Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No-Names No More, Baltimore's a One Horse Town Again

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No-Names No More, Baltimore's a One Horse Town Again

Article excerpt

After a season in legal limbo, a season with nothing to call itself except Baltimore Football Club, that city's CFL team is the proud owner of a new nickname.

Let's hear it - drum roll, maestro, please - for the Stallions.

Now in some circles, this will be viewed as a case of progress. For a generation or so, Baltimore football players were called the Colts. Thoroughbred enthusiasts know that until age 5, a male horse is called a colt. When he gets to stud, he becomes a stallion.

The CFL team, less concerned with equine definitions than it was with appealing to the emotions of the town, wanted to use "Colts." The NFL, which abandoned Baltimore for Indianapolis 11 years ago, demurred and sued, arguing that for football purposes, the name Colts belonged right where it was - in Indianpolis. A district court judge agreed and the CFL team went nicknameless last year.

This is like being a man without a country. Imagine New York, unable to use Yankees, or Boston, stripped of the word Celtics. Think about Montreal, ordered to call its hockey team something other than Canadiens.

This was Baltimore's condition last season. The team was good enough to get to the CFL championship Grey Cup game, even though nobody knew what to call it. The horsehead logo was the only hint, although there was no way to tell just what kind of horse was being portrayed. Now we know.

Owner Jim Speros saddled up and galloped into Memorial Stadium last week to announce the new name. "It was time for our players, coaches and staff to have an identity," he said.

Not that Stallions was the overwhelming choice. In a name-the-team contest conducted following last season, the top choice of the voters was that the franchise continue without any nickname. Second place went to Stallions.

Speros decided that constituted the will of the people and the no-names were nameless no more. This could have posed a problem because the NFL, which leaves nothing to chance, had already trademarked Stallions for an anticipated expansion team in St. …

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