Ravens fan Telia Andrews, 9, of West Manchester Township joins members of the Ravens Nest No. 7 fan club Sunday to watch the AFC championship game at
Ravens fan Telia Andrews, 9, of West Manchester Township joins members of the Ravens Nest No. 7 fan club Sunday to watch the AFC championship game at Spataro s Italian Restaurant in Shrewsbury Township. The Ravens defeated the Patriots for a trip to the Super Bowl. (John A. Pavoncello)

The cheers among Baltimore Ravens fans grew louder and louder as the seconds ticked off the clock at the end of AFC championship game Sunday night.

"It's a team of destiny," Phil Franco, president of Ravens Nest No. 7, said of his beloved Ravens.

The Maryland team earned a trip to the Super Bowl in New Orleans by knocking out the New England Patriots with a 28-13 victory. The Ravens will meet the San Francisco 49ers in the Feb. 3 championship game.

The 49ers won the NFC title earlier Sunday 28-24 at Atlanta. The 49ers have been listed as 5-point favorites in the Super Bowl.

Ravens fans and members of the fan club gathered at Spataro's Italian Restaurant in Shrewsbury Township to take in the game against the Patriots.

Nearly all of them had on Ravens jerseys as they took part in victory chants.

Split fans: It was a good day all around at Spataro's. Owner Sam Margetas is a 49ers fan, and while his restaurant plays host to the Ravens fan club, that's as far as the generosity goes.

A 49ers jersey-clad Margetas, who has been a San Francisco fan since he was a young boy, said he'll be cheering on the 49ers during the Super Bowl.

"I got to stick with my Niners," he said.

When it became clear toward the end of the game that the Ravens were going to win, Franco, who was in a Baltimore jersey, and Margetas shook hands, congratulating each other.

"Us and the 49ers. It's going to be a great game," Franco said.


Advertisement

The wins for the Ravens and the 49ers also pit two brothers against each other.

For the first time in history, the Super Bowl will be coached by brothers, Baltimore's John Harbaugh and San Francisco's Jim.

It will also be Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis' final game. The 2001 Super Bowl MVP will retire at the end of the season. The 2001 Super Bowl win was also the team's only championship.

South bound: With the win in the books, Joe Paul Sr. wasted little time calling his son, Joe Paul Jr., in Germany.

The younger Paul, a big Ravens fan, is serving in the Army and is about to be deployed to Afghanistan, said his mother, Kay Paul.

When Joe Paul Sr. and Kay Paul, who are Ravens season ticket holders, went to Europe to visit their son earlier this year, they closely followed Baltimore's games.

In Ireland, they sought out a pub that was showing a game, Kay Paul said.

The couple won't have to seek out a place to watch the Super Bowl. Kay Paul said she and her husband will likely drive to New Orleans to watch the game from the stands.

"I told him to un-winterize the motor home," Kay Paul said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. - Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.