Has Baltimore moved on from the Colts move?

Sports and Bets — December 21, 2017 at 10:15 am by

So full disclosure, I was not alive when the Colts decided to move to Indianapolis on that snowy day in March of 1984.  So I’ll never be able to fully understand what it felt like to see a team that you loved and supported pack up and leave when the owner stated numerous times he wasn’t going anywhere.  I’m also not saying that Baltimore fans should move on from their hatred of the Colts.  We as sports fans invest so much time, energy and money into sports teams that at times they feel like an extended family.  The Colts were like that, especially since they didn’t make as much money back then and many if not all of the Colts lived in the Baltimore area year round and held jobs in the off season.  There was a special connection between the players and the fans of Baltimore.  If you get a chance you should read The Colts’ Baltimore it dives into that special connection even further.  So the disdain towards the Colts franchise is just, but leading into this week’s game I just don’t feel that same hatred.

The venom between Baltimore fans and that team from Indianapolis is real.  I remember back in 1998 when the Colts came back to Baltimore for the first time.  The Ravens were not a good team, our QB was Jim Harbaugh, enough said.  Then again neither were the Colts, the matchup in 1998 was between two bad teams late in the season, but it felt much bigger.  Winning that game might have been the first real step in getting over the Colts move, having Johnny Unitas on the sideline watching made it even more special.  However the strong dislike did not stop there.  Every time the Ravens took on the Colts Baltimore fans brought a special intensity.  The clip below is one example.




That was in 2006.  The Ravens are an established NFL power house, already winning one Super Bowl and are a constant playoff contender.  Yes it was a playoff game but the buildup was about the Colts once again returning to Baltimore.  By the way that playoff game might be the most gut punching loss in Ravens franchise history.  So 10 years into the Ravens existence, we have a successful team but the wound of the Colts leaving is still fresh.  So what’s changed in the last 10 years to help that wound heal?

For starters it’s the Ravens amount of success.  In the last 18 seasons the Ravens have been to the playoffs 10 times, played in 4 AFC Championship games and won 2 Super Bowls that helps a lot.  If the Ravens were as bad as the Browns it would not be as easy.  Another reason for me is having true rivalries.  The Baltimore-Pittsburgh rivalry is among the best in football right now.  Back in 1998 when the Ravens played the Colts for the first time in Baltimore, the Ravens were still getting their feet wet in the NFL and really had no true rival.  Ravens fans were looking for anything to latch onto and hating the Colts was easy.  Last but certainly not least is time.  There is a cliche that time heals all wounds, it’s corny but it’s true.  You can still be angry with what happened and how it happened, but with every passing year it does get easier.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was not alive when the Colts moved.  My friends and I and anyone younger really have no connection to the Baltimore Colts.  I appreciate the history and everything the Colts meant to Baltimore, but at the end of the day my team always has and always will be the Ravens.  I think what the Ravens have done with the Johnny Unitas statute and the Colts greats on the ring of honor ensures we never forget what the Colts meant to Baltimore.  This won’t make people happy but the Colts history in Indianapolis is actually longer than their history in Baltimore.  The Colts played 31 seasons in Charm City, 2017 is the 34TH season for them in Indianapolis.  Every season their time in Baltimore appears further away in the rear view mirror.

There are still some fans in Baltimore who will never get over the Colts leaving, and that’s fine.  Just the sight of a mayflower truck could send some people into a blind rage.  Again I’m not telling you not to stop hating the Colts.  Still, there seems to be a lot less hatred then there was just a couple years ago.  It might be because the NFL is not the product it was a few years ago.  It might be because the Colts are heading into this weekend with 3 wins.  We might not be there just yet but eventually the Colts will be just another team on the Ravens schedule.

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