Baltimore could get some revenge for the late night move of the Colts in 1984 with a victory in Indianapolis in the AFC Playoffs.
It has been more than 25 years since the Baltimore Colts snuck out of town in the middle of the night on their way to Indianapolis.
Since Baltimore regained an NFL franchise in 1996 the Baltimore Ravens have faced the Indianapolis Colts on ten occasions with the Colts holding a dominating 8-2 advantage. That includes a 15-6 win during their only playoff meeting in 2006.
The Ravens could wipe away all that disappointment with one broad stroke on Saturday if they are able to knock off the heavily favored Colts.
Indianapolis gave up on a chance to make NFL history by finishing undefeated in favor of focusing on winning their second Super Bowl title since moving from Baltimore.
If the Ravens are able to pull off the upset and keep the Colts from continuing their run toward the Lombardi Trophy, it would likely rank as one of the sweetest victories in Ravens history.
Even though Indianapolis would seem to have the upper hand and has defeated Baltimore each of the four times they have met in Indianapolis, you can’t count the Ravens completely out. Read the rest of this entry →
Johnny Unitas was the best quarterback to ever play in Baltimore.
In a new Baltimore Sports Then and Now regular feature, we are going to periodically scan YouTube and share some of the best videos and slideshows that highlight the best players and moments from the present and past in Baltimore sports.
Fittingly, our first featured athlete is the greatest quarterback in Baltimore sports history and arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time: Johnny Unitas.
So, kick back and enjoy some great memories of the special career of Johnny U.
Each week during the 2009 NFL season, Sports Then and Now will pick one NFL matchup and look through the history books to find an intriguing past meeting between the two teams. We will recap the game and hopefully help reintroduce (or introduce for you younger readers) you to some of the greats (and in some cases not so greats) from the history of professional football.
Thanks to the decision in 1995 by Art Modell to move the beloved Cleveland Browns to Baltimore a decade after the Colts left in the middle of the night for Indianapolis, Cleveland and Baltimore are forever linked and more than a decade later there is still resentment and anger among some long-time Cleveland fans.
This week as the Baltimore Ravens and current Cleveland Browns are preparing to do battle, we look at a game between the two predecessor franchises in those two cities. The Baltimore Colts and original Cleveland Browns had some classic confrontations during the 1950s and 1960s. But their regular season meeting during the 1968 season is one of the most noteworthy.
The Matchup: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Colts
Series Record: Between 1956 and 1983 the Browns and Colts met 15 times with Cleveland holding a 10-5 series advantage, including wins in their final five meetings. The two teams met in the playoffs three times, with Baltimore holding a 2-1 edge. However, Cleveland defeated the Colts 27-0 to win the 1964 NFL Championship. There were some other memorable moments in the series including a 38-31 Cleveland victory in 1959 in which Jim Brown rushed for five touchdowns and Johnny Unitas passed for four scores. In 1978, veteran running back Calvin Hill caught three touchdown passes to lift the Browns to a 45-24 victory. Two years later, Bert Jones led the Colts on a furious fourth quarter comeback that fell just short in a 28-27 Cleveland victory.
However, of all the meetings, the 1968 matchup is the most interesting and worthy of a Classic Rewind.
In recognition of the Baltimore Ravens signing first round pick Michael Oher to help protect quarterback Joe Flacco, the Baltimore Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week is a player who spent a decade protecting quarterback Johnny Unitas.
Jim Parker did not miss a game for 10 straight seasons as he helped turn the Baltimore Colts into a perennial NFL Championship contender. The Colts did not have a losing record during his career and claimed back-to-back NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959.
I was a 10-year-old farm boy when Joe Namath signed the biggest contract in pro football history.
The war between the AFL and NFL had reached its apex, and the news of Namath’s choosing the upstart AFL traveled far and wide—even to our local weekly, the little ol’ “Reidsville Review” down in Carolina.
At that point in my life, my knowledge of professional football was gleaned from family gatherings around a huge woodstove on Sundays and an occasional peek at a snowy black and white TV that the men huddled around after church…as long as I was quiet.
Out of those bull sessions, I surmised that Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts were, and always would be, the greatest group of athletes in the history of the game…forever, 1958′s “Greatest Game Ever Played” being the benchmark against all who would challenge their superiority.