The Walters Art Museum Opens Trio Of East Asian Exhibitions

— The Walters Art Museum opens a trio of exhibitions on Sunday, September 30, 2018 that celebrate the wonders of its collection of East Asian art, which is one of the most expansive in North America.

“These exhibitions demonstrate a deep commitment to showcase our collection in new ways,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director. “We invite you to spend time with these extraordinary works of art and examine the role art plays in our lives.”

Japanese Woodblock Prints showcases more than 40 lively prints dating from the 17th through 19th centuries from the Walters’ collection. Japanese woodblock prints are often credited to individual artists like Hokusai and Hiroshige.

However, these celebrated and beautiful works of art are the products of masterfully orchestrated collaborations among publishers, artists, carvers, and printers; their distinct roles are explored in this exhibition.

A one-object installation, The Return of the Buddha focuses on the Walters’ renowned 6th-century lacquer Buddha, which returns to the Walters from an exhibition at the Freer|Sackler museum in Washington, D.C. This life-sized sculpture has awed audiences with its magnificence and remarkable history—it is the earliest surviving object of its kind. The Walters’ conservation team reveals fascinating information about the Buddha’s construction and its origins, emphasizing the sophisticated materials and artistry involved in its creation.

Chinese Snuff Bottles displays 250 of these small wonders from the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). Visitors can marvel at these tiny objects, delicately crafted from stone, glass, porcelain, ivory, lacquer, enamel, and precious metals. Among the most breathtaking examples are “inside-painted” snuff bottles, with calligraphy or landscapes painted by inserting a tiny brush into the bottle.

“What unites these exhibitions is their emphasis on objects made for desire and devotion,” said Amy Landau, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Islamic and South & Southeast Asian Art. “In this trio of exhibitions, we explore the different stories and perspectives revealed by the Japanese and Chinese works of art beloved by museum visitors, as we look ahead to the future re-installation of the Walters’ East Asian collection.”

The Walters Art Museum is a cultural hub in the heart of Baltimore, located at 600 N. Charles Street in the city’s Mount Vernon neighborhood.

Annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival Returns To City Dock In Annapolis

On Saturday, September 29, 2018, the 29th Annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival returns to Annapolis City Dock from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Locals and tourists can expect another action-packed day full of music, dance, eclectic entertainment, food and art for all ages while remembering an African, Kunta Kinte, who was brought to Annapolis on the Lord Ligonier in 1767 and sold into slavery. Kunta Kinte was introduced to the world by the late author Alex Haley in his novel, “Roots.”

Among the entertainment lineup scheduled on the Anne Arundel Community College Community Stage is a performance by Nathan Richardson, an accomplished performance poet and author who will portray abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. Simrin Speaks, a young artist, poet and inspirational speaker will be featured in an hour of young talent entitled the Generation Z Power Hour along with Annapolitan, child rapper Young Dylan, who has appeared on The Ellen Show.

Kankouran West African Dance Company from Washington, D.C. is scheduled to celebrate West African culture through dance and drumming. The music group “Clones Of Funk” return to the main stage as a headliner. Charis Jones, singer of the Boo’d Up Go Go Remix will entertain festival goers, along with other featured acts, including: Got My Own Sound; Annapolis Drum & Bugle Corp; and Craig Dobson and the Christian Cavaliers of Annapolis.

Jan F. Lee, chairperson of the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival and a host of volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to meet their goal of making the festival bigger and better than last year. Over 90 vendors in food, arts and crafts, education and community categories will join the cultural celebration commemorating Kunta Kinte’s arrival in Annapolis; the perseverance, education, and cultural heritage of Africans, African-Americans and Caribbean people of African descent.

“We have more vendors than we’ve had in recent years,” said Lee, as she explained the importance of the involvement of both businesses and the community.

Over 90 vendors in food, arts and crafts,  education and community categories will join the cultural celebration commemorating Kunta Kinte’s arrival in Annapolis.

Andrea Blackstone

Over 90 vendors in food, arts and crafts, education and community categories will join the cultural celebration commemorating Kunta Kinte’s arrival in Annapolis.

