Friday, September 07, 2012

Robert Irsay Day

The passing of Arthur B. Modell, and the debate over whether the fans of Cleveland should honor Mr. Modell's memory with a moment of silence at this weekend's Browns game remind me that the good people of Baltimore -- and all NFL fans for that matter -- have never given the late Robert Irsay his due for all of the wonderful things that he did for them.

I read this morning that Art Modell will lie in state in the stadium bestowed upon him by the grateful people of Maryland.  As the citizens of Charm City pass by his purple draped sarcophagus, they should spare a thought for Irsay.  After all, if it weren't for Irsay's decision to relocate the Colts to Indianapolis, combined with Modell's tireless opposition to awarding an expansion franchise to Baltimore, none of the Ravens' success would have been possible.

I understand that there still may be some bad feelings in Baltimore about the departure of the Colts, but then again, since nobody in Baltimore was going to their games anyway for the two seasons before they left, isn't it time that Baltimore "got over it,"  just like Cleveland is expected to do?

Personally, I think that Art Modell's death and the post-mortem testimonials to his overall wonderfulness should prompt the NFL to set aside a day annually during which fans could show their appreciation for all the excellent things that NFL owners do for their communities.  We should rightly honor not just giants like Art Modell, but those other humble billionaires who quietly do the Lord's work each and every day.

I suggest that the NFL name this annual event after the man who personified everything that the modern NFL owner is about: Robert Irsay.  Who can forget his memorable statement to the Baltimore media when rumors of a possible Colts move first surfaced?  Despite having been by all accounts grossly overserved by some unscrupulous bartender before speaking,  Irsay was still eloquent, and uttered the immortal words that have become the manifesto of an entire generation of NFL owners:


Robert Irsay Day -- there is just no more fitting name for a day set aside to honor the wonderful men who bring us pro football, and who ask nothing in return except brand new publicly funded stadiums, 100% of all luxury box sales and concession revenues, $500 personal seat licenses, and the unrestricted right to pick up and move to greener pastures whenever they still can't figure out how to make a profit despite all these subsidies.


Anonymous said...

This is a classic!

Anonymous said...

Rhino: Good post. Nice to have you back. I thought you had, like, died.

Anonymous said...

Still the best in the business.