(WJZ)- November 6, 1995 will live on in the memory of Baltimore football fans for a long time to come. It was on that date, that Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell and Maryland Governor Paris Glendening announced that the city would be home to a football franchise once more.
The Browns relocated to Baltimore, 12 years after the Colts, the city’s beloved team for 31 years, departed for Indianapolis following the 1983 season. In a bit of delicious irony, this Sunday the Ravens, who were born of the Browns relocation to Cleveland in 1995, will face the Indianapolis Colts just days after the 25th anniversary of the announcement.
25 yrs ago: Art Modell (& MD Gov Parris Glendening) announced the relocation of Browns fr CLE to BAL.
25 yrs later the Baltimore Ravens prepare for a Sunday game vs….the Indianapolis Colts
“Football gods” dazzle us with amazing coincidence.
🤔🏈 @wjz #TBT @Ravens pic.twitter.com/6sx6HZgys9
— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) November 5, 2020
It was a move that stunned many across the country. There had been rumors about Modell wanting to move the team before but nothing had ever materialized. When it did, it came as a shock.
WJZ’s Mark Viviano was the first to learn about the relocation of the Browns to Baltimore and he reflected on the experience of reporting out and chasing the story in a Facebook post just a few weeks ago. At the time, Viviano says, he and Gerry Sandusky were the only sports anchors reporting on the story while others both in Baltimore and Cleveland believed it to be wrong.
Viviano was of course right in the end as Modell and governor Glendening announced 25 years ago. Baltimore had a professional football team again.
This Sunday’s matchup between the Colts and Ravens is one of the city’s history meeting its present. The Ravens, since their founding, have not fared well against Baltimore’s old franchise, winning just four of the 12 games played in the last 25 years. Most of those losses came during the Peyton Manning era, when the Colts won eight straight games in the series from 2002 through 2010.
Since then, the Ravens have actually taken three of the last four. And this year marks the first time quarterback Lamar Jackson gets to make his imprint on the series. Both teams are 5-2 on the year fighting to make it to the top of the AFC.
Kick off is set for 1 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS.