|In the Baltimore Sports Legends Museum, part of the Colts display
is the back of a Mayflower truck.
Right now, the Baltimore Ravens are two games away--two tough games, mind you, vs. the New England Patriots and whoever wins the NFC, mind you, but two games nonetheless--from winning a Super Bowl in the home of the Colts. Should that happen, might it exorcise some demons that first appeared nearly 30 years ago on a snowy March night?
Make no mistake, I've got no birthright to the ire of the Baltimore faithful against the Colts. The team left town when I was two years old and still living in Boston. Still, having married into a Baltimore family and attended UMBC, I feel for the city that woke up on the morning of March 29, 1984 without a football team. And while folks will quickly cite that Baltimore later turned and did the same to Cleveland, it's worth noting that all records stayed in Cleveland and were reactivated when the Cleveland Browns returned, meaning that Jim Brown was never in jeopardy of the likes of Jamal Lewis or Ray Rice breaking his franchise records as Peyton Manning has to Johnny Unitas. Still, as a city that loves football, Baltimore quickly embraced the Ravens, and the Super Bowl following the 2000 season certainly didn't hurt.
Even with the success of the Ravens franchise, though, there is still a sore spot when it comes to the team that left town. The team in Indianapolis has taken 7 of 10 from the Ravens, including an eight game, nine year drought, and while Baltimore notched one of those victories this year, wins weren't exactly hard to come by against the 2011 Colts. But now, a group of men, only a handful of whom were even alive in 1984 are poised to potentially make the ultimate statement: To walk into the city of Indianapolis, into the House that Irsay Built, and walk out with a championship. It may finally bring the story of Baltimore football full circle.
Should they accomplish this feat, I say they should drive the Lombardi Trophy home in a Mayflower truck.