Last Sunday's New York Times sports section...


Last Sunday's New York Times sports section had so many references to Maryland athletics that we thought we were reading a new zoned edition of the Times' sports pages.

Page two featured a lengthy rehash of the National Football League's expansion process, which -- in case you didn't hear -- left Baltimore high and dry. On page nine, the fast start of the University of Maryland basketball team was detailed.

And on page three, columnist George Vecsey wrote a melancholy piece about the marching band that continues to perform under the banner of the Baltimore Colts a decade after the team bolted for Indianapolis.

Baltimore, wrote Mr. Vecsey, "is one of the best of the old cities, a place where real people gave time to a marching band. It's a city where the would-be owner of an expansion franchise,

Leonard Weinglass, can be known to one and all as Boogie, a character straight out of the movie 'Diner.' I'd hate to think Ballamer got stiffed because [NFL commissioner] Paul Tagliabue didn't want to have to introduce somebody named Boogie.

"I don't know exactly why the loss of the Colts -- and now the snub of Ballamer -- makes me so mad," Mr. Vecsey continued, "but it does. I don't think I'm a nostalgia freak, wanting to roll back the calendar to that one perfect year that probably never existed. I can't mourn the St. Louis Browns and the Boston Braves, or wish pro basketball would move back to Fort Wayne and Rochester, but I still want to type 'Oakland' every time I see the name Raiders because that was where the team's soul was formed. Maybe the Colts remind me of the Brooklyn Dodgers, another franchise that, of course, should never have been moved."

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