Fans vent anti-Irsay feelings at Colts' owner, team president Obscene shirts, gestures bring ejections for some

November 30, 1998|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Resentment toward the visiting Indianapolis Colts and the Irsay family ran high among the sellout crowd at Camden Yards yesterday.

A group of fans seated in the lower concourse in front of the press box sported T-shirts with a derisive message directed at Robert Irsay, the late owner. The shirts also depicted a Raven urinating on the gravestone of Irsay, who died in January 1997.

Things got more personal in the second half, when fans discovered that current Colts owner Jim Irsay and president Bill Polian were seated in the press box. Several fans turned around, repeatedly held up their shirts and waved at them, while throwing in a few obscene gestures for good measure.

Ravens public relations officials eventually sent a representative along with a security officer and a policeman to the section. The fans were asked to leave.

"There's no reason for that, especially in our stadium," said Chad Steele, a public relations intern for the Ravens.

The strategy backfired. After that minor incident, nearly the entire section joined in the extracurricular activity during much of the fourth quarter.

Said Colts running back Marshall Faulk: "I guess it's a little more personal here because of the old ties. But get over it. You've got a team now."

Pub Date: 11/30/98

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