Breaking news to Baltimore about glories of modern-day Indy & Jim Irsay isn’t easy

February 09, 2012 | Nestor Aparicio


in the spring of 1984 with a new dome, a stolen logo and the shameful stream of lies and deceit that followed those Mayflowers west. The karma alone wrecked them for the better part of two decades and the only Super Bowl ring that Bob Irsay has ever been photographed with is to the right.  —>

He’s dead. And his team never won. And he never experienced any joy related to the wealth that he earned by rolling the Colts outta of Baltimore in the middle of the night like a civic thief.

And as much as Bob Irsay turned the Colts – the civic pride and joy of Baltimore for three generations – into a national punch line back in the 1980’s, it’s now 2012 and they’re not a joke anymore. It might sound crazy but they actually hosted a Super Bowl last week – and it might’ve been the greatest Super Bowl host city ever. I’ve been to 18 weeks’ worth of “The Big Game” and I’ve never seen a bigger or better celebration around the event.

But it was impossible to walk around shiny and new Lucas Oil Stadium and not see that beneath all of the layers of the previous ugly – the betrayal of Baltimore, the lies, the Mayflower vans in the snow and the indignity of watching the people of Indiana wear Johnny Unitas jerseys as their own — Bob Irsay’s ugly bud and roots beneath the surface have unearthed a shining gem once it was watered and cared for by his son Jim Irsay and the support of the people of Indiana over the past three decades. Oh, and there’s this quarterback named Peyton Manning who has almost singlehandedly been a civic angel at quarterback to pay homage to what John Unitas once meant to that horseshoe and that helmet here in Baltimore.

The Indianapolis Colts – and what they represent to their city, state, fans and the NFL – have become a full-fledged “flower” after being relegated to the weeds for years. And with the Peyton Manning-Andrew Luck drama unfurling during the week, it certainly brought Irsay’s name to the forefront. Every TV newscast I saw all week led with the new civic Bermuda Triangle and soap opera of Irsay-Manning-Luck.

As you know newspaper reporters are amongst the crankiest people on earth. They’ll bitch about anything and even those people were in universal agreement – Indianapolis did a helluva job hosting Super Bowl XLVI.

I gotta tell you it was one weird week for me. My company,, had 15 buses and almost 200 hotel rooms and plenty of Super Bowl tickets ready to take most of Baltimore west for a “get even with Indy” celebration to cart the Lombardi Trophy back to the Inner Harbor. I had rented out a whole city in Indiana called Broad Ripple for what would’ve been the biggest party any Ravens fan had ever seen this side of Whiskey Joe’s in 2001 in Tampa.

I had enlisted the Charm City Devils to play our pre-game tailgate. I was even going to invite Jared from Subway (who lives in Indy and is a Colts fan) to hang out with Michael Phelps in purple to sing a Baltimore-Indianapolis “Kumbaya.”  (By the way, Subway doesn’t support and only funds our competitors so I try not to eat their food.)

But instead of a triumphant celebration and a major boon to our business at, I instead got a lonely eight-hour bus ride home from Foxborough and an eight-night stay and a front-row seat on Radio Row in Indianapolis to watch the Super Bowl that should’ve been ours, surrounded by blue and horseshoes that were stolen from our community.

The thought of going to Indianapolis last week almost felt like a sick penitentiary stay for a kid from Baltimore who was broke – and broken-hearted – by the near-miss of the Ravens’ run for the championship and all of the fun and glory that was eventually enjoyed by Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

This is a picture from my first trip to Indy in 1996:

But the Super Bowl week that we all dreaded after the loss in New England turned out completely differently than any of us at could’ve imagined.

We arrived at Radio Row and pretty Midwestern girls met us at the airport and got us into the city to work at the media center. The city streets were mobbed with kids and families and grandparents and drinking frat boys and girls literally every day I walked out of the hotel. It was like a Mardi Gras

9 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike from Carney Says:

    Did you hear about the measles outbreak at the SB village? Symptoms start appearing 2/14.

