As Ed Reed prepares to take his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, teammates, friends and coaches from his Ravens, college and high school years reflect on the legacy of the legendary Ravens safety with their favorite memories and never-before-heard stories.
As told to Glenn Clark
Glenn Younes is the director of the Ed Reed Foundation and a former host on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore.
So we’re having dinner [at Ruth’s Chris outside New Orleans the Friday before the Super Bowl], and it’s taking forever. There’s 20 of us or however many people there are two nights before the Super Bowl. I’m looking at my watch and I’m thinking, “Oh man, it’s getting late.” I’m like, “We’ve got curfew, brother. We’ve got to get back.” So [Reed is] like, “Don’t worry about it, don’t worry about it.” So after like three more prompts, I’m like, “We really have to go.” Curfew’s at midnight, and it’s like 11:30 and we’re a full half-hour away with logistics. We’re now past curfew, and we haven’t left the restaurant toward the hotel. And Ed’s in his own personal car because he’s home. He’s driving, and his [doctor] is staying in the French Quarter and Ed’s staying in the team hotel. … So he’s like, “Come on, Doc, I’ll take you to the hotel.”
So we finally get into the thick of French Quarter downtown traffic, and Ed’s like, “Ohhh, it’s bad down here, huh?” … So Doc got out, Ed made a U-turn. We pull into the alley of the hotel where Ed’s king because it’s home and the valets know him and everyone knows him. “Wassup, Ed?” “Good, man. How are you? Hey, man, keep my car up, I’m a little late.” No problem. So he pops his trunk and gets a duffel bag, gets a hat out of his truck, puts it on my head to disguise me, puts a hat on him, puts a duffel bag over my shoulder, takes his credential, puts it on me, puts a jacket on and we walk into the side door of the hotel thinking we’re going to sneak into the hotel at like 1 o’clock after curfew, whatever time it is.
We walk in the side door and sitting on a bench staring straight at that side door are Darren [Sanders] and Craig [Singleterry], the Ravens’ team security guys. They look at us, they shake their heads and without saying a word they say, “You two idiots get upstairs.” Because we still have to sort all the Super Bowl tickets and do the seating chart for everybody. … We had 72 tickets — 20 in the suite, 52 somewhere else. Every envelope came from a different person because we’re getting tickets from all over the place, all legitimate tickets. Every envelope has a certain amount of tickets and we go, “OK, this person’s sitting here with this person. These are family suites.” We had to divvy that up Friday night because Saturday when they went to the family walkthrough practice in the morning, I had to divvy out everyone’s tickets so that Sunday we could just go to the game.
So we go upstairs, we sort all the tickets in the room, I put ’em in my little briefcase, my little bag and when we got into the hotel onto the floor — because it’s the players-only floor — there’s a little security guard sitting by the elevator. So it’s time for me to leave now and I’ve got probably near, in street value, at least a half a million dollars in tickets, because I think the suite was a couple hundred grand, let alone 50 other tickets at face value — thousand, maybe more because they were club level and lower level. … I walk out and I’m like, “Oh shit, there’s a security guard right by the elevator.” Sneaking in is one thing — we know the team security. Sneaking out, this guy doesn’t know me. He could think that I’m the snapper. He’s asleep. I hit the button and it [makes a noise]. And I’m like, “Oh, shit.” I look up, he doesn’t move. I like side step one, side step two right into the elevator, hit lobby, go right down to the lobby. I get to the lobby and it lets me out in the main entrance where the bar is, and all the media is there. … My hotel was across the street. My buddies are texting me, “Hey, we’re going to the casino, let’s go.” I was like, “I cannot meet you.” They’re like, “Where are you?” I’m like, “I’m walking out of the team hotel.” They’re like, “Oh, we’ll meet you in the lobby.” I’m like, “I can’t meet you. I’ve got to go.” So we’re walking and they’re like, “Yeah, let’s go to the casino!” … I’m like, “Dude, I’ve got to go to the hotel and put these in the safe.”
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019