioles fan, but when the Ravens came to town they won my allegiance right away."
Naused, 53, bought season tickets in 1996. He says he joined Nest No. 14 when the chapter was added in 2001 and also served as group president three times.
We chatted with Naused days before the Ravens game against the defending AFC champion New England Patriots.
Are Ravens Nest members crazier than most fans?
There are some people in the chapter who dress up, but really, between being Ravens fans and the charitable work that we do, that's what sets us apart.
Were any players involved in the charity functions you sponsored?
We've had players, and at each meeting we have a guest speaker. Most of the events that we do, whether it's a crab feast or selling raffle tickets, it goes to local and state charities like the Believe in Tomorrow Children's Foundation, Neighbors in Need of Carroll County and American Cancer Society.
What's your gameday routine like?
I tailgate for about three hours and then go to the stands and cheer my head off. I've been on a few road trips over the years including New England, Green Bay, San Diego, Tennessee, Carolina, Jacksonville and Miami.
What were your initial feelings when the Ravens come to town?
It's been fun to watch the team grow over the years and have the success they've had in the relatively short time they've been the Baltimore Ravens.
When the NFL did expansion, they should have given a team to Baltimore before Jacksonville, but in retrospect it's worked out well for us. It just took a lot longer than it should of.
Do you have a favorite player, past or present?
My favorite past player would be Michael McCrary. My favorite player right now would be Ray Rice, with [kicker] Justin Tucker being a close second.
Thoughts on the game against the Patriots?
The Ravens are not afraid of playing in New England. The team is 1-1 against the Patriots in the playoffs and we should be 2-0. Joe Flacco definitely outplayed [New England quarterback] Tom Brady last time. But he's not playing against Brady. He's playing against their defense. I'm confident they can pull it out.
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