  2. unitastoberry Says:

    Its fine to like the city and the people of Indy but Jimmy Irsay? I said I was worried about you when you developed this strange love last week now I’m officially thinking your certifiable. Of course you could be trolling for ratings since the sports season is over until September in Baltimore and your little radio station is on life support? Maybe you should have had the same love for some of your x employees who actually made WNST a viable station for the wattage. Its clear your business plan is to hire people for the least amount of money and let them all go when they become good and ask for more. In effect you run your radio station just like Irsay ran the Baltimore Colts. When you stopped doing your daily show to manage the station I really missed you on the air you are the best Baltimore radio sports guy since Eckman. If you ever return to the airwaves I will happily change the dial to Scott and Jeremy. Have fun loving yourself Nestor.

  3. barnyard Says:

    Jim Irsay looks like a Mafia wannbe in that pin stripped suit. Bad dresser? He reminds me of a racoon that get’s into garbage & eats it’s full & I have to agree with Ed who called him garbage. He is typical of second generation who inherits it & blows it!…..The Indy Colts I don’t care one way or another but as long as the Irsay name is associated with this Franchise, it reeks. Jim Irsay I’m hopeful of & afraid at the same time is about to learn soon a very costly decision in his life.

  4. BmoreBobRob Says:

    My take is that the only reason you have this opinion is that Jimmy Irsay agreed to do a sit down for your book. Otherwise, you would have ripped the team, city and owner.

  5. ChuckT Says:

    Sorry Nestor…I have to disagree. I went to my first game at Lucas Oil two seasons ago and I felt like I was at a PGA event. Very polite clapping. Everyone dressed in their matching jerseys and going through the routine motions that they were expected to do. Walking to the stadium just 2 hours before kickoff, you would have never even known that there was a game going on. Typically the streets are flooded with cheering fans, vendors, and a level of excitement that the NFL is known for. I found none of that. It was very “Stepford Wives” and not indicitive of an NFL experience at all. While I am a lifetime Ravens PSL Holder, I have been to games in 26 different NFL stadiums so I am not saying this as a homer or anything like that, but rather from someone who has had a lot to compare it to. I enjoy comparing the gameday environments of the different stadiums and can remain impartial regardless on if I like the team or not. In Indy, I did not see a rich culture of football understanding, nor did I see anything to inspire this sudden lovefest you have towards them. I got into several conversations with Colts fans regarding why Baltimore was STILL upset, and not a single one even understood what I was talking about. All I would get was “you did the same thing”. They seemed oblivious to the fact that we do not have the Baltimore Browns…the Browns name, colors, and most importantly History remains in Cleveland to this day. If the city of Indy had renamed the Colts the “Indianapolis 500’s” or something symbolic of the local area, we would have stopped this conversation years ago. But they did not and never will acknowledge this crime that you were so adamant about just a little while ago. I tend to have to agree with the prior poster that this seems like a cheap publicity ploy, and one that I can not buy into. If anything, the small amount of respect that I did have for you has disappeared.

  6. Ted Says:


    You saying we stole the Colts is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENT THEN US SAYING THE CITY OF DETROIT STOLE THE PISTONS AND TURNED ALL THEIR FANS INTO CONVICTS. Now we don’t do that here in Indy because you know what were better then that!!!!!! But then again from some stand point if you were alive at the time when the Colts had their glory days I can understand your frustration. I guess there are some things some people will never get over. I know I will never get over hating posers like Britney Spears, Hanson, and Justin Bieber. Their kind ruined the 1990’s after Biggies death and as a kid growing up in the 1990’s, I felt like they took the end of my generation when the alternative and tap music scene started to go down hill in 1998. I will never be over what they did to the music scene that’s why I to this day will not watch a single movie or anything with Justin Timberlake IE the kind that ruined my generation of music in it.

  7. Ted Says:

    Correction when the alternative and rap music scene started to go down hill (sorry about the type)

  8. Joe Says:

    Sounds like an epiphany of sorts, Nestor. Maybe now you can begin kissing Angelos’s derrier, just like you’re doing with Mr. Jimmy Irsay – shame on you.

  9. Tom Says:


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