Wednesday, December 09, 2009

ESPN 30 for 30 - The Band That Wouldn't Die

I rewatched The Band That Wouldn't Die. This is actually the second film in ESPN's 30 for 30 series. It tells the story of the Baltimore Colts leaving town in 1984 for Indianapolis through the eyes of the members of the Baltimore Colts marching band.

For years, I have also heard stories about how the Colts snuck out of town in the middle of the night. The film opens with old news footage of the moving vans pulling of the Colts complex in the middle of the night. Combined with old news footage, this sequence is pretty powerful.

I also amazed by footage of the Colts owner Robert Irsay giving press conferences when he was clearly drunk. I have never since anything like it. It is almost impossible to believe that something like that could happen in sports today. I would watch a pay-for-view telecast of one of the Maloofs, Mark Cuban or Jerry Buss giving a drunk press conference.

After the Colts left Baltimore, the band continued to perform at parades and other NFL stadiums. They played a role in continuing efforts to get another NFL team back in Baltimore. Ironically, Baltimore eventually lured the Art Modell's Browns from Cleveland in 1996 and renamed them the Ravens. Technically, the NFL considered the Ravens an expansion team and reactivated the Browns team in Cleveland.

Bill Simmons did a short podcast with the director Barry Levinson about the film and a variety of other topics.

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