THIS talk of a greater Mid-Atlantic megalopolis is getting...

Salmagundi

September 30, 1992

THIS talk of a greater Mid-Atlantic megalopolis is getting out of hand. First, the Census Bureau decides that for statistical purposes metropolitan Baltimore (and Queen Anne's County) will be merged with Washington, its northern and southern suburbs, its northern and southern exurbs and even some hard-scrabble counties in West Virginia.

Then, the governor of Virginia tells the world that the Washington Redskins, if denied the right to play ball at a state-built coliseum in the northern part of his state, would surely be moving lock, stock and barrel to Baltimore. Just think of it: the Baltimore Redskins!

And now, our favorite cafeteria has provided the ultimate insult. It is selling cans of a leading diet cola with large-lettered advertising urging us to, "Listen to (Philadelphia) Eagles Football."

Are we, suddenly, both the northern appendage of the Washbalt mega-burg and the southern afterthought of the Philbalt ultra-metropolis? Has Baltimore lost its identity?

Sadly, this seems to be the case. None of this would have happened if Baltimore still had its football team. It gave this area an identification that would have shielded us against errant advertising invasions from the north and political propaganda blasts from the south.

No one would even think of merging us with metro D.C. or Philly if the Colts were still around. The football rivalry was too intense. And there's nothing more important to this country than its football. Even the Census Bureau knows better than to mess around with the cities of the NFL.

* * *

TALK ABOUT YOUR targeted political messages!

At a recent campaign rally at Penn State University before thousands of students, President Bush pounded the podium and criticized his opponent, Gov. Bill Clinton, for raising the Arkansas tax on . . . beer. According to The Sun's Karen Hosler, the crowd groaned.

That James Baker really does know how to go for the jugular.

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