Weinglass feels he and city got NFL 1st down with room to spare

Bill Tanton

December 16, 1991|By Bill Tanton

Boogie Weinglass dined at the Cross Keys Deli over the weekend and the would-be owner of an NFL franchise here was the picture of happiness.

He wore a maroon sport coat, black turtleneck shirt and black trousers, disdaining his customary tight jeans and T-shirt.

He moved about the room, receiving compliments on his appearance.

He mingled with people, complete strangers, who told him their sons or daughters had gone to school with him here.

Boogie was overjoyed over his meeting with NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and league officials in New York last week.

"It sounded like it went good," someone said to him.

"It didn't go good," Boogie said excitedly. "It went phenomenal.

"I got some strange looks when I first walked in and they saw my ponytail. But after we talked for a while and they got to know me they were impressed.

"I told 'em I started with one Merry-Go-Round store and now we employ 15,000 people and we're on the New York Stock Exchange. I told 'em my partners and I know how to build a business.

"I explained that my group [Barry Levinson, Richard Pearlstone, David Bernstein] and I are all from Baltimore except Mike Sullivan, and he's been here 18 years. The commissioner liked that.

"I told 'em we're not in this to make money, although we're not looking to lose money. We're in it to bring football back to Baltimore and to have fun. We plan to hire the best people and let them run it -- and when it comes to buying players we're not going to be on the low side either. We want to win."

In addition to winning over Tagliabue and his people, Weinglass feels he "really hit it off" with Maryland Stadium Authority types such as Herb Belgrad, Bruce Hoffman, Hank Butta and Matt DeVito.

"Tom Clancy [the author who also seeks a franchise here] is a nice guy," Boogie said, "but Tom's hard to talk to. Malcolm Glazer and his sons were real secretive. I think they turned people off.

"Baltimore's presentation was beautiful. I think the whole thing looks good for our city and for our group."

* A lot of Orioles fans and many ex-Oriole players were saddened by the death of 31-year-old Robbie Brandt in an auto accident here last Friday.

Robbie's father is Jackie Brandt, who played for the Orioles from 1960-1965. The elder Brandt, who lives in Omaha, was nicknamed Flakey but he was a good guy, liked by all.

* Jerry DeLorenzo, who was the starting goalie for the Syracuse University lacrosse team that went to the Final Four last year, has enrolled at Towson State.

"Jerry has one semester left and he's eligible to play for us this spring," says Towson coach Carl Runk, whose Tigers lost to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game. "We were happy with our sophomore goalie, Tim Colt, in fall practice. The job is Timmy's unless Jerry can beat him out."

* Towson State's football outlook is not as hopeless as the team's 1-10 record might suggest. In its last five games, with freshman Dan Crowley at quarterback, Towson averaged 25 points a game and 480 yards offense.

At Youngstown State, Towson was ahead, 17-13, with six minutes to play but lost because of turnovers. This Saturday, Youngstown will meet Marshall in Statesboro, Ga., for the NCAA Division I-AA championship.

Think how Navy football coach George Chaump must feel about that. Chaump, who came to Annapolis two years ago, recruited most of the Marshall players who are now playing for the national championship. Chaump's Navy team -- which lost to four I-AA schools -- had a 1-10 season.

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