Tuesday, April 17, 2007


If you haven’t had a chance to go and see the Blackbirds then do yourself a favor, reach into your pocket for $15 and make your way down to First Mariner Arena. Folks I’m here to tell you that this game has potential here in Baltimore.

Now this team, is another story…but more on that in a bit.

This is football. Yes, it’s a slightly altered version of football, but the game is fast paced, takes a little over 2 hours to finish and offers some exciting twists to a game you know and love.


On Saturday, my guess is that there were about 1,000 fans that showed up. Interestingly enough, for such a small turnout (rivaled by an O’s game that shared the same start time) the crowd was extremely enthusiastic. I spoke to John Wolfe the Blackbirds GM during the game and he said that one of the referees said it was the loudest crowd he’s experienced.

Baltimore football fans have game, make NO mistake about it.

It’s almost shocking how few people even know about the Blackbirds. Admittedly at this point they seem like a novelty and unless they get some respect and put more fannies in the seats, they will be remembered as nothing more than a fleeting novelty. Yet they can be so much more.

I recall the glory days of The Blast. That arena would rock and it could again. Sure the venue is a dog. It’s a civic embarrassment. But look at it this way…if you support this team it could help pave the way for a new arena or it could attract a better and more established indoor football team or arena football team to the city.

Besides, what does $15 get you these days, a matinee for two? Happy Meals for three?

Here’s a real quick story that I’ll share with you from Saturday.

Unlike Camden Yards where it’s the equivalent of embezzlement if you move down from the less expensive seats to a vastly unoccupied part of the lower box seats, First Mariner and the Blackbirds are far more fan friendly. Then again, how could you not be…

I spotted Sports Steve, arguably the greatest Ravens’ fan on the planet down along the boards next to the field. I made my way down to say hello to him and his buddy “Bear”. As he always does, Sports Steve chronicles a sporting event with pictures and he asked me to pose for one with him.

As I did, a friend of mine who coincidentally sat one row behind SS exclaimed, “Tony, watch out!”

In a flashing moment, I turned to see that the Montgomery Bears QB had overthrown his intended receiver and the ball was heading straight for my head. It took all of the reflexive quickness I had to prevent the ball from nailing me in the forehead. I then double clutch in a manner similar to Travis Taylor and tried to actually catch the projectile that nearly ambushed me. After a couple of tips the ball fell on to the field of play where one of the players, watching the action, tipped the ball back up into the crowd much like a baseball player would.

You see fans can keep these footballs. Any overthrown pass is a keeper. Any kicked ball that goes into the stands on extra points, kickoffs or field goals is a keeper. And the kids love it! The adults do too as evidenced by the pile of humanity that dove atop my exposed legs when that player tossed my “drop” back into the stands.

The Blackbirds have a long way to go. They are a very bad football team. But things can change. I remember when the Ravens were a very bad football team with financial issues. Your support could make a difference. Take this exciting game and put it in a new Ed Hale venue in Canton and I’m telling you, this has the makings of a great pastime here in Baltimore and it can help to bridge a gap between one NFL season to the next.

To Ed Hale….if you build it, people will come. People will most definitely come Ed.

To all of you….to keep this exciting brand of football in town you need to head down to First Mariner Arena.

The next home game is Sunday April 29 at 4PM against the Gulf Coast Raiders.

Come on Baltimore…you were only waiting for this moment to arise…


NFLRaven said...

Gee it would have been nice if some of the fans that were there would send in pictures to show what good time can be had. :-)

John Wolfe said...


Thanks for the support and for football fans out there, you have to come see the Blackbirds. 99% of the fans I have spoken to loved it. The action is fast, the free t-shirts are flying all game, and as Tony mentioned, you get to keep the balls that go in the stands, but please toss the players back (and that happens too). As an old Colts, Stars, Stallions, and Ravens fan, I'm just happy to have football year round. We actually had 3,517 there the other night, which fills up about a 1/3 to 1/2 of the lower deck, and the place was very loud. Imagine the fun, if the place was packed. Come out see us on the 29th. If you are with a youth or high school team, send me a note at John.Wolfe@baltimoreblackbirdsfootball.com and ask about a special ticket deal.


John Wolfe
General Manager
Baltimore Blackbirds

MB Genius said...

If the Blast can draw 7,000 to that architectural disaster on Howard Street then the Blackbirds or whatever should do the same. Who is their PR firm? Do they have one? How bad is it that this team flies so far under the radar screen. They should have called themselves the Baltimore Stealthbombers. How about a billboard on 395 near M&T Bank Stadium?

bruce said...

Just wanted to let everyone know you should give this league and team a chance.If you atend one game you will be hooked the action is fast the play is good the players are so close you and touch them.You cant beat the price and after each game all the fans are invited down on the field for a meet and greet with the whole team.I promise you you'll have a good time.Baltimore Football at its Best.
Bruce in Pasadena