There are many opportunities for sponsorships by local businesses. If sponsorships grow each year, bigger acts can be brought to the festival and local businesses, companies and organizations have the opportunity to get their brand and their names out to all of the people attending the festival, as well on-line.

Volunteers also contribute to the growth and success of the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival. Lee says that volunteers are always needed, during the festival.

Sisters Carolyn Young and Danielle Young have answered the call to volunteer during the festival for a little over 20 years. Their parents, Thomasine and William Young were previously food and entertainment chairs of the festival and the sisters are continuing to following in their parent’s footsteps by volunteer to chair the Food Committee and Arts & Crafts Committee.

“We’re getting bigger and we’re really excited about that, because we’ve worked on being bigger and [want] to get different age groups to understand the culture. We have vendors— and we have vendors of all ages,” Danielle said. “One of the exciting things that we have this year are young entrepreneurs— young children from ages 7-16.”

As a part of application process to participate in this year’s Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival, youth submitted essays about what inspired them to want to be a young entrepreneur, and what got them involved in what they make and sell.

“The festival has always included youth and young people,” Lee said. “But we really wanted to highlight them and give them an opportunity to shine in a different way this year.”

Her 16-year-old son, Daequan Smith who has been volunteering since he was four or five years old represents the next generation of Kunta Kinte festival goers.

“At the Kunta Kinte Festival, maybe you think it is just for African-Americans or native Africans, but as it’s grown, I think the public has seen that it’s for everyone. So we’re trying to reach a wide variety,” Carolyn said. “It’s not just for the older ones. The younger ones need to learn [about] their heritage and be proud of it.”

All nationalities and all ages are invited to attend the festival.

For more information about the Kunte Kinte Festival is available at: www.facebook.com/KuntaKinteFest/.

Baltimore Sailor Returns Home After Middle East Deployment

— A 2014 Mergenthalar Vocational Technical High School graduate and Baltimore native, is one of 1,200 sailors who recently returned to Naval Station Mayport after a six-month deployment aboard USS Iwo Jima.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarrell Gladden is a Navy cryptologic technician (technical) class aboard the Iwo Jima, an amphibious assault ship, who recently deployed to the Middle East and Mediterranean areas of operation. For more than half of the sailors aboard Iwo Jima, the six-month journey served as their first deployment, according to Navy officials.

Cryptologic technicians (technical) operate and maintain electronic sensors and computer systems to collect, analyze, exploit and disseminate electronic intelligence to leadership. They also provide technical and tactical guidance to warfare commanders and national consumers in support of surface, subsurface, air, and special warfare operations.

“The best part about my job and being on deployment is the trust and responsibility factor on the ship so all are safe,” said Gladden, who credits his success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Baltimore. “The one thing I learned, is to let nothing hold you back from your goals.”

Iwo Jima made port calls in Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus; Aqaba, Jordan; and Malaga, Spain. The visits helped grow the strong alliance between the U.S. and its partner nations as well as providing an opportunity for the crew to experience cultures from around the world, according to Navy officials.

Deployed since February 7 as part of an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), the ship participated in exercises Juniper Cobra and Eager Lion. It also hosted a 10-day embarkation of Egyptian naval officers to discuss concepts of amphibious naval operations and strengthen partner nation capabilities.

“This deployment was the most high-tempo one I’ve experienced in my 25-year naval career,” said Capt. Joseph O’Brien, Iwo Jima’s commanding officer. “The entire Navy and Marine Corps team performed extraordinarily well in an incredibly dynamic environment throughout deployment. The sailors and Marines working on equipment, launching aircraft on the flight deck, conducting amphibious operations, navigating the ship and standing watch down in the plant were all at the absolute top of their game. This is an amazing group of sailors and Marines, and I am honored to serve with them.”

Though there are many ways for a sailor to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Gladden is most proud of completing the deployment without any mishaps.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Gladden and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means being that one percent in the nation that are in the military, and in a moment’s notice being called to defend our country,” Gladden said.

