When the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, it was a joyous moment for fans and team alike. For Dean Bartoli Smith, a lifelong Baltimore football fan and writer for The Baltimore Brew and Press Box, it was especially sweet. In Never Easy, Never Pretty, he recalls the ups and downs and ultimate thrills of a special season while also showing how a football team impacts its fans and its city. Smith recounts the season from start to glorious finish while interweaving Baltimore’s professional football history, telling his own story of growing up with the Colts, then gradually transferring adult loyalties to the new team in town, the Ravens. Family, friends, and other fans share their recollections, too, letting us see how a football team becomes part of a community.
Smith’s game-by-game recounting of an improbable season brings back all the excitement and uncertainty as the team starts strong, wobbles, then finds its inspiration and character in the playoffs. For each game Never Easy, Never Pretty features a diverse array of quotes, interviews, and commentary from players, broadcasters, and executives, including Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Art Donovan, Kevin Byrne, Steve Bisciotti, and Ozzie Newsome.
Never Easy, Never Pretty highlights the Ravens’ electrifying season and celebrates a team, a city, and its emotional landscape during an unlikely run to a Super Bowl victory. The result is an insightful and poignant book about much more than a championship season.
Never Easy, Never Pretty includes:
The 4th & 29 play by Ray Rice against the Chargers
The game-saving first down
The 70-yard bomb from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones known as the “Mile High Miracle”
•Interviews with Rob Burnett, Keith Mills, Lenny Moore, Sean Landeta, Terrell Suggs, Tom Matte, and many others
•Photographs by long-time Ravens photographer Phil Hoffmann