Harbaugh with some high praise for Andrew Luck
When the Colts packed up the Mayflower vans and pulled up stakes, moving to Indianapolis under cover of darkness, it ripped the hearts out of Baltimore fans. The storied franchise that had helped make the NFL into an American sports behemoth was practically a beloved member of the family for its devotees. So the sense of loss was real and quite deep.
The city went 12 seasons with no pro football team, never embracing the Redskins, whose distance of 40 miles might as well have been 4,000, despite the NFL’s wishes to the contrary. The league also inexplicably chose Jacksonville over Baltimore for an expansion franchise, until Art Modell moved his club from Cleveland and the Ravens started play in 1996, as Baltimore lost the moral high ground but gained a team.
Here’s the thing, though: The Colts left nearly 29 years ago. A generation and a half has grown up with only the Ravens. So, how relevant is that history for this weekend’s Ravens-Colts playoff game?
Some fans may never lose their hatred of these Colts, owned as they are by an Irsay, thus adhering to the Biblical principle of the sins of the father being visited upon the son. The folks in Cleveland who spewed vitriol at Modell even upon his death feel the same about the purple and black. For that matter, there are probably still people in Brooklyn who can’t say the name “O’Malley” without spitting on the ground.
But here’s hoping that this week we’re not going to see that footage of the vans driving through the snow while leaving Owings Mills. The divorce was painful, but it was a long time ago.