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Playing At Center Stage

The sultry, American classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” kicked-off Baltimore Center Stage’s 56th season. Penned by Tennessee Williams, the production opened Thursday, September 13, 2018, and runs through Sunday, October 14, 2018.

Directed by Tony Award-winning director Judith Ivey, the production encapsulates high drama through a story of family ties and layers of lies on a collision course during one simmering Southern summer night. Themes of morality, greed, and desire play across the stage in this explosive drama about what can happen when illusions begin to unravel.

Uncertainty, secrets and maybe even love, are all on the line to be exposed. With gripping portrayals, original composition and stunning scenery, the production marks the debut of this Pulitzer Prize winning play at Baltimore Center Stage.

“We haven’t done a Tennessee Williams piece in more than a decade,” said Baltimore Center Stage Associate Artistic Director Hana Sharif. “Williams is arguably one of the best playwrights of all times. He specialized in dysfunctional families. We wanted to bring his voice to the Baltimore community.”

Sharif added, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a period play, but the ideas are still very relevant in 2018. The play presents the whole idea of having to hide and masque dysfunction and suppressing your truth. We thought the presentation of this play was a great opportunity to launch our season.”

Sharif says she was the producer of the production.

“I helped to put together the creative team,” she said. “I helped guide the process to make sure it moved seamlessly. I had the opportunity to bring Judith Ivy on as director. She is a Tennessee Williams aficionado. Most people know Judith from her movie and television work. But she is also a phenomenal stage director who specializes in, and loves Tennessee Williams plays.”

The cast includes Charlotte Booker (Big Mama), Rod Brogan (Gooper), Nina Brothers (Dixie), Paul Deboy (Reverend Tooker), Stephanie Gibson (Maggie), Alexis Hyatt (Mae), Jim Ireland (Doc Baugh), Leonardo Manni (Buster), Cynthia Miller (Sookey), Andrew Pastides (Brick), David Schramm (Big Daddy), and Jack St. Pierre (Sonny).

When asked what she thought the title Cat on a Hot Tin Roof represented, Sharif responded: “I think it’s a metaphor of being trapped in a condition. The heat of Maggie’s situation is burning her alive, but she can’t jump off. She and her husband Brick are tied to each other. She wants him to forgive her for betraying him. They are living in a hell they have constructed for themselves. But in the end, there is a way out of the construct they have created in their marriage for something better.”

Sharif shared a special real-life connection between Brick and Maggie.

“They are actually a married couple,” she said. “It has been fun to have them in the show. Their performance in this show represents their first time working together in a production on stage. It’s such a sweet way to celebrate their marriage.”

Located at 700 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore Center Stage is a professional, nonprofit institution committed to entertaining, engaging and enriching audiences through bold, innovative and thought-provoking classical and contemporary theater. Baltimore Center Stage’s 2018-19 Season is made possible by The Shubert Foundation, the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences, and in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is supported by DLA Piper and T. Rowe Price.

“This production is a real snapshot into a moment in time,” said Sharif. “It is funny to look at a play of the 1950s and see that the drama of secret lies and of family dysfunction are still present. It reflects who we were as a country in the 1950s, are there are nuances to it that are very engaging. A Tennessee Williams play that has been bought to Baltimore is a great opportunity. I would say to everyone, don’t miss it.”

For more information about Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or to purchase tickets, call the Center Stage Box office at 410-332-0033 or visit: www.centerstage.org

Council President Young’s Senior Symposium Expands In Popularity And Impact

The highly anticipated Senior Symposium hosted by Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young appears to be gaining more leverage every time it convenes.

The symposium was comprised of about 800 seniors from throughout the community and representatives from businesses, government agencies and nonprofits focusing on the needs of the aging.

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. Young hosted the 12th Senior Symposium on September 20, 2018 at Martin’s West in Baltimore.

The symposium dates back to 2012 and has grown exponentially over the past six years.

“We thought that our seniors needed to have other avenues where they can get information that’s really helpful,” said Young of why he started the symposium.

“Seniors are vulnerable. They’ve got to decide whether they want to pay their rent or whether they’re going to buy medicine, or if they’re going to pay for food. And so we thought this would be a great idea and opportunity to bring them in so they can get information they otherwise wouldn’t get. Plus they can mingle with each other and get to bond and make new friends— that’s what this is all about.”

More than 80 vendors participated in the senior expo designed to provide seniors with important information regarding health, finance and other services that aid aging adults in Baltimore and the surrounding communities.

The event was about four hours long and highlighted local doctors, public figures and community-based representatives who spoke on various topics pertinent to health and wellness of elders.

A native of East Baltimore, Young has been a part of the city’s political scene for more than 20 years, during which he has established himself as a prominent figure in the community. He is approaching his 12th year as city council president.

Young has played a crucial role in passing legislation increasing funding for education and crime prevention. He has also worked diligently with other governmental agencies to create employment opportunities for Baltimore youth, as well as helping to spur economic development.

“It’s important that our seniors know that we care about them. They’re the ones who paved the way for people like me to do what I do. This is my way of giving back,” he said.

Vendors at the expo offered seniors’ access to health screenings, such as Hepatitis C testing and access to free immunizations, preventive medical screenings, and an abundance of information about federal, state and local programs benefiting the elderly.

Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. (CHAI), an organization with a mission of helping older residents remain safe, well and independent in their homes was a participant at this year’s symposium.

CHAI’s Aging In Community Division program works to combat isolation and loneliness, promote engaged living through social interactions and high-quality programs, and help seniors maintain their homes through home repair and access to resources.

“It’s been amazing,” said Jessica Price, CHAI’s outreach and operations manager, and representative at the symposium. “We’ve been able to meet a lot of great community members. We have the opportunity to share about all of our different programs and be able to help our members connect to some of our resources.”

Mary Burnett who was attending the symposium for the first time said she thought the event was insightful and purposeful for older adults.

“Wonderful! I can’t believe it. [I was impressed by] all of the vendors,” said Burnett said.

Burnett spent her career as a social services worker in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved to Baltimore after she retired. She says she took advantage of the health screenings and was intrigued by some of the informative presentations and speeches.

This year’s event was co-sponsored by CareFirst and WGL Energy. The symposium, was coordinated largely by Zoe Michal, the city council’s director of special events. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Attorney General Brian E. Frosh attended.

Early Bird Pricing And Registration For 2019 BAY To Ocean Writers Conference

Registration at early bird rates opens October 1, 2018, for the 2019 Bay to Ocean Writers Conference, a popular annual event that sells out quickly every year. This gem of a conference takes place Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland.

Early bird pricing runs for only two months this year, from October 1 to November 30, 2018, so don’t delay registering. Do it today!

Each year writers come to learn, network, and be a part of the premier educational seminars presented by the Eastern Shore Writers Association. Featuring dozens of accomplished authors, poets, film writers and other instructors, this one-day event draws writers from all across Maryland and nearby states. Register early to enjoy time-limited early bird rates.

Early Bird Pricing (Oct. 1 – Nov. 30, 2018): ESWA Members: $95 and non-members: $130 (Includes annual membership in ESWA, which costs $35)

Regular Pricing (after Nov. 30, 2018) Members: $105 and Non-members: $140 (Includes annual membership in ESWA, which costs $35)

Student Pricing: $55

There will be scholarships given to six students. More to follow on this. To Register and further information visit: www.https://www.easternshore writers.org/Bay-To-Ocean-Conference. Share links from www.facebook.com/BaytoOcean

Governor’s Office On Service And Volunteerism Announces Opening Of AmeriCorps State Grant Application

— The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism has announced the opening of the AmeriCorps State Grant application process for the 2019 – 2020 service year. The grants are funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and administered by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. AmeriCorps State Grants provide for living allowances of AmeriCorps members – individuals who will commit up to one year of service to support the mission of local service organizations and improve local communities. Upon completion of their service, AmeriCorps members qualify to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for post-secondary education or repay student loans.

“AmeriCorps grants create important opportunities for organizations to collaborate with service-minded Marylanders by providing living allowances and access to the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to individuals who dedicate their time as AmeriCorps members,” said Van Brooks, Director of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. “Each year, we see the meaningful impact that the grant funds have on the community as a whole – increasing resources and capacity for organizations; inspiring citizens to serve as AmeriCorps members; and addressing issues important to all Marylanders.”

