John Harbaugh originally just thought some Ravens players had misspelled the word “trust.”
The phrase ‘Big Truss’ originally began as something much smaller, a simple phrase in the Ravens’ locker room. In fact, it wasn’t even used in a Ravens’ weekday press conference until Nov. 21, a few days before the team faced the Rams on Monday Night Football.
By all accounts, the phrase hit the locker room during the season with Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown. It started as, essentially, a throwaway line between two teammates from South Florida. Then, it exploded.
“It’s something that he (Jackson) says, and I’ve been saying it to him for a little while,” running back Mark Ingram said. “And then y’all just caught it on camera. It’s just a little something that we have going. I can’t really expand on it, but we know it’s love, big love. Something along those lines.”
Ingram took to the podium after the team destroyed the Texans and put the phrase into the mainstream with his famous speech about Jackson and his MVP candidacy on Nov. 17.
“If you got an issue with that, come see me,” Ingram said. “I’m about that. Big truss.”
Merchandise was sold with “truss” on shirts and memorabilia — and Jackson had to trademark the word “Truzz” this offseason, since someone tried to sue him for the word “Truss.”
Jackson showed off a tattoo across his chest in mid-April with the phrase inked on his body now.
The phrase took on more of a meaning than just two Floridians keeping with a few words from home, too. Rather, it took on a more symbolic significance as the entire city joined around the rallying cry.
“You talk about Friday night lights and things like that; it brings people together for whatever reason,” Harbaugh said of how the team came together. “Maybe it's because it's such a hard thing. Maybe it's because it's such a team sport, and everybody recognizes it. Maybe it's the family feeling that you have. And it's tough; there's adversity that goes with it. Maybe it's one of the better metaphors for life — all those things that someday we'll talk about in the book.”
Six days after the Ravens beat the Rams, Justin Tucker booted home a game-winning field goal to knock off the 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium. Tucker, who went to the podium in postgame, used his time to say, “Big truss.”
Despite the Ravens’ playoff loss to the Titans in mid-January, the phrase kept its meaning and momentum. Jackson even got the president involved.
The phrase, “Big truss” took roots in South Florida many years ago with Brown and Jackson, but it’s likely it won’t be stopped at any point in the near future.
“‘Big Truss,’” Jackson said with a smile before the Rams game. “Insider (knowledge). You don't need to talk about it.”
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