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Fans mob Baltimore streets to celebrate Ravens win

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Fans mob Baltimore streets to celebrate Ravens win

BALTIMORE (AP) Hundreds of giddy Ravens fans poured into the streets Sunday night, whooping, hollering and high-fiving complete strangers as they celebrated the team's 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

On the far opposite coast, however, a spirit of hope and anticipation rapidly faded into sullen disappointment as dejected 49ers fans tried to absorb their team's loss.

In the East, Patrons who packed into Mother's Federal Hill Grille in Baltimore to watch the Ravens' second Super Bowl appearance since the team arrived in the city in 1996 jumped up onto the bar and began belting out a rendition of the Queen song ``We are the champions.''

Bartenders sprayed purple party string into the air.

``I love this team. I love this city!'' screamed Andrew Bieler, 21, shortly after the game ended.

Ashlee Tuck, 28, shouted ``Yes!'' and alternated between kissing her boyfriend and dancing as fans streamed out of the bar.

Michael Falls, 25, said he plans to take Monday off from his accounting job and his boss was going to do the same.

``I'm going to live up the night,'' he said.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined in the fun, dancing and singing alongside the fans.

``The Baltimore Ravens once again demonstrated strength, poise, and perseverance as they prevailed in Super Bowl XLVII,'' Rawlings-Blake said in a statement.

In a live interview from New Orleans on WBAL-TV, Rawlings-Blake said the city will hold a parade in the team's honor on Tuesday that will start at City Hall and end at the Ravens' stadium. She urged fans to celebrate peacefully, while local television footage showed police mounted on horseback circling the crowds to maintain order.

Fans came decked out in purple for the game, many arriving at bars hours early. Women arrived with their nails painted purple. Men wore purple Mardi Gras beads. There were purple-feathered boas; purple, black and white camouflage pants; and a sea of purple and black jerseys.

It seemed no jersey was more popular than that of retiring middle linebacker Ray Lewis, No. 52. And whether they were wearing his number or not, fans said they wanted to win for Lewis, the only current player who started with the team when it came to Baltimore in 1996.

``We have to do it for Ray. It's not all about Ray. It's 90 percent for Ray, 10 percent for the city of Baltimore,'' said Darren Love, 40, an off-duty police officer clad in zip-up pajamas with the Ravens' logo in addition to a purple wig.

Fans at Pickles Pub, mere blocks from the Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium, cheered when Lewis was shown on television at the start of the game. And the cheers continued when the team scored the first touchdown. The Ravens never trailed.

Chrissy Ramirez, 22, a first-grade teacher, was one of the fans who emptied out onto South Charles Street in the Federal Hill neighborhood after the win. Ramirez, who was wearing the No. 5 jersey of Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco, Ravens earrings, and a hat shaped like a Raven head, said she was overwhelmed by the victory. She said she planned to ``be ecstatic the rest of the week.''

Ecstatic was the opposite of how fans felt in San Francisco's Mission Hill district, where fans stumbled dejectedly into the streets after their team's loss.

``Damn, that's all I have to say,'' said Niners fan David Mejia, 32.

As the game drew to an end, dozens of police officers and sheriff's deputies - in patrol cars and on foot, motorcycle, and horseback - fanned out on both sides of the country to watch for signs of trouble, but neither city reported any serious problems.

``Most of the crowds are dissipating,'' Baltimore Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi (pronounced Goo-YELL-me) said shortly after midnight. Guglielmi said the crowds grew to several thousand before people slowly started to peel off and head home.

The streets in the Golden Gate city also were relatively calm Sunday night, unlike after the San Francisco Giants' World Series victory in late October, when a city bus was set ablaze, cars were overturned and bonfires erupted in trash containers and on the streets. About three dozen people were arrested following that victory.

``Citywide, everything seemed to be pretty good'' Sunday night, Officer Carlos Manfredi said. ``We did have a couple of flare-ups in the Mission District, but otherwise everyone seemed to be behaving themselves.''

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Associated Press writer John S. Marshall in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Follow Jessica Gresko athttp://twitter.com/jessicagresko

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Antonio Brown apologizes for streaming Steelers' locker room scene

Antonio Brown apologizes for streaming Steelers' locker room scene

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown apologized Tuesday night for streaming live video from the Steelers locker room on Sunday featuring coach Mike Tomlin calling the New England Patriots 'a--h---s' in advance of Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

Brown posted the locker room scene through Facebook Live and has since deleted it.

Ironically enough, the video also included Tomlin telling his team to "keep a low profile."

"I'm sorry for my actions and behavior after Sunday's game," Brown posted on his Twitter feed. "I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans."

"It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.

"I'm sorry for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

Tomlin, of course, has indeed been asked about the video as the Steelers try to prepare for the AFC title game at New England.

"It was foolish for him to do that, it was selfish for him to do that, it was inconsiderate for him to do that," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows.

"There are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective," Tomlin added. "We will punish him, we won't punish us."

 Translation: He might take a hit in the wallet, but he's playing Sunday, and don't think for a fraction of a second he's not.

MORE RAVENS: Weighing pros and cons of bringing back Dumervil

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Will Elvis Dumervil get his 100th career sack with Ravens, or someone else?

Will Elvis Dumervil get his 100th career sack with Ravens, or someone else?

The Ravens face critical offseason personnel decisions, including which players to bring back, and which veteran players are no longer worth the financial investment.

Here are the pros and cons regarding pass rusher Elvis Dumervil:

Reasons to keep Dumervil:

Dumervil is a proven pass rusher with 99 career sacks, and he will be highly motivated wherever he plays next season. He turns 33 years old Thursday (Jan. 19), and wants to show he has plenty left in the tank. I asked Dumervil after the season-ending game in Cincinnati whether he thought he would return to the Ravens.

“Wherever I play next season, I’ll be a beast,” Dumervil said.

Dumervil had 17 sacks in 2014, and the Ravens need pass rushers. He was never fully healthy in 2016, missing eight games after Achilles surgery.  If the Ravens release Dumervil, there’s a chance he could have a big season playing for someone else.

Reasons to release Dumervil:

The Ravens would save more than $6 million in salary cap space by cutting ties with Dumervil. There’s no guarantee Dumervil will stay healthy, or be a double-digit sack artist again. The money the Ravens could save by releasing Dumervil could be used to fill holes elsewhere.

Prediction:

My gut feeling is that Dumervil and the Ravens will part ways. Terrell Suggs is returning, and he led the Ravens with eight sacks in 2016 playing with a torn biceps. Matt Judon had four sacks as a rookie. The biggest disappointment in the pass rushing department was Za’Darius Smith, who had just one sack. However, even with Dumervil getting just three sacks in 2015, the Ravens won eight games, and had the league’s seventh-ranked defense. I think the Ravens will use the money they would pay Dumervil to address issues like finding another cover corner and an offensive playmaker.  

MORE RAVENS: Playoff winners expose Ravens shortcomings