October 14, 2009
Last night ESPN premiered Barry Levinson's "The Band That Wouldn't Die," a documentary about how the Baltimore Colts marching band stayed together despite the team fleeing for Indianapolis on a snowy morning in 1984. Even though it got a bit schmaltzy at times, the film was excellent and well worth a watch.
Literally five minutes after it ended I read this article on Yahoo! Sports about how Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had come out against Rush Limbaugh's bid to join a group interested in purchasing the St. Louis Rams. The irony was delightful. Here's a guy who was part of perhaps the most contemptible ownership moment in recent NFL history -- lying to the city of Baltimore for months before taking the team, without notice, to the Midwest -- and he's going to lecture others on ethics and comportment? It was Irsay's father, Robert, who was the true villain in the story and is still a reviled man in Baltimore. But Jim, his son, also played a large role in the move.
Forget what you think about the Limbaugh bid, this has nothing to do with that. And, I'll save you the time it will take to write out a nasty comment by mentioning that Irsay is completely entitled to his opinion. I just find it amusing that Irsay is publicly taking the moral high ground after he and his family willfully abandoned it so long ago.
Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun agrees. He writes today on his blog "The Schmuck Stops Here":
"I, myself, couldn't even consider voting for him," Irsay said, according to the Associated Press. "When there are comments that have been made that are inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive ... our words do damage, and it's something that we don't need."
I'm staying out of the political side of this debate, but I think longtime Baltimore sports fans are going to find it humorous that Irsay would suddenly get all high and mighty after his family yanked a beloved NFL franchise out of Baltimore and gave little thought to the horrible effect that would have on this community.
I guess the real irony of the situation is that Limbaugh has joined the effort to help keep the Rams from moving out of St. Louis.
Jim Irsay should be careful throwing stones from that glass house of his.
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