Gather 'round children and hear the sad tale of when the Colts forsook Baltimore for Indianapolis.
Now, 25 years later, the details are a little hazy. So we turn to the writings of the major news giants of our generation. It was a dark and stormy night, on that everyone agrees.
It happened over March 28 and 29 or on "a snowy December night in 1984." (The Boston Globe)
Or maybe it was during "a sleet storm." (Sports Illustrated)
Out of the darkness and into the training complex in Owings Mills rumbled "a Mayflower moving van" (WBAL), "11 vans" (Globe), "12 moving vans" (The New York Times) "15 vans" (The Sun), "a fleet" (The Boston Globe) "a caravan" (The Washington Post).
Surprise was of the essence. Coach Frank Kush learned of the move "on the morning of March 28" while he was "weeding his garden." His top assistant, Hal Hunter, was told "mid-morning." (Sun)
Unless, of course, "the coaches, trainers and equipment men needed to accompany the team had been alerted to the move quietly late [that] night." (Times)
The move was choreographed and paid for by evil forces in the Hoosier State.
"The vans arrived at the Colts' complex about 10 that evening." (Times)
They arrived "at 2 a.m." (Wikipedia)
Everything was loaded into the trucks.
"At 12:17 a.m. on March 29, 1984, the vans left the Colts' training facility in suburban Owings Mills." (Sports Illustrated)
"They were done by dawn. The trucks were on the road by 6 a.m." (Globe)
"By 10 a.m., the Colts were completely gone from Baltimore." ( ESPN)
"Fans were stunned to wake up March 30, 1984, with no NFL team in town." (USA Today)
"On March 30, [Baltimore] filed a formal condemnation suit." (The Baltimore Examiner)
"A legal battle ensued, which ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and bills were filed in both the U.S. House and Senate seeking to block the move." (Indianapolis Star)
"The team moved without a court fight." (USA Today)
And that, my little sports fans, is how it went down. Who could ever forget it?