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If you’re from Maryland, you probably hate the Colts. Even though you weren’t alive for it, you’ve heard stories from your parents about how that drunk son of a bitch Bob Irsay turned his back on Baltimore. For those of you who don’t know, let me fill you in.
In 1984, Irsay moved the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis “in the back of a Mayflower truck in the middle of the night,” as many a child from the Land of Pleasant Living has heard. People were fucking pissed. Blood and Natty Boh probably filled the streets when they found out.
That’s the story we all know. However, I, along with most other people, had no idea how the Sigma Chi chapter at the University of Maryland was involved. What follows is the complicated tale of Sigma Chi’s hilarious involvement in the move.
We all know that the mayor of Indianapolis, William Hudnut, was working behind the scenes with Irsay to move the Colts to town. Hudnut’s neighbor, John B. Smith, offered his services to Hudnut if it would help bring the team to the city. Smith was in a unique position to help, seeing as he was the chairman of Mayflower Transit.
A legal battle commenced and the Maryland legislature was about to pass a bill that would have made it pretty much illegal for the Colts to leave Baltimore. Seeing the difficulty that this would have created for the planned move, Hudnut “called Johnny B. and he got his vans on the road.”
They decided they’d have to move in the dead of night, but who was going to provide the muscle for the move? Well, that’s where UMD Sigma Chi comes in.
Some of the brothers worked part-time for Mayflower, so with such a big job on its hands and such little time, the company knew exactly who to call. Getting paid $20 an hour (which is around $45 in today’s money) the Sigma Chis agreed to work the job. However, they weren’t even told what the job was or where they were going. They were put on a bus and moved out.
This incredible story could have ended here, but it didn’t. Upon realizing what was happening, some brothers tried to alert the media and the general public of the move. After that plan failed, they did what one could argue was the next best alternative: they looted the Baltimore Colts.
These guys made off with shirts, jerseys, trophies, and other very valuable memorabilia. Allegedly, one of them snatched Coach Frank Kush’s pants and hat. There are also rumors that the Sigma Chis held a contest to see who could get his hands on the coolest stuff. It got so out of hand, management told the guys that if they stopped looting and just gathered all their recently acquired goods together, Mayflower would let them off the hook. Not a bad gig.
All in all, the Sigma Chi brothers from UMD made of with a pretty decent haul that night. More importantly, they helped make a pretty big–albeit extremely shitty–moment in NFL history.
Image via TerpSig.com