Sorry about the lack of a real post yesterday. Between filling out a bear of a job application, I spent most of the rest of the afternoon sorting through the Indianapolis Star microfilm collection at the Wabash library. I was curious what was in the newspaper when the Colts moved to town. Armed with little more than a date,* I was able to track it down pretty quickly.
*The move was announced on the afternoon of March 29, 1984. I went ahead and pulled the papers from the 29th and the 30th.
I wasn't disappointed. You could (and I'm sure people have) easily write a book from both perspectives of this move. Rather than do that here, I present to you the journalists in their day.
First up, here is the front page of the March 29th edition of the Star. There's a little bit trimmed off on both ends, unfortunately, because the camera on the machine didn't quite zoom out far enough to fit the whole thing on one page. As is usually the case, click on the images for a larger version.
The story made it seem pretty clear the decision had already been made, as it was known at that point that the Mayflower* trucks had already been spotted and Indianapolis' main competitor, Phoenix, had withdrawn its offer. Here is that story in all its glory. Again, click the images to blow them up for easier reading.
*Mayflower was (and probably still is, I haven't checked) headquartered in Indianapolis, which also seemed to give Indy more of a lockdown when the question was still in the air.
As I've mentioned, the official announcement came later that day. You can imagine the next day's paper was almost entirely Colts. Here is that front page and the "main" story accompanying the move.
The story isn't anything ground breaking, but I did get a smirk out of the Hoosier Dome (later the RCA Dome) being such a pivotal piece of the Colts choosing Indianapolis. Before Lucas Oil Stadium was built, you would have thought the old dome was the worst stadium in the NFL. While that probably wasn't true, it is true the league grew at an astonishing rate between the time the Colts got to town and when the new stadium was built, and with it came other new stadiums that outclassed the once imposing Hoosier Dome. Funnily enough, there is another article that talks about the possibility of the Colts moving to town leading to a Super Bowl or Olympic bid. The Super Bowl will be in Indianapolis in less than a month now, and, while not quite the Olympics, the Pan Am Games were held in 1987.
Lest Indy seemed a little too jubilant at Balitmore's loss, though, the Star made sure to run a bit from Baltimore's point of view, by a Baltimore reporter. He really captures what Baltimore thought (and thinks, if we're being honest) about Bob Irsay. You may have caught in the lead story that the Star reporter called Irsay "unpredictable," which doesn't seem to speak too highly of what Indianapolis thought of the elder Irsay. For what it's worth, Jim Irsay seems well enough liked around here. Not so sure about Baltimore.
As you can see, there's also a less interesting story about parking for the Dome, which you can continue to read below. But, better than that are a pair of stories talking about suite prices and how the Colts left Baltimore in the middle of the night from the Mayflower perspective.
Speaking of suite prices, how much would everybody love to see the return of the ticket prices talked about in this article? On a side note, I really feel like I need to point out that pun. I'm pretty proud of it, I'd hate to see it go unnoticed.
Two more before we call it day here in the land of Weebly's AP Baseball.* First we have a story about the roller coaster the mayor of Indianapolis went through in trying to bring the Colts to town. It also mentions that he also had to deal with the Pacers thinking about leaving town. Those of a certain age** surely remember the telethon that saved the franchise. Unfortunately, YouTube does not, otherwise there would be a link. In any case, below that we have what I find to be an absolutely charming ad congratulating the mayor on bringing the team in from Maryland.
*I kind of liked that. Sort of how Craig Ferguson starts all of his shows by introducing himself as "TV's Craig Ferguson."
**An age greater than mine, but I've heard the story on the radio and from my dad more than once.