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“Forgotten Dynasty:” Episodes 4 through 6

The mini-series comes to a conclusion

Episodes 4 through 6 of the Baltimore Beatdown Podcast limited series “Forgotten Dynasty,” are now streaming wherever you get your shows:

Episode 4: Now You See Him…
It’s the early 1970’s, and after years of conflict and chaos brought about by the tumultuous ending of the Don Shula era, it’s once again good to be a Baltimore Colts fan. After their victory in Super Bowl V, they made their way to the AFC Championship game for a second straight year, and from there (even with an aging Johnny Unitas at quarterback), you wouldn’t be seen as an unrealistic fan for expecting the good times to continue to roll. Part of the reason why they wouldn’t totally do so was the change in ownership that occurred in 1972; Carroll Rosenbloom divested himself of the franchises, and traded it in exchange for the Los Angeles Rams to a man that very quickly would prove to be anything but a worthy successor. That man was Robert Irsay, an air conditioning dynamo from Chicago, Illinois, who took over the franchise, and installed a man named Joe Thomas into the position of General Manager as his direct envoy. It was that duo that would oversee a semi-successful but always chaotic run for the Colts over much of the 1970’s, thanks in part to a another dynamite duo at head coach and quarterback that would be installed shortly. With the calm guiding hand of Ted Marchibroda, and the immense talent of Bert Jones, the Colts would prove to be Super Bowl contenders over this time period; it’s due to the incompetence and chaos sewn by both Irsay and Thomas that they never fully lived up to this promise.

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Episode 5: Ghost Town
By the late 1970’s the Colts were unfortunately a shell of themselves in an organizational sense. Ironically, the departure of the chaotic Joe Thomas only made things worse for them, as it was his absence that began to further expose the even more volatile Robert Irsay to the team and city. It was around this time that he began to flirt with moving the team for the first time, but before fans truly began to worry about that, they were instead more focused on what would wind up being the last competitive days for the Colts in Baltimore. This reached it’s peak with an incredible playoff game against the Oakland Raiders that would become so famous it would earn a nickname that ensured it would live on for decades in Baltimore. The days after this game would be rough ones, as contractual disputes, marred the end of the decade, and would come to define the business style of Irsay who was running more interference than ever on the team. They were tough days for certain, but nothing in comparison to what Colt fans were still yet to go through...

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Episode 6: At the Broken Places
Ahead of the 1982 season, the Baltimore Colts were in need of a new head coach after the ousting of Mike McCormack. They found one in Frank Kush, a man with an exceptional college coaching resume after two decades of dominance at Arizona State. It was off the field, in many different respects, that his reputation wasn’t so spotless. It was his less than stellar esteem amongst many of his former players that made him a problematic hire for the Colts, and after an extremely rough go of it in 1982, they earned the number one overall pick in the following draft... but it was thanks to Kush, and the chaos that Irsay had sown over the years, that they would have issues with the best prospect the league had ever seen coming to play for them. It was the following year that Bob Irsay’s lease with the city of Baltimore at Memorial Stadium expired, making the Colts a free agent on the market for prospective cities to bid on. The result of this process was a chaotic few months over the course of the 1984 offseason that met it’s climactic end on a snowy night of late March of that year... thankfully for a city (and a franchise) that had endured so much during and after it, better days would ultimately be ahead.

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Thanks so much for listening to the series! I hope you guys enjoyed, and please hit me up with your thoughts on Twitter either @PodcastBeatdown, or @Jakelouque.