As Baltimore Sun staff writer Frederick N. Rasmussen bemoaned in a 2007 column, "Baltimore has been taking knocks for years from reporters — mainly sportswriters — who drop out of the sky for a day or two, cover a game and then move on after making sweeping generalizations about life here."
It's easy to dismiss such Baltimore barbs; the observations are often inaccurate and rarely funny. When it comes to satirical mainstay The Onion, however, it's a different story.
We delight in seeing Baltimore grace an Onion headline as we scroll through our Facebook newsfeeds. We emit a dark, knowing laugh, delighting in the same masochistic pleasure that likely compels celebrities to participate in Comedy Central Roasts. We nitpick the details -- pointing out that heroin, not crack, is Charm City's drug of choice -- but know, deep down, that The Onion "gets it."
In the spirit of taking a joke, let us celebrate 15 times The Onion skewered Baltimore. Don't take it personally.
"'This weirdo in an Orioles jacket has been hanging out around the facilities all week. Did this guy seriously bother to follow us all the way down here?' said first baseman Chris Davis, who claimed the whole team has been unnerved by the idea that some disturbed loner spent hundreds of dollars on travel and accommodations just to watch them play a few meaningless pre-season games."
“'The conquistadors sought it in South America, Ponce de León looked for it all over Florida, but you take the exit like you’re headed to White Marsh and it’s pretty much right there,” said archaeologist Robert Collier, noting that the 50-acre complex of solid gold temples and crypts had been obscured for decades by an array of billboards for legal help and check-cashing services."
“'Most newcomers to Baltimore discover that, after a while, they are able to adjust their expectations to a point where they can live with what this place has to offer,' said Baltimore Development Corporation president William H. Cole IV, noting that the city boasts a few museums worth checking out and neighborhoods that begin to seem bustling and fun if one has lived there a couple years and has nothing better to compare them to. 'In other words, you get used to it.'"
"Doctors later reported that the patient with the repaired thumb had died from an infection, but said such tragedies would be less frequent as the radical surgery gradually became more common."
“'Baltimore came out ahead of pigeon-friendly cities like New York and Boston due to its ample nesting alcoves, the lack of bird-repellent spikes, and the accessibility of dropped French fries and corn dogs,' said the newspaper’s senior editor, Bethany Crandall, adding that pigeons in the mid-Atlantic metropolis enjoyed sprawling public parks and some of the lowest rates of toddler-chasings in the country."
“Emergency crews are working around the clock to provide further flood protection by adding sandbags to the mounds of debris and garbage that were already piled up outside these failed businesses. And, thankfully, most of these buildings had their utility services cut off months or years ago, so we’re way ahead of the game there.”
“By cutting off crack sales toward the end of the game, we feel we can enhance the overall baseball experience for all of our guests, including those who want to burn a little rock."
“'Given the ongoing situation in our city, we ask that everyone remain within their homes for the next 10 or 12 decades while the various barriers to equality and opportunity for all people are slowly chipped away,' said Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake."
“'This is a great day for Baltimore,' said police commissioner Anthony Batts, who noted that several hundred officers had worked nonstop since February 5th investigating the site of the massacre. 'We planned for between 40,000 and 50,000 bodies, so to end up with a fraction of that—well, it’s really a testament to the willpower and restraint of our residents.'"
"This community has rebounded tremendously in recent years, and we feel the name Murder Heights—due in part, perhaps, to the neighborhood's somewhat checkered past—may carry with it some negative connotations."
"Calling it 'a bad part of the field, plain and simple,' Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters Tuesday that he is terrified of walking to the Camden Yards pitcher’s mound by himself late at night."
"Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood went off on a 22-centimeter-wide, 8-centimeter-deep pothole Wednesday, calling it a 'g-----n disgrace' and a 'real piece of work that's out to make [him] look like a fool.'"
"Level Of Name Recognition: Slightly above yours."
“'It’s imperative that you guys start putting aside some money here and there—even if it’s only a few hundred dollars each month in a savings account—for when you’re sitting in a county jail at 4 a.m. and need to come up with a surety bond,' said Harbaugh."
"I'm just doing the same thing a lot of unsung American heroes do every day—just going out there every single day and not playing the game of baseball to the best of my ability."
“I know he’s disappointed right now to be leaving for Baltimore, but in the end, it’ll be for the best. He shouldn’t take this too hard because we consider him a big part of the future of the Tides," Norfolk manager Gary Kendall said.
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“Oh, yeah! That’s so generous of you, that will definitely help us, for sure,” said the research team, nodding and glancing at each other as the Baltimore Ravens’ kicker expressed how important it was to him to be able to contribute to their work through this gesture.