Indianapolis has done it again. Twenty-six years after the Colts left town, Baltimore is losing the Ravens to Indianapolis, too. Win or lose against the Colts in their divisional round playoff game, the Ravens plan to say in Indiana and never return.
"This was the carrot we dangled to them before the Patriots game," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. "Beat New England and you'll never have to live or work in Baltimore again. I think we all saw how motivated the players were to make that dream a reality."
The Ravens say they would have moved to greener pastures immediately after the Patriots game, but they had to return to Baltimore to pack up their belongings.
"I have $24,000 worth of audio and video equipment in my condo that I use to watch TV, primarily episodes of 'The Wire'," said tight end Todd Heap. "I felt it was the best way to appreciate my time in Baltimore."
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, a Baltimore native, says he is excited about the move.
"I grew up watching the Colts, and then I saw them leave for bigger opportunities," he said. "That's the dream of every young kid in Baltimore. Have success so you can move out of here. We're ready to take that step."
Bisciotti says he isn't worried about being the second NFL team in Indianapolis "It's better than being surrounded by the Eagles, Redskins and Steelers markets," he said and understands many Baltimore residents will be upset by the move.
"This can't be happening," said Tammy Hafer, a Baltimore plumber and member of the Ravens band. "This is twice now we've had our team taken right out from under us. We would never do this to anyone else."
Baltimore city officials are reportedly already close to a deal to bring the Jacksonville Jaguars to Baltimore beginning with the 2011 season.