OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Brie Brown is in her first year teaching kindergarten in the Baltimore area, and she tweeted out a wishlist for class items, adding the hashtag “Ravens Flock.”
The next day, Brown received a package that caught his eye.
“I was like, there’s no way,” Brown said. “I think someone is playing a trick on me.”
Lacie DeCosta, wife of Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta, had sent puzzles, educational toys and tons of books. DeCosta even sent Lamar Jackson’s children’s book, writing on the front page, “Keep dreaming big!” Always believe you can because you will!
— Brie Brown (@briebrown) March 24, 2022
Brown sent a direct message to DeCosta, who told him more was on the way. Ten minutes later, two more deliveries were made.
“Our library is stacked,” Brown said. “[The children] call them our class family.
Interactions like this are why some fans refer to DeCosta as “the Ravens’ social media mother.” She wanted to be a social worker after graduating from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, but landed in the Ravens’ marketing department, where she worked for four years.
Although she no longer works for the team, DeCosta has found herself in a position where she can impact lives and use her social media platform to make a difference.
“There are so many people on social media who aren’t nice,” DeCosta said, “so I try to be an embodiment of positivity.”
A month after providing supplies for a kindergarten class, DeCosta volunteered for the food and clothing drive at Brown’s school. She spent the night loading boxes into people’s cars.
“There are only so many things you can go to,” DeCosta said. “I want to meet people. I want to touch that person. I want to change someone’s life by being in it. You go to these big fundraisers where you don’t really connect with people.”
A native of Baltimore, DeCosta is tied – literally – to the founding of the city’s sports teams. His father, George Litz, owned the company that supplied the bricks used to build the Ravens and Orioles stadiums.
For DeCosta, family and sports have continued to intertwine with Eric. The morning before Day 2 of the 2000 Draft, Eric ran to the home of Lacie’s family, who lived a few miles from the Ravens facility. Lacie’s dad thought Eric meant the players the Ravens had just signed. Eric had other news: he was going to propose to Lacie at Easter. Lacie and Eric married in 2001 and have three children: Jane, Michael and Jackson.
Lacie has carved her own niche in the Baltimore sports landscape thanks to Twitter. Her profile expanded on May 29, 2020, when she posted a photo — drawn by her cousin Will — of Ravens quarterback Jackson, who retweeted her. She quickly grew from several hundred followers to over 18,000.
— Lacie DeCosta (@DeCostaLacie) May 29, 2020
“It was definitely uplifting”
When fans want to share news with the rest of the Ravens community, they usually tag two people: Jackson and Lacie.
Many of these cases are when fans share photos of their newborn babies. A fan asked Lacie for some positive vibes after her daughter broke her leg. Others asked for prayers after the death of a relative or friend.
Michael McBride, a Ravens fan from El Paso, Texas, was diagnosed with colon cancer and he started a GoFundMe page to help cover medical bills. He wanted to know if DeCosta could help spread the word.
In addition to donating, DeCosta provided encouraging words. McBride raised over $11,000.
“It really lifted my spirits because at that time there was so much uncertainty about my condition,” McBride said. “It was definitely uplifting, to say the least.”
DeCosta’s connections are extensive. Roman Tkach is a 29-year-old quality assurance engineer living in war-torn western Ukraine. When the long-distance Ravens fan wasn’t on social media for a while, DeCosta tweeted him to see how he was doing.
“I don’t know if it’s normal in American culture, but I’m not used to such kindness,” Tkach said. “I’m a complete stranger, living about 8,000 miles from Baltimore, just a random person on Twitter. You have to agree that actions like this show who the person is. To remember me, and even have thoughts and prayers for my safety, I feel like this world still has a chance.
— MVP! (@Lamar4prezident) March 31, 2022
“She just got very real on Twitter”
There are times when Lacie will also interact with Ravens players. She’ll snap playful photos of cornerback Marlon Humphrey for his coffee shots, the latest “Batman” movie, and dating.
As much as Lacie takes care of serious fan issues, she tries to keep social media fun. During the season, she handed out a jersey each week to fans who correctly answered a trivial question or guessed the player who recorded the game’s first sack. Two hours before the start of this year’s draft, she presented a gift card to the person who won the Ravens’ first-round selection. Fans are so invested in her Twitter account that they’ll DM her if she’s a little late with her daily morning post, which can include a quote from Kendrick Lamar or advice from her grandmother.
“She just got very real on Twitter,” Brown said. “And you can see she’s not doing this for looks. She’s not trying to be a socialite or anything like that. She’s just a Baltimore girl and she’s a fan, first and foremost. “
When Eric met Lacie, he knew how much she wanted to make a difference with people. He simply never anticipated that she would become such a popular face of the franchise on social media.
“She never lost her thirst to get involved, to make a difference and to help families,” Eric said. “She was able to use the Ravens as a way to accomplish what she wanted, which was to make it a better community.”