Old Colts enjoy their memories and new game

June 30, 1994|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Writer

When the crowd of 28,798 at Memorial Stadium last night greeted the new football team in town with the familiar (if unlawful) chant of "C-O-L-T-S," a number of former Baltimore Colts seated in the baseball press box admitted getting goose bumps.

"I think it's fabulous," said a fit-looking Bruce Laird, a rugged defensive back in the '70s. "If these guys run, tackle and catch, the people here will support them.

"There's a lot of competition for the sports buck in this area, but this Canadian game is real entertaining. With this big field, I'd hate to be covering pass receivers."

Almost all of the ex-Colts gave their CFL successors a strong vote of support.

"Being a quarterback, I like the fact that they throw a lot," said Marty Domres, who called signals for the Colts in the early '70s before being replaced by Bert Jones. "To me, the most discernible difference is the size of the players. They look much smaller compared to the NFL and not quite as fast."

Eddie Khayat, a line coach for the Colts (1977 to 1985) during Ted Marchibroda's reign, remembered the stadium for different reasons.

"This place brings back a lot of memories," said Khayat, a resident of York, Pa. "They've given the old lady a nice paint job.

"You know, I used to all but live in this ballpark during football season. "I slept on a cot outside the locker room and remembered sharing my living quarters with some enormous roaches.

"But I survived. Every morning, I'd wake up to the smell of bacon frying. It was [fellow coach] John Symank cooking breakfast for us."

Don Macauley, a clutch running back for the Colts in the '70s and now a successful restaurateur in New York, admitted being confused when the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers were credited with a "rouge" in the first quarter.

"Baltimore has always been a great football town, and definitely deserves another NFL team. But this game looks like a lot of fun, with all its offense," Macauley said.

George Young, who served as an offensive coach and head scout for the Colts during Don Shula's days, was in the stadium last night mainly to scout the CFL players in his role as the New York Giants general manager.

"Every year, front-office guys in the CFL ask me if we think they should change their rules and make their game like the NFL.

"I always tell them, 'Don't tinker with it. You've got a heck of a product, with a lot of scoring. And besides, you've been around a lot longer than the NFL.' "

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