Earlier this year, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism announced $4.6 million in AmeriCorps State Grants for the 2018 – 2019 service year.

The grants were awarded to 21 organizations throughout Maryland, addressing a variety of issues including raising awareness of opiate addiction and restoring wildlife habitats and trails in state parks.

To receive an AmeriCorps State Grant, organizations must raise a minimum of 24 percent of the grant in matching funds. Qualifying organizations for the grant include: Nonprofits; Faith-based organizations; State or Local government agencies; and Institutions of higher education.

Organizations interested in applying for an AmeriCorps State Grant must submit a letter of intent to apply, by 5 p.m. on October 1, 2018. Applicants must then submit a concept paper by October 22, 2018. Concept papers will be reviewed, and applicants of accepted proposals will be invited to complete a full grant application.

Learn more at http://gosv.maryland.gov/available-funding/.

Michelle Obama Co-Chairs “When We All Vote”

“When We All Vote,” a non-partisan organization inspiring voter turnout in the run up to Election Day in November, is working on a National Week of Action. Former First Lady Michelle Obama is serving as a co-chair.

“When We All Vote, we get new ideas and new energy. We get leaders that share our values,” Mrs. Obama says in a new commercial running on prominent digital platforms and on radio across the United States. The commercial will air over the 14 days before voter registration deadlines.

On September 20, 2018, When We All Vote launched a text message campaign allowing people to text WeAllVote to 97779 for voter registration information.

The 2018 cycle has been propelled by two elements: Dislike of President Donald Trump and a record number of women running for office. According to NBC News, there were 53 female Senate candidates, previous record was 40 in 2016; and 476 female House candidates, with the previous record being 298 in 2012. Among the 476 women who ran for a seat in the U.S. House about 75 percent were Democrats.

Over 52 percent of Democratic House female candidates won their primary races. The percentage was higher than for Democratic men or Republican women. The 2018 election cycle is expected to be a record one for female candidates. Backlash to Trump’s presidency is widely seen as one of the main reasons as his disapprovals climb higher.

When We All Vote is planning a Week of Action in which volunteers will host nearly 2000 events across the U.S. The purpose of the events will be to register voters and recruit volunteers.

Along with the former First Lady, other Co-Chairs: Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks and Faith Hill, will lead flagship events along with Loni Love, Keegan-Michael Key and Shonda Rhimes.

When We All Vote is part of several efforts to spike voter turnout in a crucial “off-year” election at a time when voting numbers have increased dramatically when compared to the previous off-year cycle.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and writer for NNPA. To contact her, email: LBurke007@gmail.com

Money Has Shaped The Political Machinery And Elections

As America gets closer to the mid-term election, it takes more money to win. Every candidate is asking for more money, and everyone wonders where all that money goes. When one candidate spends over 30 million dollars of his own money for a primary, politics makes no sense, and voters think the system is corrupt.

There is a fundamental problem in the system, because if you don’t have money you cannot win your election. The Democrats complain about the Republicans having too much money, and the Republicans say the same thing about the Democrats, but all the candidates are spending and asking for money.

“The millionaire class and the billionaire class increasingly own the political process, and they own the politicians that go to them for money. We are moving very quickly from a democratic society, one person, one vote, to an oligarchic form of society, where billionaires would be determining who the elected officials of this country are,” U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said.

As soon as a candidate wins an election, the next week he/she is starting to solicit more money for the next election. Once the elected official settles into office, the money folks start asking for favors. Especially, if the company or individual contributed to the winner’s election, the politician is able to make time for a meeting or a meal.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are notorious in saying that financial contributions, do not affect their decisions. But all Americans know that once you take the money, at some point, they will start calling.

There is a thin line between bending a rule and breaking a law. Political donations come in many forms and flying in a billionaire’s jet can be construed as a political gift and breaking the law.

Recently, in almost 75 percent of the states in the country, someone in a political office has been sent to prison for breaking the law. Starting from the lowest level of a city commissioner to a state governor has been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar.

