I'm from Indianapolis.
We're pushing 800,000 people, three marquee auto races a year, great cost of living, a ridiculously beautiful minor league ball field, a Final Four every five years or so, the Pacers and since 1984 the Colts.
Those same Indianapolis Colts will take on the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL playoffs this afternoon, yet matchups have not been dominating the coverage. Sure, there's been the requisite talk of Ray Lewis's defense versus Peyton Manning's offense, but too much time and ink have been devoted to the indignation Baltimore has against Indianapolis for the 1984 departure of the Colts.
If you don't know how moment-to-moment and profound that instance was, take a listen to this audio.
Evidently, Baltimorians-ites-philes-ists still hold a grudge for the Colts's move 22 years ago - When Reagan was president, Thriller was king, stamps were 20 cents, and both the Raiders and Redskins could make it to the Super Bowl. Who could blame such disgust when the team slips out in the middle of the night? Who could blame them then? But as of now, Baltimore really should have moved on. Some reasons for closure
- Rohn Stark, punter and last Baltimore Colt to wear the blue and white in Indianapolis, left the organization in 1994 spending three more seasons with Pittsburgh, Seattle & Carolina.
- February 8, 1996 Art Modell moves the then Cleveland Browns to Baltimore filling the 13 year NFL-less void.
- Robert Irsay, the man who moved the team to Indianapolis, died on January 18, 1997.
- The Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV in 2001.
- Johnny Unitas openly swore his allegiance to Baltimore and not the Colts organization.
Whether or not Baltimore decides to move on is up to their fans. I've been to Baltimore - and not just the inner harbor mind you - and I've trapsed through many of its 4,000 or so documented neighborhoods (the actual number may be lower). I've had crab cakes at Phillip's. I've been openly gawked at for being the only white man on the street car. I've had beers in some awesome pubs while meth heads are being rounded up on the curb. It's a neat town, a unique town, a place most people would visit but only a select few would stay. And those few are the Baltimore loyals, committed to their city's image even more than Hasim Rahman.
So what will it be Baltimore? Will a loss today finally settle the score? Will a victory prove your inherent dominance? Will Ed Reed return a pick-six and point at Unitas and Art Donovan's numbers enshrined at M&T Bank Stadium?
Or will Robert Irsay continue to be a spook story you tell your kids - "If you don't eat your meat, ole' Bobby Irsay will come and move your parents to Indianapolis in the middle of the night. And you won't have anyone to love you for 13 years or until some other team craps on their city and moves downtown."
It's really looks like Baltimore is too happy with disgust. So, what's it gonna be?