Governor Schaefer’ former Press Secretary Bob Douglas sat down with Scott and Jeremy to remember the night the Baltimore Colts and their owner Bob Irsay managed to skip town. Douglas who was working for WBAL-TV at the time talked about taking a tip from a caller who spoke to a driver of a Mayflower moving van. “I took the phone call, its 10:30 on a weeknight. The caller said ‘A moving van just came in here for directions and said he was looking for the Colts training facility.’ He then said the truck then turned around and went back. So that raised the concern because everyone was on edge about Irsay and that he would bolt one night. So I called Mark Miller who ran the WBAL Radio news room who lived in an apartment across the street overlooking the training grounds. He said its happening.”
Douglas went on to elaborate on the relationship between Irsay and the then Mayor of Baltimore at the time. “What really bothered him about this was what a misjudgement of character it was. Schaefer was telling people both publicly and privately that you gotta trust this guy, I think this guy will come through, we’ve gotta stand by him. Then to be so publicly humiliated because Schaefer had said many times that if Irsay is going to move the team he promised me a phone call. For Schaefer, loyalty was one if not the number one rule of thumb you have to live by.”
Finally Bob was asked by Jeremy to explain what the city went through to get the NFL back in the city of Baltimore. “Schaefer decided early, and he was right about this, that if you build it the NFL will come. What he did was as soon as he began running for governor he brought up something that he established in 1972. What he basically said was we need a new stadium and we need it downtown. He insisted that it had to be at Camden Yards and he never wavered from that. He did that to demonstrate to the NFL that we would deliver.”
Listen to the full interview here!