Monday, March 19, 2007

Baltimoreans Are a Bunch of Whiners!

“Baltimoreans are a bunch of whiners!”

I have received some emails that read exactly like that since launching I’ve also been asked why Baltimore is any different than Los Angeles or St. Louis or New York or Houston when it comes to restoring the city’s football heritage. It’s a good question.

Those that have grown up in Baltimore understand. Those that haven’t don’t view the disregard of Baltimore’s sports heritage any differently than those other cities.

Los Angeles doesn’t care enough. The NFL is dying to return to that city yet they can’t gather enough interest in the NFL to take the collective mind of the community off of surf boards on Sunday.

New York? C’mon! This is the city that doesn’t sleep! The Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants left – no big deal. I'm sure they were missed but New Yorkers had many alternatives.

Now Baltimore is a different story and only true Baltimoreans can fully comprehend the importance of the Colts and Baltimore. Baltimore has seemingly forever stood in the shadows of Philadelphia and DC. As hard as it is for this Baltimoron to admit, those cities have greater cultural reaches than Charm City does. That’s just the way it is.

That doesn’t make Baltimore insignificant, just less significant, hence our collective inferiority complex when standing in those shadows.

The Colts brought attention to Baltimore. They were the first “America’s Team.” We loved them. They were entwined in the community. The players sent their kids to the same schools, they frequented the same pubs and bowling alleys and churches. And they helped to illuminate Baltimore on the map.

Barry Levinson’s movie Diner, while defined by fictional characters wasn’t exactly fiction. In fact it was more biographical than fictional. The Colts mattered to Baltimore and their legacy still matters to the city and to the players that represented the city. Just ask them.

Of the other cities mentioned, clearly Baltimore’s football heritage is richer and more significant than Houston’s or St. Louis’. But that doesn’t mean those heritages are insignificant. Doing the right thing for Baltimore might help pave the way to do the right thing for Houston and St. Louis. After all, it makes no sense for the “Tyler Rose”, Earl Campbell to be presented in the Tennessee Titans display nor does it pass the test of rational thinking to place Dan Dierdorf or Roger Wehrli in the Hall as Arizona Cardinals.

Those cities don’t embrace those players any more than Baltimoreans would embrace Otto Graham or Jim Brown if the current Baltimore franchise was called the Baltimore Browns.

If whining means having civic pride, then please pass me a tissue – I’m guilty as charged.

Now if you can kindly step aside, I have more whining to do!


Anonymous said...

I can understand your pain..but we need to face the truth..Indy has the Colts name and franchise name period!!!end of discussion..They will never relinquish the old Colts records..Remember the old times and memories with the Colts with much happiness..but you to need let it go..You are fighting a losing battle trying to have the old records returned to us.

Tim Sylvester said...

I could not agree more with the sentiment. However, I do not know if I would paint with such a broad brush. Let us look at some evidence and see where it leads us.

When a vote was taken about which site was best suited to be hosted on, fans took to voting. Because of forward thinking, one site for the Baltimore Ravens fans, took to the lead with help from an alliance of sites from across the NFL- by the fans, for the fans.

Another site decided it was unfair and cried the blues to those the NFL website and the votes for all teams were disallowed.

Point two in evidence for the fans. When one site decided to start a message board, to copy what other sites had done, the administrator turned to a website that he had castigated for over a year, promised them certain things and will of course drop them as soon as it benefits him.

Point three; this same person, seeing the numbers of members posting dwindle, tried to undermine a smaller site, for the fans, by the fans, by reaching out to the Alliance. Oh he thought he was crafty in what he said, none of it wrong, per se, but then crossed the line again when he stated; "nor am
> I suggesting that you undermine any commitment to them".

If you did not intend any underhanded dealings, why reach out? Why send the email?

While having a deal in place with 1300, you were constantly looking for any station to take your show on, free of charge.

While still at 1300, you lambasted 1570, WNST, Nestor and ALL of the people who work for him, including Aaron Wilson (who works with you now) and Bruce Cunningham. Yet wandered over to their station, even though you felt it was beneath you. How did that turn out? Oh yeah, unceremoniously dismissed right before the season started. So you went crawling back to 1300.

