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Robert Irsay

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By Jon Morgan and Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF | January 15, 1997
Robert Irsay, the blustery, Chicago construction magnate who became Baltimore's most reviled sports figure when he moved his National Football League Colts to Indianapolis, died yesterday. He was 73.Mr. Irsay died at 10: 15 a.m. at Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis of apparent heart and kidney failure, said Pamela Perry, director of public affairs at the Indiana University School of Medicine.Mr. Irsay had been in and out of hospitals since suffering a stroke on Nov. 29, 1995, which left him partially paralyzed, forced to use a wheelchair and unable to speak above a whisper.
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NEWS
Dan Rodricks | March 29, 2014
You have to be of a certain age now, your mid-30s at least, to even remember the midnight trauma of March 28-29, 1984. But to fully appreciate the hard, numbing slap of that snowy night - how much it hurt, once upon a time - your memories of the Baltimore Colts would have to go back further than the 30 years since they packed up and moved to Indianapolis. For this old story to have any meaning anymore, you'd have to remember the last good years of the Baltimore Colts, the Bert Jones-Lydell Mitchell years, at least seven seasons before the move.
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SPORTS
By John Woestendiek and John Woestendiek,Sun Reporter | January 13, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS -- The man Baltimore still loves to hate is buried on the side of the highest hill in Indianapolis -- a rolling green slope that once inspired poetry -- beneath a 6-foot, sculpted gray granite monument that bears a large horseshoe logo and his last name in capital letters: IRSAY. While closure has eluded many Baltimore fans who still hold a grudge against the man who spirited the Colts away to Indianapolis, it came for Robert Irsay on Jan. 14, 1997, at the age of 73, two years after he suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak in more than a whisper.
SPORTS
By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2012
Matt Wood cannot understand it when Baltimore fans shrug off Cleveland's bitterness toward the late Art Modell . "It's bewildering to me when Baltimore fans say, 'Big deal, he moved the team,'" said Wood, who writes for the Cleveland Browns fan website Dawgs by Nature. "It's like, dude, you're in bed with our Irsay. " There it is right there. If you grew up in Baltimore and want to know how Cleveland fans felt Thursday when Modell died, think back to how you felt about the death of Robert Irsay.
SPORTS
By Jon Morgan and Jon Morgan,Sun Staff Writer | June 28, 1994
Among the changes experienced by Baltimore Colts players when Robert Irsay purchased the team in 1972 were new restrictions on publicity photos, which were once given away free to fans, according to two ex-players.Former Colts stars Johnny Unitas and Tom Matte, in affidavits filed in federal court last week as part of a trademark suit by the National Football League against the Canadian Football League, said they were asked to pay for many of the photos the team had routinely given away after the team was sold.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | December 8, 2011
Seemingly without fail, every time the Ravens and Indianapolis Colts meet, the days leading up to the game are filled with articles about then-team owner Robert Irsay's decision to move the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in the middle of the night on March 29, 1984, and the resulting outcry from the Baltimore community. John Harbaugh has been a part of that storyline, dutifully answering questions when the teams clashed in the 2008 season and then twice in the 2009 campaign, but the Ravens coach wasn't in an entertaining mood when the subject was broached during his weekly media briefing Wednesday.
SPORTS
November 22, 1998
Modell needs to clean houseAs a PSL-owning, three-year season-ticket stakeholder in the Ravens, permit me the following observation: The Ravens are an unmitigated disaster!This is not even close to the "elite team" owner Art Modell suggested we would see this season. Modell and the fans have been lied to and deceived by head coach Ted Marchibroda and a coaching staff that is clueless.We're not asking (yet!) for a Super Bowl champion. Just a reasonably competitive team that provides some semblance of entertainment and makes us feel like we're getting our money's worth.
SPORTS
By Ken Rosenthal | January 15, 1997
The AP obituary began, "Robert Irsay, who on a snowy night in 1984 sneaked the Colts out of Baltimore in the middle of the night to Indianapolis "...That's how he will be remembered.And for Baltimore, it should be enough.Former Gov. William Donald Schaefer put it best yesterday: "Now that he's dead, I don't want to say bad things about the man. It's over."Actually, it was over a long time ago, this love affair with a team and a time unique to the city's history.If nothing else, Irsay's death brings closure.
NEWS
March 8, 2010
In its coverage of the Catholic schools closures, The Sun continues to refer to Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien. Please correct this error. The prelate could not have made it plainer that the city of Baltimore, the cradle of American Catholicism, senior see of the United States, home of the nation's first cathedral, is dead to him. Baltimore has too many people of limited means, too many children of dark skins, for Father O'Brien. He has misread Matthew to mean, "Where your suburbs are well-heeled, where your mall parking lots are lousy with Lexuses, there and there only will we put out hearts -- and schools."
SPORTS
December 24, 1995
Browns here; deal with itInstead of singing hosannas that Baltimore is finally obtaining the redemption we should have received long ago from the NFL, football fans here are questioning everything from the ethics of franchise shifts to the potential price of Baltimore Browns tickets.To those who would question Art Modell's ethics: Professional sports are a business. Just ask any Brooklyn Dodgers fan. Cleveland's Gund Arena, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Jacobs Field were all built while Modell patiently waited for local leaders to address his concerns regarding a new facility.
