Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It Could Only Happen Here

You could have a Little Italy, as we do, in lots of towns. (Ours is downtown, near Little Newark.)

You could have famous people come from your town, as we do.

Your home town could be world-renowned for cuisine, culture, technological advances, and respected bastions of higher education.

You could go to the deepest jungles along the Amazon, or among the Bedouin shepherds along the Syrian border, or to a coffee shop near Red Square, and ask what is the greatest American hospital and medical school and you'd get the answer, "Johns Hopkins in Baltimore."

But as great as it is to be from the city Frank Zappa called home, not to mention Babe Ruth, Parker Posey and Spiro T. Agnew (especially, don't mention him!), the one greatest thing about our town - the thing that makes me kvell with civic pride - is that when our beloved Baltimore
Colts were ripped off from us by a thief in the night, the Baltimore Colts Marching Band simply shrugged and kept on playing everything in their repertoire, with the sole exception of "Back Home Again In Indiana."

They played at mall openings, patriotic parades, meaningless exhibition games played here, meaningful regular season games not played here, and any event where they could continue to play the Colts fight song and "drum" up support for us to have a team again. In 1984, the Colts left for the barren, arid, harsh city of Indianapolis, and not until the valiant Art Modell moved his unappreciated Cleveland Browns here after the 1995 season did we have another team to root for. That's 11 years of trooping around, all documented in a film by Barry Levinson, another local guy made good. The film, entitled
"The Band That Wouldn't Die" will run again this Thursday, October 15, at 9 pm on ESPN 2. I recommend it to everyone, not just football fans, but also to fans of the indomitable human spirit.

And if you can't see fit to carve time out in your schedule to see it, that's OK. We can wait up to 11 years for you. That's Baltimore, hon.

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