Barry Levinson’s story hits the heart of all Baltimore fans and strikes a nerve of how Baltimore was snubbed for 12 years by the National Football League. In fact I was surprised that ESPN let Levinson tell the story so openly.
“The Band That Wouldn’t Die” is a one hour documentary from the Academy Award Winning Director that doesn’t shy away from Baltimore’s struggling history without an NFL franchise. From the drunken, idiotic Colt’s owner, Robert Irsay, to Paul Tagliabue giving Jacksonville a professional franchise over Charm City, this film details the struggle that Maryland faced in getting a team after the Colts snuck out of town on a snowy March night.
Seeing the Mayflower moving vans take all of Baltimore’s history to Indianapolis is heart breaking, even for someone that didn’t see it happen in person. I can’t imagine losing the Orioles or Ravens to some far away town. This town was devastated by the loss of the Colts and the Marching Band was the leading voice in getting a professional franchise back in Baltimore.
David Modell‘s agreement to name the Colt’s Marching Band the official band of the Baltimore Ravens sealed the deal for any fan in this fare city. 12 years without a franchise had come to an end when Art rescued Baltimore from its lost connection.
“The Band That Wouldn’t Die” is an outstanding documentary of Baltimore’s struggle to regain its history in the NFL. We set the National Football League on the map with the greatest game ever played in 1958, but Baltimore was without football for 12 years.
I watched this story and felt as close to being there as I possible could. After talking to my father, who lived this devastating event, I felt the true sadness that Baltimoreans faced when the Colts left. My dad carried an NFL sign to O’s games, to the NFL exhibition game, and local events.
We all love the Ravens and they are the perfect replacement, but the stolen team, the Colts, will always be missed in Charm City.