March 29, 1984: A Date in Baltimore Sports Infamy

On a snowy night back on this date in 1984, the ugly green and yellow Mayflower moving vans packed up the last remnants of the Baltimore Colts and snuck away in the dark to Indianapolis, Indiana. Robert Irsay, one of the most hated names in Baltimore, stole the team he had bought and ran into the ground and relocated it to Indianapolis after going on record in a drunken, slurry interview where he said he was not moving the team.

Baltimore then endured 13 long years without a National Football League team. During that span, we had to suffer the indignation of seeing that blue horseshoe on the white helmets every Sunday during the season along with the word, Indianapolis. To add to our city's humiliation, the NFL Hall of Fame changed all the former Baltimore Colts' records and memorabilia to the Indianapolis Colts, a move cursed by the likes of legends Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore and Artie Donovan.

In the meantime, Baltimore tried to get back in the game and was repeatedly denied a new franchise by then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who told the city that they should take the funds they were holding for a new stadium and build a museum instead. (Hey Paul - How 'bout we put our Super Bowl 35 Championship Trophy in our new "museum!?"). Baltimore then became the only city in the country to have a Super Bowl, USFL and Canadian Football League Championship. Whoopee!

Finally, after trying the more legitimate way to earn the right to have another NFL franchise, Baltimore realized its only choice was to entice another city's team to move here, which ended up with Art Modell moving the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1996, changing their name to the Ravens and a new football team was born. Poor Cleveland only had to wait two years to get another franchise, with their former name and colors intact (wahhh, Baltimore stole our team, wahhh!).

Many older fans who grew up with the Baltimore Colts would take the Colts name and colors back in an instant, but not me. The Ravens and their purple, black and gold are our team now and by proof of a NFL title in 2001 have cemented their place in this and future generations as Baltimore's team. The Ravens have easily overtaken the Orioles, who have been here since 1954, as the most popular team in the city. Therefore, the Colts are now the enemy and we will always damn the Irsays for ripping them from our hearts and root the Ravens to beat them as much as any other NFL team, save perhaps for the Pittsburgh Steelers,....and Cleveland Browns,....and Washington Redskins....perhaps.

So, to once again regurgitate the memories of 25 years ago, what are your thoughts on our need to continue to hate and curse, or just let it go and move on?

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