Colts’ owner Bob Irsay was infamous for his temper. That’s probably why when Irsay purchased the Baltimore Colts in 1972—the year after they won Super Bowl V—the franchise took a nosedive under his management. The team was in such dire straights that when his Baltimore Colts drafted the future Hall of Famer John Elway out of Stanford, Elway refused to report to the team, claiming he’s rather play baseball for the Yankees. The Colts were forced to trade him to the Denver Broncos.
In 1984, Irsay asked the city of Baltimore to pay for improvements to Memorial Stadium. The negotiations ended badly; on March 28 the Maryland state legislature passed a law allowing Baltimore to seize the team from Irsay. Rather than give up the franchise, Bob Irsay moved his Colts to Indianapolis in the dead of night, making no public announcement. Baltimore fans awoke stunned that their team was gone. The Colts’ marching band defiantly continued to perform until Baltimore finally got another team in 1996.
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