State House: Purple for a day
At the request of Baltimore Del. Curt Anderson, Speaker Michael E. Busch consented to suspend the chamber's formal attire requirements and allow members of the House of Delegates to sport Ravens jerseys tomorrow.
Before Anderson announced the coming of "Purple Friday" on the House floor, some spirited negotiations took place.
"Mary's fine with the jerseys," Kristin Jones, Busch's chief of staff, told Anderson, referring to House Clerk Mary Monahan. "Don't paint your face, though," Jones warned Anderson.
Busch then introduced Anderson, who represents Northeast Baltimore and is chairman of the city delegation, as "the number one Ravens fan in Maryland," a epithet that aroused some boos on the floor.
Anderson encouraged the 141 members to wear purple tomorrow, in anticipation of the Ravens' AFC championship game Sunday night against Pittsburgh. Jerseys are fine, he said, "but bring a jacket with you." It was not immediately clear whether a lavender-hued down comforter of the type recently sported by Ravens Coach John Harbaugh would be acceptable.
Del. Justin Ross, a Prince George's County Democrat, and presumably a Redskins fan, rose to invite the Baltimore-area members to travel south and "see what a whole trophy case looks like."
Finally, staying true to his role as minority leader, Del. Tony O'Donnell, who was born in Pennsylvania, said he was rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles and had a superstitious beard to prove it. O'Donnell indicated he would not take advantage of the sartorial privileges of Purple Friday. "For this playoff season," he said, "I'll be going green."
-- Gadi Dechter