The sad news was announced on Sunday night that Artie Donovan had died. The Pro Football Hall of Famer passed away due to a respiratory ailment at the age of 89.
Part of two NFL Championship teams (’58-’59) with the Baltimore Colts, Donovan was a Charm City institution.
I never saw Artie play a down of football, but I have known him my entire life. As matter of fact, generations of Baltimoreans know Artie Donovan.
He was as synonymous with the city of Baltimore as crab cakes and the Inner Harbor.
After his playing days ended, Donovan became a beloved radio and television personality. He was an epic story teller who could amuse and entertain people of all ages.
His popularity soared in the 1980’s as he made numerous appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. His book, Fatso, was a best-seller.
I had the pleasure of interviewing on Artie on a few occasions and he was always on time with the quip or football memory.
Donovan told me–and thousands of others–the story of horses crapping on the field during the halftime show. In the second half, while the opposing offensive linemen were in their three-point stance, Donovan and his fellow Colts defensive linemen would throw the horse manure in their faces.
There were plenty more tales of football and drinking fun.
Fortunately, Artie’s anecdotes and stories are timeless.
Sadly, he is no longer around to share them with us.
R.I.P Art Donovan.