Steve Bisciotti owes it to Baltimore to get the NFL straightened out

February 06, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Steve Bisciotti owes it to Baltimore to get the NFL straightened out

The fork-in-the-eye treatment given to Baltimore by the NFL needs to stop.

And I have just the guy to help bring it to an end.

In case you missed it on Sunday night, former BALTIMORE Colts great Raymond Berry was bestowed with the honor of handing the Super Bowl trophy over to the New York Giants following their 21-17 win over the New England Patriots.

I’m not sure why, exactly, the league decided on Berry to do the honor.  Did they ask Art Donovan?  If they did, he no doubt told them to blow it out their rear end.  What is the NFL’s infatuation with having this Colts franchise be connected to both Baltimore and Indianapolis by integrating guys like Berry into the fabric of the current franchise in Indy?  Frankly, and I’ll take up for the franchise in Indianapolis for a second, having Raymond Berry do the honors on Sunday night is an embarrassment to Jim Irsay and the team he owns.  Raymond Berry NEVER played in Indianapolis. He’s as much a part of the Indianapolis Colts as Steven Tyler is a member of Run DMC.  Was Eric Dickerson unavailable on Sunday night?  He was terrific for the INDIANAPOLIS Colts.  How about having someone from the “old” Indy Colts – like Dickerson – join a member of this current edition…like Peyton Manning, maybe?  I realize the situation is somewhat tenuous with Manning these days, but if you’re really looking to have someone who has built the Indianapolis Colts be involved, that honor goes to the guy who basically built the friggin’ stadium — and that would be #18.

There was really only one guy who should have presented that trophy on Sunday night and his name is Peyton Manning.  He IS – or at least, WAS – the Indianapolis Colts.

Having Raymond Berry do it was a disservice to Manning, to Indianapolis, to Baltimore, to everyone…

So…that brings me to this point.  When the Ravens announced back in December that they were no longer going to use Westminster’s McDaniel College as their training camp home, Steve Bisciotti and the organization as a whole pledged to “make it up” to Baltimore’s growing legion of football fans.

Well, Steve, I have just the task for you.  Get yourself up to New York sometime soon and sit down with Commissioner Roger Goodell.  And make him understand that stuff like having Raymond Berry represent the Indianapolis Colts has to come to an end.  If Steve Bisciotti wants to give Baltimore a gift in exchange for moving training camp to Owings Mills, that’s the ultimate present he could provide to Charm City football fans.  In short, get these ass clowns in the NFL offices to understand that there used to be a team called the BALTIMORE Colts — and now, there’s a team called the INDIANAPOLIS Colts.  They are in no way one and the same.  And someone has to figure out a way to get the NFL to stop connecting Baltimore and Indianapolis.

That someone is Steve Bisciotti.

The Ravens owner should head to New York and sit down with Roger Goodell and make the Commissioner pledge – publicly – to stop this effort to make people think the Baltimore Colts are the Indianapolis Colts.  Bisciotti should take a delegation of Baltimore football people, folks like John Ziemann, Rick Volk, Bruce Laird and maybe a loudmouth born-and-raised-in-Baltimore broadcaster, up to New York City and try to talk some sense into Goodell.  Somehow, someway, this effort by the NFL to try and weld Baltimore and Indianapolis together has to stop.  And I’m saying that as much for the people in Indy as I am in Baltimore.  No one in Indianapolis thinks of Raymond Berry as a member of THEIR franchise anymore than we’d stand up and give Bernie Kosar a standing ovation in Baltimore next September if he showed up to be recognized for his great years of service to the Browns-Ravens franchise.

I’m starting to think Goodell might be suffering from some sort of concussion-related condition.

Is he really THIS dumb?

I’m not sure what’s going on with him, but I know this for certain: Someone needs to get up to New York and get this crap straightened out and give the people in Indianapolis and Baltimore what they want…two distinctly separate franchises that both have great heritages.

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14 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike from Carney Says:

    I think Raymond Berry was selected a good while ago. It would have been ok for Mr. Berry to hand the trophy to the RAVENS in Indianapolis if we were to win it all, right?

    And I have an extreme sour taste about the team pulling out of Westminster. I saw that coming during the lockout last year. Really? (DF: Raymond Berry was the wrong choice because he never played for the Indianapolis Colts. It has nothing to do at all with what teams were playing in the game. I don’t expect you to get that…but the rest of us do.)

  2. charlie Says:

    now drew, this is a great cause for you to boost. better than tweaking the yokels on radio row in indianapolis. if the nfl will simply find its way to saying: ‘the baltimore records were set in baltimore,’ then we can put the whole thing to bed, even if the horseshoes still rankle on sundays. they don’t even have to apply those records to the ravens. simply freeze ‘em, say “on may 29, 1984, the indianapolis colts started setting records of their own,” and i’m a happy camper!

    go get ‘em, drew & steve.

  3. charlie Says:

    except of course i meant MARCH 29. it was too cold for may. sorry!