Still, listener-ship was low, readership and activity on the new message board even lower, so you had to come up with a plan. Something to get the fans involved put you back up on the pedestal. Then, as with anyone (including us) who has access to media related activity, you caught wind of the Hall of Fame changing around the room. They would now make the switch (as they did on their website) to list the teams with their respective cities. Before the news broke you started a petition and went horing it around to every message board that allowed you privileges to post.

You at first were welcomed, and then the truth came out about how you were just riding the coat tails of the Hall. Now you get lambasted, as you should, every site you go to. So what do you do? Blog about whiners.

It appears the evidence is clear, you are the whiner, not all the fans of Baltimore, not some of the fans of Baltimore, but you.

Tony Lombardi said...

Gee Tim, you sound like you have an agenda there. Funny, there was once a Tim Sylvester who worked with us here on 24x7. I wonder if that’s you. If so, I hope your life isn’t as miserable as this blog posting might suggest and that things improve for you soon.

Since this posting slams us (particularly me) pretty hard, I think I deserve an opportunity to provide my side of reality, since yours is about as accurate as many of the articles and commentary you submitted while on our staff (assuming of course this is the Tim Sylvester I knew). I will spare you some embarrassment and I won’t dignify all of your twisted truths with tit-for-tat responses. Against my better judgment, I’ve allowed this posting because I don’t want our site to be accused of being uneven or lacking in objectivity.

You mentioned the vote that was conducted by To borrow from Ronald Reagan, “Well there you go again Tim.” The vote was hosted by and for anyone to really think my alleged whining can make a difference with Sports Illustrated, to that I say, “Thanks for the compliment!” But once again Tim, that issue with accuracy.

We provide a message board and blogging to allow the opinions of fans to come through. We even allow for folks with an agenda like you to come through even though my membership on your message board has been suspended. What are you afraid of? I happily welcome all of you at Extreme.

We never suggested or remotely thought of our message board as a cutting edge idea and if that was your idea, good one! I tip my cap to you.

We are proud of how it compares to the other message boards around town in terms of functionality and appearance. Give it a try Tim! We are the newest of the Ravens boards around town and we hope to be the best some day but that’s not for us to judge. In order to achieve that goal we have partnered with someone who in my opinion is a consummate professional and who shares a common vision with us. Our message board administrator who we know and love as Admin24x7 has brought along some of the finest moderators and we couldn’t be more pleased. Thanks for noticing that they’ve joined the 24x7 team.

As for the Fan 2 Fan Alliance I have approached them about being part of their group of sites. Why wouldn’t we? Unfortunately for one of us, they can only accommodate one site for the Ravens. We think it should be us. You think it should be you. It’s just a matter of opinion. I happen to think we are better than Extreme. You probably disagree and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ll see what Fan 2 Fan decides and if out of loyalty to you (which by the way I admire) they stay with Extreme, the sun will still rise in the morning for us. No worries. My comment about undermining their commitment to you was out of respect for any loyalty that might exist.

As for your understanding of our situation with WNST and 1300, how would you know? If this is the Tim Sylvester that I think this is, it’s been what almost 2 years since you’ve been around or since we’ve had any contact? Your accusations are speculative at best.

And finally if our efforts to restore Baltimore’s Football Heritage have brought more attention to the grossly overdue changes in the Hall of Fame, then hooray for all of us. Who cares as long as it gets done? More on that here:

If all of this is in fact whining as I mentioned above, then please pass a tissue. But from my vantage pointed Tim, your reaction is similar to that of a scorned lover and by now, I thought you would be over it.

Do you need a tissue too?

Tony Lombardi said...

Oops...the here above is here now:

ravcol said...

Is this for blogging or flogging??

Tony Lombardi said...

Hey RavCol, what's a consonant here or there?

By the way, Fan 2 Fan called. Looks like they are a loyal group and they have chosen to stick with Extreme. Props to them for being faithful companions. For the fans, by the fans and all that.

Now we return you to your regularly scheduled whining...