The old saying that money can buy you anything in the world has proven to be false over and over again since its inception.
This story is no different.
Twenty years ago Tuesday, a new Baltimore franchise was born in the NFL. Months after relocating from Cleveland, this “new” franchise unveiled their new name.
Unfortunately for then owner Art Modell, a man despised more than any other in Cleveland sports history, the name wasn’t his first choice.
According to a Baltimore Sun story from two decades ago, the former NFL owner attempted to buy the Colts name from the team that was then located in Indianapolis for $5 million.
Remember, the Colts existed in Baltimore for three decades until their move to Indianapolis back in 1984.
While the Colts would eventually turn down Modell’s overtures, the team did actually consider it an option.
From the Sun’s report back in 1996:
“Jimmy Irsay, the son of Indianapolis Colts owner Bob Irsay, simply has put too high a price on the Colts name. ‘For $25 to $50 million, I’d listen, but I don’t think we’d do it,’ Irsay said.”
This came at a time when the NFL decided to award the Browns name to a new expansion franchise in Cleveland.
For Modell and Co., the lack of originality has to be considered rather hilarious. Though, the team’s eventual name didn’t turn out too bad after all.
There are points in sports history where one thing could have changed the landscape of a specific sport.
What would the Colts have renamed themselves if they had decided to sell their name to the Ravens? Would the NFL have allowed this to happen? How would Peyton Manning have looked in another helmet outside of the horseshoe for the majority of his career? So many questions, so few answers.
One thing we do know, most people are not complaining about the Baltimore Ravens name and logo. After all, Ray Lewis playing in blue and white would have looked a bit odd, right?