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The latest #WNSTSweet16 is a laughing matter

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The latest #WNSTSweet16 is a laughing matter

Posted on 25 March 2014 by Luke Jones

Championship trophies tarnish and the details from box scores fade from memory over the years, but the way our sports figures made us feel is never forgotten as this week’s #WNSTSweet16 examines some of the biggest sports personalities to grace the Charm City with their presence.

This week’s list is not only open to local athletes but managers, coaches, broadcasters, and even super fans who gained notoriety from their unique personalities. Many were known as goofballs because of their naturally-comedic traits while a few may have qualified through actions that merely came across as humorous in the eyes of others.

There are no statistics for humor on which to rate these individuals, but there’s no shortage of goofballs who still resonate with the local community years after their time in the public eye — and even on this earth, in some cases — has come to an end.

With April Fools’ Day only a week away, we honor the #WNSTSweet16 local sports goofballs who were as memorable for their personalities as anything else they accomplished:

Continue to next page for No. 16

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Reactions pour in to the passing of Baltimore icon Art Donovan

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Reactions pour in to the passing of Baltimore icon Art Donovan

Posted on 04 August 2013 by WNST Staff

A number of luminaries have offered their reaction to the death of former Baltimore Colts DL Art Donovan, via AM1570 WNST.net, Twitter or press releases. Here are a few of the reactions:

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti:
“We lost a friend, one of the finest men and one of the greatest characters we were fortunate to meet in this community and in this business. Baltimore is now without one of its best and someone who was a foundation for the tremendous popularity of football in our area. The world is not as bright tonight because we lost someone who could make us all smile.”

Former Baltimore Colts teammate and Hall of Fame wide receiver Raymond Berry:
“He’s one of the greatest people that I’ve ever been around. What he brought to a crowd was a very positive, uplifting experience. If he didn’t have a story, he’d make up one in a few seconds. It wasn’t any problem.”

“He is one of the most influential people in that what he brought to a group, what he brought to an individual, what he brought to a crowd was just a very positive and uplifting experience. When you were in his presence for any amount of time you benefited from the experience.”

Former Baltimore Colts teammate and tight end Jim Mutscheller:
“We lost a great guy. He was one of those people that always made you feel good and kept you smiling. He loved to play the game. He was strong, he was quick. He was a good football player that kept you in the game.”

“He would say things to keep you on your toes and keep you from getting a big head or thinking you were better than you really were. He kept people in the ballgame as far as their heads were concerned. He was a true football player.”

Former Baltimore Ravens DT Tony Siragusa:

Ravens RB Ray Rice (via Facebook):
“RIP Art Donovan – truly a great player and a great man…a legend and someone to really look up to. Sometimes it seems like they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”

Former WJZ sportscaster John Buren:
“Has there ever been a better fit for a television product and a town? He was wonderful. He was an absolute gift and I felt like I was undeserving of the gift, but by God I appreciated it. He had a great comedian sense of timing.

“Art Donovan knew who he was. He knew he was a star, but he never lost his interest in real people. He was just interested in talking to people. Artie didn’t big-foot anybody.”

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay:
“On a weekend when the NFL welcomed more players into the Hall of Fame, we lost one of its most significant enshrinees, Art Donovan. Art was the first Colts player to be inducted into the Hall, and his roots date back to the very start of the franchise. Art was a battle-tested veteran who stood among the giants in helping lead the Colts to their first two world championships. While many later knew Art as a colorful ambassador to the sport because of his personality, those who played alongside and against him attest to his grit and greatness. Art is a beloved figure to many and is the only player to wear number 70 in Colts history. His number is retired among Colts greats. Art truly is an unforgettable figure in our sport, and we extend our sympathies to his family.”

Pro Football Hall of Fame Vice President Joe Horrigan (Per NFL.com):
“One of the great, great players. Not only a great player, but a great person. Everybody loved him. Great sense of humor. Great human. Art was also in the Marine Hall of Fame. He fought for his country in World War II — distinguished himself there.

Art came to Baltimore in kind of an odd way. He came from the Dallas Texans, which went defunct. They went belly up and they ended up in Baltimore. Baltimore was looking for a football team back then in 1952. And they got this football team, and Art became this cornerstone along with a guy named Johnny Unitas a little bit later. Took them to that famous 1958 championship game. He was the first defensive character that the fans rallied around and loved. Even in his later years, he was a guest on late night talk shows. Just had this great personality. His father was a great boxing referee. He was a character, one of the true characters in sport.”

Baltimore actor and star of “The Good Wife” Josh Charles (via Twitter):
“Art Donovan was passionate about the game he loved, but never took himself too seriously. I only wish more athletes of today followed suit.”

Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller (Per NFL.com):
“It’s a great loss to the league. He was part of those teams with (Johnny) Unitas and Lenny Moore. And our careers just about crossed each other. Just was a great player was a hard worker. Was the kind of a guy I think his teammates got to know him personally and his antics and all of the stuff before the rest of the world did. The rest of the world learned that he really was a fun guy to be around, but he was a great tackle, a great player.”

Former Baltimore Colts RB Tom Matte:

“Artie was such an integral part of football in this town…he was an icon in his day and a character all by himself.  He was the personality of the team..he kept us loose…he was a character. He’s great spontaneously coming up with stuff.   The fans loved him because they identified with him…it made it really special how we blent into the city.”

Former Baltimore Colts DB Bruce Laird:

“We lost Art Donovan last night. The world lost a member of the Colts 1958 and 1959 NFL Championships, an NFL Hall of Fame player, a successful businessman, a character, a favorite of David Letterman’s, and an advocate for retired players.”

“I soon came to know Arthur J. Donovan and throughout our friendship of 41 years, he surprised me not only with his sharp wit, but also with his kindness, his generosity, his spirit, his commitment, and his enjoyment of life. Art became a mentor to me and to other Colts, entertaining us with his stories, guiding us with his wisdom and holding us accountable. He treated with respect each person he encountered, whether it was a young fan seeking his autograph, a patron at his liquor store or country club, a teammate or friend, or a secretary in the Colts’ front office.”

Maryland Football Coach Randy Edsall:

“He was a guy full of character. All about hard work, blue-collar.  But also, not taking yourself too seriously.  He loved being around people and wanted to let people know how good Baltimore was…he epitomized what Baltimore was all about. Not only with how he played the game, but how he interacted with people.  How he made people feel.  He could make you laugh.  I remember watching him when I was a youngster.  The enthusiasm he had for playing the game; that, to me, was special.  He stayed here and was involved in the community.  He gave back and made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.  He made you want to root for the Colts because of who he was.”

Colts WR Jimmy Orr, who played with Donovan in the 1961 season:

“He always had a funny story. When you ran into him, you just had to start laughing.  He was always joking around…he was always having fun. He was already big-time and well-known in Baltimore when I got there because he knew everyone.”

Hall of Fame coach and former Colts DB Don Shula:

When I first met him, I only knew him as a teammate. It took awhile to get to know him outside the team…everyone wanted [Art] to tell stories. You could always get him to do that. As a teammate and football player, he was great. As a teammate, everyone wanted to be around [Art].” His personality was always happiness. There was always a smile, a chuckle, and a laugh”


David Letterman, host of “Late Night with David Letterman”

“We always looked forward to Art coming on the show because he would not only tell a great story, he just made you happy he was there. He was always humble and self-effacing, a guy from a different era of professional football who could make anyone laugh. We will miss him.”

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