Blast coach Kenny Cooper said it looked like "Who's Who in Baltimore" at the Bank of Baltimore last evening as the indoor soccer team made a pitch to invited corporate guests to buy season tickets.
Not only were many of the town's top business CEOs, ad executives, and managing partners of law firms present. Gov. William Donald Schaefer stopped by to help his friend, Blast owner Ed Hale. (Mayor Kurt Schmoke came by later, after the speeches and after the governor had departed.)
Said the governor: "Ed Hale is a local boy who made good. He could have taken his port business to New York. There's no reason for him not to except for his love for Baltimore.
"If it hadn't been for Ed, this team would have been gone, and the loss of a sport is a serious loss to a community.
"All Ed's asking is that the businesses come forth and buy some tickets and help cut his losses."
The Blast, which lost $674,000 last year, loses $25,000-$30,000 every time the Arena doors are opened. Quipped Hale: "Try that on when you lose to Tacoma."
In the back of the bank's board room on the 25th floor of the building a table was set up and guests were buying tickets for the rest of this season, four and eight at a time. The total went over 100 before the crowd departed.
Hale was delighted with the turnout and the reaction. He had every reason to be.
* Some fools never learn department: Ted Marchibroda, offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, is actually a candidate for the head coaching job at Indianapolis.
Wouldn't you think Marchibroda, of all people, would realize it'impossible to coach for owner Bob Irsay? Irsay fired Marchibroda in Baltimore a decade ago.
* On the day those seeking an NFL expansion franchise foBaltimore held a pep rally-announcement at Memorial Stadium (Dolphins-Saints exhibition game here Aug. 28), it occurs to me that the best blueprint yet was served up by a recent letter writer to The Sun.
Penned the writer: Get Irsay to sell his team at fair market value -which by now must be, what, a zillion dollars? -- then move the Colts to Baltimore and give Indianapolis one of the expansion franchises.
That way everybody's happy. Indy is rid of Irsay and gets a fresstart with proper owners. Baltimore not only gets a team, but gets back its beloved Colts. In a perfect world all that would happen.
* Before Channel 45 televises another live athletic event, it habetter learn how to do replays. The station made itself look amateurish doing the Loyola-Princeton game here last weekend. Repeatedly, insignificant replays were shown, causing the viewers to miss live action.
Also, someone at Channel 45 should tell color man Tom Younthat it's LOY-ola, not LY-ola, as he pronounced it all day. That's inexcusable. Young, who went to Maryland, coached at Catholic U. and American U. against Loyola. You have to wonder if all those out-of-towners at 45 know the difference. If they did, they ,, sure didn't come to Young's rescue.
* John Beatson, Baltimore insurance executive, took his soHerb to Madison Square Garden last month to see the Indiana-St. John's basketball game. Sitting behind the St. John's bench, Beatson, a former athlete at Boys' Latin and Denison, was totally impressed by the behavior of coach Lou Carnesecca.
Says Beatson: "Everything Carnesecca said to his players was positive. If a player made a mistake, he'd sit the kid down, put his arm around him and say, 'I've seen you make that play a hundred times -- and you'll make it the next time, too. Don't worry about this one. You're a better player than that.'
'He went to some kids who didn't even get in the game and pointed out the good things the team was doing. With that attitude it's no wonder Louie has lasted so long."
* Jim Barniak, the Philadelphia TV sports announcer who died last week at the age of 50, was actually a Baltimore guy. He went to Calvert Hall, became a sports writer for The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, then switched to TV in 1976 and did the Phillies and Sixers games on PRISM.
Barniak, having grown up here, was a huge Orioles fan. I saw him at O's games numerous times. He may have been a celebrity in Philly but nobody recognized him in the stands in his old hometown. Jim was a genuinely good guy who was very good in print or on the air. It's a shame he'll never get to see a game in the new ballpark here.