On March 29, 1984, Robert Irsay moved the Colts out of Baltimore under the cover of darkness to Indianapolis, an unworthy destination. In observance of the anniversary, the Sun has a number of articles in Baltimore Colts section that basically say “let’s get over it already.” Yes, there is a bit of irony in those statements since the paper’s Web site has a regularly updated section a generation after the fact, but they are probably right. In the end, Baltimore got a new team, one that won a Super Bowl, and stadiums for football and baseball. The new team, the Ravens, came from Cleveland, but the NFL did the right thing and insisted the colors and name be left behind there and put a team back there three years later.
I have said before that while I hope for nothing failure and misery when it comes to the Orioles, I have sympathy for the Colts fans who were on the wrong end of what was likely the worst sports team move ever. Why move out of a football crazy city to an irrelevant midwestern city? The Colts left because of the absolutely belligerent and incompetent Irsay (Sports Illustrated), a drunk who shopped the team for years despite strong fan support. The team only after he died. His son, Jim Irsay, still owns the team and missed an obvious chance to redeem the family legacy when he did not return the colors and logos to the city of Baltimore. Perhaps it was because he was high (Indy Star). The Indy side of the story is here if you care.
On a lighter note the reporting of the move has been, shall we say, imprecise over the years.
Baltimore Colts, Bob Irsay, Jim Irsay