NFL's Most Embarrassing Moments

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Colts sneak out
Photo: Bill Smith/AP; Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Colts sneak out

March 29, 1984

Few cases of an owner taking his team to a greener pasture are more notorious than Robert Irsay moving the Colts out of Baltimore, their home of 31 years, under cover of darkness. Dogged by losing, falling attendance and an aging stadium, Irsay flirted with several cities and set his sights on Indianapolis. The Maryland legislature tried to keep the Colts with a law that allowed the city to seize the franchise by eminent domain, but after it passed, the team's offices and training facility were hastily packed up and a convoy of moving vans departed after midnight. Baltimore's reaction was furious, but the NFL, after a recent defeat in a $35 million federal antitrust suit by Al Davis and his Oakland-to-Los Angeles Raiders, didn't try to block Irsay.


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