In defense of Baltimore

Readers of WWN might be surprised to learn that I have a lot of respect for the football culture in the next town up I-95 from here. In fact, I respect the football fans up there so much that I will even call their city Baltimore instead of Balmer like I do when I speak of Peter Angelo$ and his franchise.

I am old enough to remember when the Colts still played in Baltimore. Their owner, an evil, cowardly, alcoholic named Robert Irsay moved the team out in the middle of the night on March 29, 1984. His reason — spite. He was upset about the way his tenure as owner was viewed by the press and mad that fans were growing weary of his incompetence. To this day Irsay is hated in Baltimore, as is his son Jim, the current owner. The younger Irsay may say that he harbors good feelings for the place, but apparently not enough to have sold or even given back the Colts name when Baltimore got a team again. That would have gone a long way to adding a little dignity to the Irsay name, but he missed a golden opportunity to right a wrong; not too mention sell a whole lot of merchandise by creating a new team name, colors, etc. Duh. It’s a sin to see those beautiful uniforms representing such an irrelevant place as Indianapolis.

He’s trying to take the high road (USA Today) too:

Harboring resentments is not a good thing for any of us, because it turns on you. No matter what the situation is in life. “If I forgive you, that frees me. Resentment is bondage. Whatever those feelings are, the cast of characters that existed when my dad was there” and all the things that went on a quarter-century ago, it’s a long time ago.

Is it just me or does he sound like a recovering addict with that sort of talk? Or right, he was a pillpopper (Indy Star)! Thank goodness he’s learned to forgive people!

I think the Colts leaving Baltimore may be the worst move in professional sports history. In Baltimore, a tough historical city with a distinctive culture (ever see Diner?), the Colts were passionately loved. In Indianapolis, a bland square plopped into the middle of one of the least interesting states in the union, the Colts have never been embraced the way they were in Baltimore. The fans their had trouble filling the place up until Peyton Manning showed up. It was not even a lateral move.

Now, I know people will argue that the Browns moving to Baltimore was one of the worst moves, which is true, but it was not as bad as the Colts. At least in the Browns case, Art Modell left the legacy and colors behind and the NFL acted swiftly to correct the problem. I also believe that the Dodgers move to Los Angeles is not as bad. Brooklyn’s heart was broken, but that was just as much a fault of New York politicians (especially Robert Moses) as it was Walter O’Malley.

Anyhow, I’ve rambled a lot already and I need to get to the main point. I want to see Indy destroyed by the Ravens this weekend. I want to see a shutout. I want to see Irsay effigies. I want some serious histrionics from the Ravens, something like “we had to beat them to stick up for the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland. This was personal. As long as we have anything to say about it, Indy will never win a title. Give up the horseshoe that your drunk father STOLE, druggie!” after the game.

More coverage from The Sun: Ravens & The Indy Star: Colts Irsays

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