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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary



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Amid a sea of blue and with bright sunlight streaming into Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts' past mingled with their present Sunday afternoon.


Consider it a long overdue olive branch extended to the Colts, pre-relocation, by owner Jim Irsay. The 1975 Baltimore Colts, who hold a special place in Irsay's heart, were on hand.





UNDEFEATED: Colts reach 9-0



There was coach Ted Marchibroda, joined by quarterback Bert Jones, running back Lydell Mitchell, wide receiver Roger Carr, offensive linemen George Kuntz, Ken Mendenhall and David Taylor, defensive standouts Mike Curtis, Bruce Laird, John Dutton and Fred Cook.


There were more than three dozen members of the '75 Colts, all enjoying the moment in Indianapolis. They stood in back of the south end zone while the current Colts warmed up. They took group pictures, hugged. At one point, quarterback Peyton Manning approached Jones.


If the moment was awkward for the '75 Colts considering the franchise's relocation to Indianapolis in 1984, they did a nice job disguising it.


"The Colts have a wonderful legacy in Baltimore and Jimmy was part of that legacy," Jones said. "But they've moved. They're in Indianapolis and they're doing spectacularly here. They belong right here. It's a wonderful place, a wonderful time."


Irsay never has forgotten the Baltimore days, the ties to the past. He has had a few legendary players in town for special occasions -- tight end John Mackey, wide receiver Raymond Berry, coach Don Shula, Hall of Famers all.


But never has there been a group sighting in Indianapolis. Until Sunday.


Bert Jones attributed it to Irsay. Some players attended Saturday's practice. Everyone was on hand for a dinner that evening at the team complex.


"Y'all may not know the heart of Jimmy Irsay. He has a spectacular heart," Jones said. "Jimmy grew up with this 1975 team."


The 16-year old son of owner Robert Irsay in '75, Jim was the Colts' ballboy.


"He was the guy who picked up the dirty jocks and everything else in the locker room," Jones said. "He'd spend most of his evenings in my room in training camp. He kind of matured. We matured as a team.''


The Colts were a league-worst 2-12 in 1974. Marchibroda took over as coach in '75, and they won the AFC East at 10-4.


"Because of that, we all had this sense of family," Bert Jones said. "It was a signature time for this ballclub in the '70s, and a signature time for Jimmy Irsay.''

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Yea...but all the while they stood there they represented the Baltimore Colts....and players who had to suffer under an insane owner.


Anybody who knows that history knows Bert refused to play if Marchibroda remained fired and Robert Irsay backed down to Bert. If this reminds me of anything it reminds me of how sick Jimmy's father was and what a sorry owner he was.


It's interesting when I think of the phrase 'the sins of the father become the sins of the son'.

Jimmy suffered with his substance/drug abuse problems just like his father but he overcame that with help and became a very good, changed man.


I don't know but there's something to be learned here if I look past the team move...people and times change....sometimes for the better.

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