A campaign for Lamar Jackson’s second MVP award is gaining steam, especially within the Ravens’ locker room.
The latest example: At every locker after Thursday’s practice hung a shirt with Jackson’s face, the slogan “THAT’S MY QUARTERBACK” and a handful of MVP hashtags.
There was an issue: Jackson hated them.
The shirts were an elaborate prank pulled by Ravens defensive back Daryl Worley, who used a 2014 picture of Jackson at Elite 11 quarterback camp wearing a Florida State beanie (a noted rival of Louisville, where Jackson won the Heisman Trophy).
Preparation is the key to success, even with practical jokes. Worley was scrolling on Instagram over the summer when he came across the almost decade-old photo. Seeing the Florida State logo atop Jackson’s head, Worley didn’t know the context but he knew Jackson would be embarrassed by it.
“I seen the picture and screenshotted it,” Worley told The Banner. “I said, ‘I’m gonna have use for this one day.’”
The time finally came this season, as Jackson (2,934 yards passing, 644 yards rushing, 21 total TDs) has led the Ravens to a 10-3 record and is again surfacing as a possible MVP after winning the award in 2019.
With an assist from Ravens equipment manager Kenico Hines, Worley said, he solicited the sizes of all the players in the locker room. Thursday, he got the staff to hang one at each locker for a surprise once practice ended.
Upon seeing the shirts Jackson almost immediately was up in arms. At one point, he attempted to start a “Burn the shirts!” chant but found nearly no support. Teammates including Patrick Ricard and Roquan Smith quickly put them on for the media to see.
Worley was cackling.
“Everybody else [besides Jackson] loves ’em,” he said. “My guys, we sporting ‘em. We gotta support our quarterback at the end of the day, no matter what the picture is that depicts him.”
In reality, the Ravens are behind Jackson’s second MVP push. Jackson isn’t concerned with it, but Worley said being a part of a special season like Jackson’s can make the entire team proud.
“We know, at the end of the day, his biggest goal isn’t the MVP trophy at all; it’s that Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year,” Worley said. “If he’s having that type of year and we can all play a part in it and get to that final destination, it’ll feel great.”