NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Clark Campbell stood nervously in a New Rochelle restaurant while the final four seconds ticked off in Super Bowl XLVII.
His nephew, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, stood on the sidelines in New Orleans, waiting to officially become a Super Bowl champion.
“It feels great, He has a ring. It’s like a dream come true,” Campbell said after the game finished and Baltimore defeated San Francisco. “I talked to him this morning and I just wished for him to have a blessed day ... Now we have a ring for New Rochelle because Ray has the ring and it’s for everybody.”
The members of Rice’s family who did not travel to New Orleans for the game gathered at the Applebee’s in New Rochelle along with dozens of supporters to cheer on the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
While Rice struggled for much of the game, his family remained confident. Robert Rice Sr., another uncle in attendance at Applebee’s, never lost faith in his nephew or the Ravens.
“I know that he knows how to put that behind him and keep moving forward,” Rice said. “I’ve seen in all the years of his career that when things didn’t work out, he’d say ‘Forget about it. We’re moving on to bigger and better things.’”
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and City Council member Jared Rice, who is not related to Ray, attended the party at Applebee’s, which featured a disc jockey.
Fans decked in purple and black Ravens jerseys, most of which had the name Rice and the number 27, crowded around a big screen television on the wall. They held each other anxiously, cheered and shouted with every positive play for the Ravens and booed when the 49ers gained some yards.
The Buffalo Wild Wings next door, though, had a more balanced crowd. A few fans even wore New York Giants and New York Jets jerseys even though neither team played in Sunday’s game.
The family erupted in a frenzy of cheers when the Ravens won the game. They hugged, danced and smiled as the party showed no signs of slowing down well after the game ended.
Rice Sr. himself truly had no idea when the celebration would stop.
“I just don’t know,” Rice said. Then he added with a laugh, “I’m just glad the game is over.”