A lot of football teams are named after birds (e.g., the Philadelphia Eagles, the Atlanta Falcons), but of all our feathered mascots only one comes from a poem: The Baltimore Ravens.
The dark American poet, Edgar Allan Poe spent the end of his life in Baltimore and is buried there. His poem “The Raven” tells the story of a man, tormented by loss, who becomes the unwilling host to a raven. The bird flies in through his window, perches on a rafter of the ceiling and refuses to leave, replying only “nevermore” to the narrator’s increasingly frantic questioning.
Poe’s raven is a mysterious and powerful character poised to terrify, or at the very least “creep out” most readers. We’ll see if “The Raven” can work the same dark magic on the 49ers.
(And why is the San Francisco football team called the 49ers?)