going to get a team, right?
I was so utterly convinced that Baltimore would never get a team that said I would run naked from Hooters to Balls during afternoon rush hour if the NFL ever played another game in Baltimore.
If you’re under 25 or if you don’t remember the Baltimore Colts at all you’re really in a different place about the miracle the Baltimore Ravens represent. The team was NEVER supposed to come here. It’s all well-documented but I’m not sure if it’s fully comprehended or appreciated.
And, yes, I did run “naked” for 3.2 miles through the streets of Baltimore on a June Friday night in 1996.
They told me it was illegal to do it naked so I did it in my tighty whiteys. I also raised about $5,000 for Ed Block Courage Awards Foundation.
There were plenty of times when we as a community, and I as an individual, have seen the impossible become a daily reality in Baltimore.
Like me being the first person in that Parking Lot in November 1995 to ask Art Modell a question about his football team? Or me being on that stage in Manhattan being the first person to shake Jon Ogden’s hand as he became the first-ever Raven? Or me showing Ray Lewis how to pick a Maryland crab at The Barn after the inaugural game against the Raiders? Or being the first person from Baltimore to meet Brian Billick in that locker room at the Metrodome? Or being in that locker room in Tampa holding the Lombardi Trophy on that January night six years? Or me owning a cool little sports radio station that can share in the community and contribute to making a positive difference in Baltimore? Or staging a stupid rally that somehow could be so upbeat, so positive and so loving of the Orioles, that we might actually persuade the richest man in the state to relinquish control, see the error of his ways and give in to near-universal public sentiment just to be the bigger guy and to do the right thing by the community?
So, being a lifelong dreamer of big dreams (as perhaps you’ve heard or read for the past few weeks), today, for me, is also about dreaming and envisioning a brighter future for Baltimore sports and for the BALTIMORE Orioles.
Saying to myself that maybe this whole silly rally thing might somehow move a mountain.
But I’ll also say it again: I’m done believing whatever story Peter Angelos or this ownership group has to tell. I’m done buying what they have to sell. I’m also done with telling them to “Go to hell!”
No more bitching from me, no more “it’s the owner’s fault” speeches, no more gripes about Angelos or any of his deals in regard to the BALTIMORE Orioles.
The team is mine and yours and not his — for without the people in the stadium every night and a community that supports the franchise and shares in the good times and bad, they don’t have anything.
As one fan told me a few weeks ago, you can’t have the BALTIMORE Orioles without Baltimore.
And that has clearly been a topic that has been lost on most EVERYONE in Major League Baseball in general over the past 25 years while the NFL has been taking baseball behind the woodshed and bending it over for a quarter of a century, really!
After the strike of 1994 it was going to change.
After the Cal Ripken “savior” stuff of the 1995 season and the now fully EMBARASSINGLY staged 1998 McGwire-Sosa steroid home run race, which has brought into question the integrity of an entire decade or more of baseball as we know it.
It really freaks me out that I sat at all of the games the same as you did, but I was as complicit in the story as anyone. I was IN THOSE CLUBHOUSES befriending many of these guys who put on 25 pounds of “protein milkshake” muscle from September to February.
And I never asked one question about steroids.
Not to Brady Anderson, who I dined with many times and went water skiing with.
Not to David Segui, who is still in my cell phone dialer, and who, I have nothing but high personal regard for just because he always treated me with dignity, friendship and respect.
Not to Rafael Palmeiro who once stared me down with a bat in his hands and was threatening me at the on-deck circle in June 1996