Breaking news to Baltimore about glories of modern-day Indy & Jim Irsay isn’t easy



As many of you might remember, my dear friend and mentor John Steadman would often channel Babe Ruth and write wacky letters to Baltimore sports fans from The Bambino in heaven.

So, on the eve of what would’ve been my father’s 93rd birthday, I’m writing an open letter to Steadman – and my Pop (and maybe even to Charlie Eckman) – to tell them what my eyes have seen in the years since their deaths in regard to the legacy of the Indianapolis Colts. I now realize in many ways I only really saw the Baltimore Colts and their glory through their eyes because other than three years of Bert Jones from 1975-77 when I was a kid, the Colts of Robert Irsay weren’t worth having in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Colts packed up the Mayflower vans on March 28, 1984. Twenty-eight years later and about that many trips to Indy over the years have taught me many life lessons about greed, loss, regret, hatred, football, forgiveness, civic responsibility and pride.

I spent nine days in Indianapolis last week and I’ll be back there again in 14 days for the NFL Combine. I’ll probably be going to Indianapolis for the rest of my life – or as long as they have the Colts – and I’m finally gaining some appreciation, clarity and personal growth for my adventures in the “friendly heart of The Midwest.”

Dear John & Pop:

I know you’re going to have a hard time believing this – and you might even think old Nasty Nestor has gone soft – but I have a very hard, long-term and deep-seated admission I’m going to make and you’re probably going to be very disappointed with me.

After all of these years, I have to admit that I like Indianapolis.

And I like Jim Irsay.

And I even like the Mayor of Indy, Greg Ballard, who I introduced to Chuck Pagano on our WNST set last week in Indy.

And I have to make the tough, honest admission that the Indianapolis Colts have become one helluva success story for the NFL and for their community in Indiana.

I know you might not have liked my “pardon” of all things Irsay and Colts and Indianapolis almost two years ago now, and you’re probably flipping over in your respective graves as you read this but the people of Baltimore almost found out last week what Indiana and “Hoosier Hospitality” is all about.

It’s a shame, really, because the people of Baltimore would’ve been there to see firsthand just how far Indianapolis has come in 28 years if Ravens’ WR Lee Evans would’ve just held onto a sure-touchdown pass from this scrappy kid named Joe Flacco up in New England in the AFC Championship Game. Half of the Charm City would’ve been packing up the family for Indiana like Jed Clampett going to Beverly Hills if the Ravens would’ve pulled out that win over the Patriots.

And that trip might’ve once-and-for-all “healed the war” between Indy and Baltimore. And it might’ve gotten us what we really want — pictures like THIS taken off the walls of local taverns like Kilroy’s because they are as disrespectful as a Confederate flag is to some men in their symbolism:

(And if you’re reading in Indy: Stop selling the Johnny Unitas jerseys in the Circle Center Mall downtown. And stop pushing Raymond Berry’s sorry ass onto the national platform as your own because he’s foolish enough to play along with the charade.

This stuff STILL bothers all of us in Baltimore! A lot…

Do that, and perhaps, all will be totally forgiven.)

But as much as it is hard for anyone from Baltimore to admit it — but time and facts have proven it all true — you have to give Jim Irsay some immense and serious credit. He inherited one of the most screwed up situations this side of Peter Angelos and his boys when he woke up as a 28-year old general manager in India-No-Place 


  1. Its fine to like the city and the people of Indy but Jimmy Irsay? I said I was worried about you when you developed this strange love last week now I’m officially thinking your certifiable. Of course you could be trolling for ratings since the sports season is over until September in Baltimore and your little radio station is on life support? Maybe you should have had the same love for some of your x employees who actually made WNST a viable station for the wattage. Its clear your business plan is to hire people for the least amount of money and let them all go when they become good and ask for more. In effect you run your radio station just like Irsay ran the Baltimore Colts. When you stopped doing your daily show to manage the station I really missed you on the air you are the best Baltimore radio sports guy since Eckman. If you ever return to the airwaves I will happily change the dial to Scott and Jeremy. Have fun loving yourself Nestor.

  2. Jim Irsay looks like a Mafia wannbe in that pin stripped suit. Bad dresser? He reminds me of a racoon that get’s into garbage & eats it’s full & I have to agree with Ed who called him garbage. He is typical of second generation who inherits it & blows it!…..The Indy Colts I don’t care one way or another but as long as the Irsay name is associated with this Franchise, it reeks. Jim Irsay I’m hopeful of & afraid at the same time is about to learn soon a very costly decision in his life.

  3. My take is that the only reason you have this opinion is that Jimmy Irsay agreed to do a sit down for your book. Otherwise, you would have ripped the team, city and owner.

  4. Sorry Nestor…I have to disagree. I went to my first game at Lucas Oil two seasons ago and I felt like I was at a PGA event. Very polite clapping. Everyone dressed in their matching jerseys and going through the routine motions that they were expected to do. Walking to the stadium just 2 hours before kickoff, you would have never even known that there was a game going on. Typically the streets are flooded with cheering fans, vendors, and a level of excitement that the NFL is known for. I found none of that. It was very “Stepford Wives” and not indicitive of an NFL experience at all. While I am a lifetime Ravens PSL Holder, I have been to games in 26 different NFL stadiums so I am not saying this as a homer or anything like that, but rather from someone who has had a lot to compare it to. I enjoy comparing the gameday environments of the different stadiums and can remain impartial regardless on if I like the team or not. In Indy, I did not see a rich culture of football understanding, nor did I see anything to inspire this sudden lovefest you have towards them. I got into several conversations with Colts fans regarding why Baltimore was STILL upset, and not a single one even understood what I was talking about. All I would get was “you did the same thing”. They seemed oblivious to the fact that we do not have the Baltimore Browns…the Browns name, colors, and most importantly History remains in Cleveland to this day. If the city of Indy had renamed the Colts the “Indianapolis 500’s” or something symbolic of the local area, we would have stopped this conversation years ago. But they did not and never will acknowledge this crime that you were so adamant about just a little while ago. I tend to have to agree with the prior poster that this seems like a cheap publicity ploy, and one that I can not buy into. If anything, the small amount of respect that I did have for you has disappeared.


    You saying we stole the Colts is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENT THEN US SAYING THE CITY OF DETROIT STOLE THE PISTONS AND TURNED ALL THEIR FANS INTO CONVICTS. Now we don’t do that here in Indy because you know what were better then that!!!!!! But then again from some stand point if you were alive at the time when the Colts had their glory days I can understand your frustration. I guess there are some things some people will never get over. I know I will never get over hating posers like Britney Spears, Hanson, and Justin Bieber. Their kind ruined the 1990’s after Biggies death and as a kid growing up in the 1990’s, I felt like they took the end of my generation when the alternative and tap music scene started to go down hill in 1998. I will never be over what they did to the music scene that’s why I to this day will not watch a single movie or anything with Justin Timberlake IE the kind that ruined my generation of music in it.

  6. Sounds like an epiphany of sorts, Nestor. Maybe now you can begin kissing Angelos’s derrier, just like you’re doing with Mr. Jimmy Irsay – shame on you.

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