SPORTS
By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | September 7, 2012
Matt Wood cannot understand it when Baltimore fans shrug off Cleveland's bitterness toward the late Art Modell . "It's bewildering to me when Baltimore fans say, 'Big deal, he moved the team,'" said Wood, who writes for the Cleveland Browns fan web site Dawgs by Nature. "It's like dude, you're in bed with our Irsay. " There it is right there. If you grew up in Baltimore and want to know how Cleveland fans felt on Thursday when Modell died, think back to how you felt about the death of Robert Irsay.
SPORTS
By Mike Klingaman, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2012
July 9, 1997: Roland "Bud" Slimmer Jr. of Lutherville lays the first of 1.2 million bricks for the Ravens' new stadium at Camden Yards. "This is all becoming a routine," said Slimmer, a 68-year-old mason who had helped construct Memorial Stadium, which opened in 1954, and Oriole Park, which opened in 1992. July 11, 1987: The Orioles' Cal Ripken Sr. becomes the first big league manager to pilot two of his sons in a game. Shortstop Cal Jr. is hitless in four trips and second baseman Bill goes 0-for-3 in a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | December 8, 2011
Seemingly without fail, every time the Ravens and Indianapolis Colts meet, the days leading up to the game are filled with articles about then-team owner Robert Irsay's decision to move the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in the middle of the night on March 29, 1984, and the resulting outcry from the Baltimore community. John Harbaugh has been a part of that storyline, dutifully answering questions when the teams clashed in the 2008 season and then twice in the 2009 campaign, but the Ravens coach wasn't in an entertaining mood when the subject was broached during his weekly media briefing Wednesday.
SPORTS
Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun | August 25, 2010
Fight songs for teams in the NFL are often like players: Some, like Hall of Famers, become synonymous with the team itself while others, like long-shot free agents, fail to catch on and are quickly forgotten. The Ravens are hoping that their new fight song, unveiled Wednesday night at M&T Bank Stadium after a charity fundraising event for the organization's All Community Team Foundation, has star quality and staying power. It will certainly have something else: an obvious link to Baltimore's football past.
NEWS
March 8, 2010
In its coverage of the Catholic schools closures, The Sun continues to refer to Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien. Please correct this error. The prelate could not have made it plainer that the city of Baltimore, the cradle of American Catholicism, senior see of the United States, home of the nation's first cathedral, is dead to him. Baltimore has too many people of limited means, too many children of dark skins, for Father O'Brien. He has misread Matthew to mean, "Where your suburbs are well-heeled, where your mall parking lots are lousy with Lexuses, there and there only will we put out hearts -- and schools."
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | February 3, 2007
What's that phrase National Football League officials use after they've checked out a play that's been challenged? Oh, yeah: "after further review." Well, after further review, I've found I still have some Colts-fan DNA lingering in my body. No disrespect to my beloved Ravens, but I find myself ready to whoop it up for the Indy Colts (or the Baltimore Colts Playing in Indianapolis, as I fondly call them) when they face the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl tomorrow. I just can't watch the guys in that Colt blue and those horseshoe helmets and root against them and for -- the Bears?
SPORTS
By John Eisenberg | November 10, 1995
If Robert Irsay was Public Enemy No. 1 in this town 11 years ago for moving the Colts, William Hudnut was Public Enemy No. 2.The mayor of Indianapolis in those days, Hudnut was reviled and ridiculed here for helping build the bridge that delivered the Colts to his city.He had to laugh when he opened his newspaper the other day and saw that Baltimore had done unto Cleveland exactly what Indianapolis did unto Baltimore 11 years ago."It's a delicious irony, to say the least," he said from Chicago, where he is now the president of a taxpayer watchdog organization called the Civic Federation.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | December 27, 1992
If it is true, as reported, that a Mr. Bill DeWitt Jr. of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Arlington, Texas, is about to purchase the baseball team of Baltimore, he should enter city limits with this understanding: Nobody around here, excepting Mr. Eli Jacobs, particularly welcomes the sight of him.That DeWitt, a Cincinnati oil executive and minor partner in the Texas Rangers baseball team, is apparently about to buy the Orioles, helps expose one more time that most...
SPORTS
By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,Sun reporter | February 3, 2007
In Baltimore, people have spat the name like a curse for 23 years. Irsay. When it was slapped on the door of the men's room at John Unitas' old restaurant, the Golden Arm, nobody had to ask why. For Baltimoreans, it meant filth and waste. Yet Robert Irsay, the man who moved their beloved Colts, passed his name and his team on to his son, Jim. And as Jim Irsay's Indianapolis Colts prepare to play in the Super Bowl tomorrow, the man with the accursed name is credited as a driving force behind the franchise's success and stability.
SPORTS
By John Woestendiek and John Woestendiek,Sun Reporter | January 13, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS -- The man Baltimore still loves to hate is buried on the side of the highest hill in Indianapolis -- a rolling green slope that once inspired poetry -- beneath a 6-foot, sculpted gray granite monument that bears a large horseshoe logo and his last name in capital letters: IRSAY. While closure has eluded many Baltimore fans who still hold a grudge against the man who spirited the Colts away to Indianapolis, it came for Robert Irsay on Jan. 14, 1997, at the age of 73, two years after he suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak in more than a whisper.
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