The Baltimore Ravens have slumped badly after a 4-2 start. With a 7-game losing streak sending their season down the drain, on December 11 a fan identified by the media as Ron Stack, a 41-year-old part-time construction worker, went up to the roof of a Baltimore bar and declared that he wasn't coming down until either the Ravens finally won or coach Brian Billick got fired.
Ron became quite the local celebrity, doing TV and newspaper interviews. According to the Baltimore Sun, even a TV crew from Texas showed up to talk to him. The bar's owner provided him with a tent, heaters, five meals per day and all the beer he could drink -- a small expense considering the free publicity the bar received.
Life must have seemed pretty good, but unfortunately for Ron, this tale doesn't have a happy ending. The Ravens still haven't won, going into their season finale tomorrow with a dismal 4-11 record, and Billick is still in charge, at least for now.
Meanwhile, a woman named Kelly Stach -- note the spelling -- saw Ron on TV. Kelly is Ron's ex-wife and mother of their 18-year-old son. Kelly told the Sun that she divorced Ron when their son was 7 months old because he refused to work. (I guess that's why he's a part-time construction worker.) Their son is a full-time college student. College is expensive. Yet there was Ron on TV talking about how he spent $500 on Ravens paraphenalia.
So Kelly called the police on Wednesday, telling them there was a warrant for Ron's arrest on charges of failing to show up in court regarding their child support case. Court documents indicate that as of 2004 he owed $34,465 in support; Kelly Stach says the figure is now close to $43,000 and she thinks Ron misspelled their name deliberately to keep anyone from uncovering his court history. Warrants for his arrest were issued multiple times since the 1990s for failure to show up for court hearings. In 1996 records show he was sentenced to 6 months in jail for comtempt of court. Two of the warrants in previous years were for a second child support case in which another woman was owed about $12,000 for their teenage son.
So Ron the deadbeat dad was arrested on Wednesday; on Friday a judge set his bail at $7,000. But from a sports fan's perspective, perhaps this is the saddest part of the story: Ron was arrested inside a house in Southeast Baltimore.
That's right, Ron came down from the roof on Christmas Day, according to the bar owner. Just one more commitment he failed to keep. -- Joe Guckin