In Illinois four out of seven recent governors have gone to prison for corruption and fraud.

“I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that’s a broken system,” – Donald Trump in 2015.

When the president of the country brags about giving a donation to an official for a favor, it is obvious that the system is broken and shaped by who gives the most money.

In Virginia in 2014, former Governor Bob Mc Donnell, and his wife Maureen were charged with accepting more than $140,000 in loans and gifts, in exchange for promoting the business of a political patron who was seeking special favors.

Two years later the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the public corruption conviction.

In Florida’s southwest coast, gagging over the stink of dead fish, and marine mammals, has a point when they call Governor Rick Scott – Red Tide Rick. The EPA let the state make up their own rules, and Floridians can see and smell, how well that is turning out.

One of the first things Governor Scott did as governor was to reject a high-speed rail line with good-paying jobs, and Governor Scott was considered the worst governor in the country. As a billionaire, he has continued to invest and grow his companies, here and around the world, as governor of Florida.

Many residents ask, “Why would a billionaire spend 30 million of his own money to take a job making two or three hundred thousand dollars?”

The answer is following the money, because when you leave the job, you are usually a millionaire in the higher statewide positions. If you are a millionaire, you will double the opportunity to grow your business, and billionaires double and triple their investments.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or independent, politics is about getting paid and making deals.

Ravens And Steelers Add Another Chapter To The NFL’s Best Rivalry

There are few rivalries better than the one between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. The two teams genuinely dislike each other, which leads to some intense matchups regardless of their records.

Dating back to 1996, the Steelers hold the advantage with a 27 – 21 lead in 48 games. The two teams faced off three times in 2008 when they added an AFC Championship game clash to their two regularly scheduled games every season.

The Steelers pulled off the rare trifecta by beating the Ravens all three times and Pittsburgh went on to win Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals.

An example of how intense the rivalry can be was clearly seen when back in 2016, Ravens All-Pro pass rusher Terrell Suggs told Sports Illustrated how much he hates the Steelers.

“We’re going to talk [expletive]. We’re going to back it up,” Suggs said of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry. “We might get into a fight while we’re doing something. You know what I’m saying. It was personal. It was personal. We wanted to kill Hines Ward. I had to threaten him before every play like, ‘If you crack me, I swear to God I’m going to break your [expletive] neck.’ ”

The game on Sunday, September 30, 2018, will be the 49th time the Ravens and Steelers meet. Pittsburgh is coming off a close win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for over 400 yards and three touchdowns. The Steelers were able to get three interceptions against Fitzpatrick including an interception return for a touchdown by Bud Dupree.

While Flacco isn’t likely to pass for 400 yards this week, he is equally unlikely to throw three interceptions. He’ll get plenty of opportunities to make plays against a Steelers defense that is allowing 288.8 passing yards per game— number 28 in the NFL.

Michael Crabtree is one of Flacco’s favorite targets in the passing game. Crabtree and Flacco are poised for a big game against the Steelers. The addition of the veteran free agent is the latest wideout that Raven’s general manager Ozzie Newsome added to boost the passing game.

Newsome established a trend of signing veteran receivers in 2005 when he added former Tennessee Titans wideout, Derrick Mason followed by Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith Sr. Each were already part of rivalries in the past but none as intense as the one between the AFC North rivals.

Smith described the rivalry as a “professional hatred” between the franchises.

“Our fans hate them. Their fans hate us,” Smith said. “It’s a great divorce.”

While with the San Francisco 49ers, Crabtree experienced the 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks rivalry, which was always full of fireworks. He will undoubtedly be ready for his first Ravens vs. Steelers clash.

Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh on Sunday after a 27 – 14 win over the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium. The game will be televised on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

“It’s another prime time game in Pittsburgh. We are excited about that,” Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said.

The AFC North is up for grabs this season. With do-it-all running back LeVeon Bell still holding out, the Steelers are no longer the clear-cut most talented team in the division. Both teams have 2 – 1 records and a win on the road at Heinz Field would help the Ravens set the tone early in the season.