Even lawmakers get starstruck

If there’s one thing that Democrats and Republicans in Maryland can agree on, it’s the awesomeness of the Baltimore Ravens.

(Unless they are Redskins fans, of course.)

The love for the purple-and-black was on display Friday in the House of Delegates, when Super Bowl champion and Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith stopped by a for a visit.

It came at an interesting time, as my colleague Alex Jackson explains in his weekly “From the Dome” column. State delegates had just waged a contentious battle over the state’s gas tax — so contentious that, at one point, Republicans walked off of the floor of the chamber in protest.

I was across the hall in the state Senate when all this happened, and I walked over to the House once the Senate wrapped up. As I approached the chamber, I heard applause and hollering, which didn’t make any sense, given how mad everyone was.

Then I stepped into the press area and saw Smith at the podium and all the cheering quickly made perfect sense.

One of my favorite celebrity-at-the-State-House stories was when Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr. visited. I remember senators from different jurisdictions laying claim to the Hall of Famer. Baltimore City said Ripken played there. Harford County pointed out he grew up there. Baltimore County pointed out that he currently lives there.

So many lawmakers wanted their picture with Ripken that the Senate president asked the shortstop to stay in the Senate lounge, and he excused senators a few at a time to get their photos.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith addresses the Maryland House of Delegates.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith addresses the Maryland House of Delegates.
Maryland state lawmakers pose for pictures with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith at the State House in Annapolis.
Maryland state lawmakers pose for pictures with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith at the State House in Annapolis.
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