  4. steve Says:

    I’m a Steeler fan…But have watched football all my life..
    And I even think that was wrong…Raymond didn’t look real happy either, did he?

  5. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Couldn’t agree more, but……..it would fall on deaf ears as the NFL has become all about…….money at the “expense” of the game and sport! Frankly, Berry ought to be ashamed for allowing himself to be used to represent Indianapolis, particularly when Peyton Manning would have been the logical choice for apparent reasons! No doubt he was handsomely…..paid! As for the game, like the Pro Bowl, it’s becoming a caricature of itself, while the owners pocket more and more money with a spectacle that, in my opinion, now overshadows the game and it’s intent! Sad to say, but the great game and sport of professional football has succombed to…….commercialism!

  6. eric Says:

    It’s even stranger when you watch the 60 minutes piece and Goodell talked about how he grew up in DC as a Colts fan who idolized Johnny U. You would think he’d get it.

  7. Cliff Says:

    Shocked the heck out of me when I saw it. The only thing that could have happened worse; would have been Berry handing the trophy to the Giants if the Ravens had made it to the Super Bowl and lost.

    I wonder if Mr. Berry really needed the money and the prestige? Or, was it a subtle way for Indianapolis and the NFL to rub it in the face of Baltimore?

    It’s sort of like divorces in a way; sooner or later down the road you run into a situation that is just downright ….. uncomfortable.

  8. Richard Says:

    The Indy Colts should have selected the Mayflower truck driver to hand out the Lombardi trophy,not Raymond Berry

  9. unitastoberry Says:

    I dont know why Raymond did this for the League? Hes a religous man perhaps its his way of letting go? I suggest you call him and have him on one morning.Now back to the League and some historical facts. The League never wanted a franchise here either in the 50s or the 90s.
    They enabled the Irsay family and the city of Cleveland while telling us to go build a museum. They allowed Carrol Rosenbloom to swap franchises to bring the drunk here to Baltimore and destroy the team.They bought the CFL when on hot July Saturday nights Baltimore was drawing 40k fans in a falling down stadium while half the state was in Ocean City. Go back to Superbowl 5 which Baltimore won. The MVP was from the losing team Chuck Howley. Now you might say perhaps Chuck had a Ray Lewis or Dick Butkus game. Bull S**t. I saw the game and Mike Curtis was the MVP all the way in that game.How many pro sports have given the MVP to a loser in a championship game? Theres most likely more examples. Parkville Bob knows more and my late father too. But young Ravens fans say from teen to 30 need to know all these things and they need to remember that history tends to repeat itself. Paranoia mean destroyer? I dont think so. Just add the Ray Berry incident to everything else anti- Baltimore the League does since 1953 or so.

  10. Eric Says:

    They could have picked Mike Pagel or Frank Kush!

  11. Mike Paskoff Says:

    I’ve always wondered how the old Brooklyn Dodgers fans handled their disappointment and anger towards ownership and “their” records being kept as 1 team in Los Angeles?

    Must be fristrating but we don’t hear much complaining from them.

    Are those fans all deceased since it happened so long ago?
    Mike Paskoff

  12. Dan Says:

    I guess they had him there because his old team that he lead to Super Bowl XX was playing in this year’s Super Bowl. Dan

  13. Gil From Perry Hall Says:

    With the Roger Goodell PR machine talking about branding and the quality of the product (i.e the inept play at the 2012 Pro Bowl), Bisciotti should point out how bush league it was to purposefully not mention Baltimore either in introduction of Berry or reference to “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. The carefully crafted omission serves as a beacon that the NFL is embarrassed by either the fact of franchise movement or the method in which movement has been accomplished. The thing that does not figure is the embarrassment actually is a disservice to the NFL goal of maximizing revenue. The NFL dysfunctionally celebrates retro look uniforms but shuns reference to legacy cities. It seems to me that embracing the love affair of Baltimore and its Colts or Houston and its Oilers would be revenue enhancements.
    Folks think about this; Art Modell saved the NFL the same “embarrassment” (re: the Clevand Browns) by relinquishing the name, colors and records. Art Modell has long demonstrated he understands the importance of legacy (e.g. moving to the AFC snd preserving rivalries) The denial of him in the Hall of Fame just serves to demonstrate how bush league things associated with the NFL can be.

  14. Tom Says:

    Drew:

    I would only take issue with the statement that no one in Indy feels Berry is part of their organization. If that were true, they wouldn’t be selling old jerseys from Unitas and others in that stadium. And people wouldn’t be buying them. I can only liken it to maybe the Dodgers. I’m sure in LA they celebrate certain players, history, and recognize stats from Brooklyn. Yet if Brooklyn had been in a position to obtain another franchise in a short period of time, I’m sure they would have wanted the Brooklyn Dodgers staying the Brooklyn Dodgers.
    The whole thing is a mess. The NFL basically recognizes the Ravens as an expansion team. Funny but I thought the Clowns were the ones that had to go through the expansion process, expansion draft, etc. Oh that’s right – they got to keep their legacy. But I digress.

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