Friday: Countdown to Kickoff Party

Sept. 9

It's almost Ravens season, and nothing says football like hamster ball races, beer, and the post-grunge alt-rock stylings of 3 Doors Down. And now, truly, is the time to party and maybe not dwell on some of the questions facing the birds of Baltimore before the NFL seasons starts. But let's consider them now just so we're clear: Will quarterback Joe Flacco have to duck and run under pressure, or will the offensive line be like that protection he needs? Will the secondary once again be the kryptonite of the defense? If the DBs go crazy in coverage, maybe then we can call them supermen. And how will the team fare on the road, when they're gone from Baltimore? Nobody likes being a loser, obviously, but if this season is a lot like last, people will smack themselves and wish for a better life. But hey, like we said: These are things we can worry about later. Now it's time to enjoy human foosball, life-sized Jenga and Connect Four, autograph signings with alums Vonta Leach and Brad Jackson, an inflatable obstacle course, a performance by the Charm City Devils, and a live kickoff special with the personalities at WBAL-TV. 5-11 p.m., Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium, (410) 252-0200,, $20, advance $10. (Brandon Weigel)

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