Memo to Baltimore fans still bitter over the Colts moving to Indianapolis: Get over it! While most football fans outside of Indiana have been sympathetic to you, your continued venom directed toward the Colts no longer looks sympathetic. It looks pathetic.
It's been 28 years.
Assuming you were at least an age where you were cognizent of the Baltimore Colts (say 10 years old), you're well into your adulthood now. Most likely, something worse and more tragic has happened to you during that time, yet you're going to hang your "anger hat" on a pro sports franchise relocating?
Your childhood tears and young adult outrage was one thing. Now that you're older, it's downright bizarre. Get professional help and move on with your life!
Robert Irsay is dead.
The person you're really angry with died almost 16 years ago. Yes, his son is now the owner of the team, but are you going to carry out your vengeance over multiple generations like the Hatfields and the McCoys? Should we send word to the Irsay girls that they shouldn't be out in public while in Baltimore? Even if Bob Irsay is deserving, your chance to loathe left this planet in 1997.
You have another team…and they're good!
It took 12 years, but the NFL did the right thing and gave Baltimore another team. And you didn't even have to struggle very long. Unlike expansion franchises who take a decade or more to reach a Super Bowl, the Ravens won one for you in 2000. This year marks the eighth time since then that your team has made the playoffs. That puts you in some elite company like New England and yes, the Colts.
Since leaving Baltimore, the Colts have been in exactly one more Super Bowl than the Ravens have and have won the same number, despite having 12 years of playing football when there wasn't a Ravens team. Are you mad that you missed the Jack Trudeau and Jeff George eras?
You did the same thing to Cleveland!
And there's a reason why you didn't struggle that much. You weren't given an expansion franchise. You stole the Browns from Cleveland! That's like going out and stealing another guy's girlfriend after having your old girlfriend stolen and then complaining forever and a day about how the first guy wronged you! That's not sympathetic, hit's hypocritical.
Now if there's a fan base that deserves to be carrying a grudge over their team leaving town, it's Cleveland toward Baltimore.
"But, Cleveland got to keep the name and all records," you object. Yeah, what a prize. Ask a Cleveland Browns' fan whether he's satisfied with uniforms and Jim Brown's records. He'd much rather have the Super Bowl won when the team left for Baltimore. The Browns have only even qualified for the playoffs once since re-entering the league in 1999. Would you have felt better if Indianapolis had given you back the horseshoe logo and Johnny Unitas' records, but you sucked for over a decade? Didn't think so.
Come on, bitter Baltimore fan. You live in a wonderful city rich with history and culture. You've got a great team that has built its own legacy in a short amount of time. You've successfully transitioned from the old to the new…if you'll let go of the past.
Let the good folks of Indianapolis enjoy the Colts and you revel in your love of your Ratbirds…err Ravens.
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