Colts/Ravens Band That Wouldn’t Die (But Will Cry Nov 29)


The ESPN 30 on 30 documentary, ‘The Band That Wouldn’ Die’ by Oscar-winning Barry Levinson (Best Director ’88 Rain Man) was compelling work.  It chronicles the story of the Baltimore fan base losing their beloved Colts.

The story focuses on the Colts band and how their loyalty dedication, and love for their city paid off. “None of the band members were paid, but they kept a membership of 150 strong during the 12 years the city didn’t have an NFL team,” Levinson said.

And yeh, you know the ending, but how the Baltimore Colts Band eventually became the Baltimore Ravens band.  Yeh, I know. It sounds soft, just trust me on this one.

Sure you can’t stand the Ravens.  In fact, the team is undoubtedly the biggest rival for the Steelers.  We don’t like the Patriots who have broken our hearts so many times on our home turf.

The Browns, Chargers and Colts also rank up there. But the Ravens….

The Ravens hold a special place. A place that’s down deep in the dark side of the hearts of Pittsburgh fans.

Check out the video below, the drunken Irsay press conference is priceless . The lush can’t even open the door for God’s sake. Hilarious.

Here is the website for The Band That Wouldn’t Die you can check out more of the videos until you get to see it.

It’s an amazing story directed by a Baltimore guy, who does a pretty good job at getting it right. However, he fails to capture the current atmosphere before the games at M&T Bank Stadium. The pagentary associated with the Ravens games just isn’t captured well.

In contrast, I have to admit…finding out the Governor of Maryland wasn’t a football fan, but was a marching band fan, that was funny.

I urge you to go to a game in Baltimore.  Pittsburgh could learn a few things.  The atmosphere is unmatched in any the twelve stadiums I have visited.

Sure Pittsburgh doesn’t need to do any of these things. We care about one thing and that is the outcome of the game.

Maybe you feel the same way as I do, maybe you don’t.

But I know this. Everything about an NFL game in Baltimore is right, honorable, and good.

Even if the team on the field isn’t.

Even  if the name of the team isn’t right.  They were the Browns which was changed to the Ravens after an Edgar Allan Poe poem.  Unlike Levinson, Poe wasn’t a Baltimore guy, but in folklore legend he died in Baltimore.

Drunk in a gutter.  Now that’s a great story.

See you November 29 Baltimore.

UPDATE:  My great friend Fran Hill,  a lifelong Baltimorian, mentioned these comments–

It’s a good story except for one thing.  We changed our name to the Ravens because Baltimore was “classy” enough to leave the Browns’ name in Cleveland where it belonged.  Unlike the Colts who took our name, colors, logo, memorabilia and wouldn’t give it back.  They still have our memorabilia and to have Johnny U go down into the Hall of Fame as an Indianapolis Colt is a downright shame!!!  

Another thing you got wrong is the Governor at the time was Schaefer and he LOVED football.  (THE 30 on 30 STORY SAYS DIFFERENTLY)  He cried like a baby the day the Colts left in the dead of night and fought for football for our City for the next 15 years.  In fact, when we finally got a team, he wasn’t even given any credit.  Baltimore did him an absolute injustice.