Big Easy is big fun for Shearer


MHS band teacher Mr. Shearer watches as the Ravens come out of the tunnel.

As a Baltimore Ravens fan and a teacher of jazz music, what better place could there be for Middletown High School music teacher Matt Shearer than a Super Bowl in New Orleans featuring his favorite team?

After the Ravens got hot at the end of the season, the team headed to the Super Bowl in the Big Easy. Shearer didn’t want to miss what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so, with the advice of Middletown High School Principal Denise Devine he headed to the city of jazz to see his team in action.

After arriving in New Orleans, Shearer was kept busy, having dinner at Palm Court, seeing actor John Travolta, meeting up with other Ravens fans, going to a corporate and suite owners’ VIP party at Manning’s (legendary New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning’s restaurant), and he even made it onto an ESPN broadcast. According to Shearer, the best place he went to was to go see the Purple Parade. The event was a parade that went from the river to the stadium to honor retiring Ravens linebacker and likely future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis. Shearer said, “It was just a sea of purple.” The first reaction that Shearer got when he walked into the stadium was that it was a domed stadium. That was the first time that Shearer had been inside a domed stadium so it took him a little while to get used to it. Shearer had a good view of the game, “Eleven rows up the third tier between the 10- and 15-yard lines,” but he wasn’t so close that he was overwhelmed by everything that was happening. When the Ravens won the Super Bowl with a dramatic defensive stand, Shearer was amazed and a little sick to his stomach. He had already accepted the fact that the 49ers were going to score on their final drive. As thrilling as it was, he said it was a stressful game for the Ravens and for their fans. Devine was the perfect person to ask about what to expect because she has been to the host city of the Super Bowl around 15 times for the fun and excitement; ironically, she has been to the Super Bowl game only once. Devine had some helpful advice to give Shearer to help him out down in New Orleans.

“It [was] his first time going, and he [was] only there for a couple of days, and I didn’t want him to waste his money,” Devine said.

Among the advice Devine gave Shearer: it isn’t worth your money to go to the host parties because people never get to meet the players at those events, always know where your valuables are at all times because there are lots of pickpockets, and have a good time.

It sounds like Shearer followed that last bit of advice perfectly.