Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti ecstatic after team earns Super Bowl berth

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti ecstatic after team earns Super Bowl berth
Owner Steve Bisciotti is all smiles after the Ravens' win over the Patriots. (Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

Holding a victory cigar in his right hand,



Steve Bisciotti

was obviously an extremely happy man following the


championship game.

Heading to the

Super Bowl

for the first time since becoming majority owner of the Ravens, taking over for the late

Art Modell

after initially joining the organization as a minority owner prior to Super Bowl XXXV, Bisciotti was in constant motion after a 28-13 win over the

New England Patriots


A year ago at

Gillette Stadium

, Bisciotti wore a grim look on his face walking alongside

Cal Ripken Jr.

after the AFC championship game loss to the Patriots.

Sunday night, Bisciotti was completely overjoyed.

He hugged and high-fived players like inside linebacker

Ray Lewis

and running back

Ray Rice

, and coach

John Harbaugh


Bisciotti took a few moments to salute Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who came to the visitors' locker room to congratulate the AFC champion Ravens.

Mostly, though, Bisciotti just soaked up the afterglow of the biggest victory for the franchise since winning Super Bowl XXXV over the

New York Giants

following the 2000 regular season.

"It's a great, great feeling," Bisciotti said during the postgame ceremony when presented with the

Lamar Hunt

AFC championship trophy. "I want to thank the Krafts, first of all. They're the classiest organization in the


. Bob's been great to me since I got in the league and he just stopped in to wish us the best. I'm just speechless. It's just special."

Within the Ravens' training complex, Bisciotti is often complimented for being much more than a wealthy Anne Arundel County businessman who signs the checks.

He's also lauded for his vision, for his ideas, for thinking outside the box to give the Ravens the necessary resources to win.

After five consecutive years in the playoffs under Harbaugh, whom Bisciotti hired as a first-time head coach following his time as a

Philadelphia Eagles

special teams coordinator, the Ravens are now heading to the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history.

"Steve Bisciotti is the most determined guy," Harbaugh said. "He's a great leader."

Harbaugh also saluted the late Modell, who passed away in September and is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame balloting that will take place next week in New Orleans at the Super Bowl.

"Art Modell, thank you very much," Harbaugh said. "This is for Art."