An observant reader writes:
In today’s Politico, Nancy Pelosi stated that the Washington Redskins should change the team name. (I agree.) But then Politico reports as follows: “Pelosi noted that when she was growing up in Baltimore, the city didn’t have a football team. ‘So one of the first songs I ever learned in my whole life was, ‘Hail to the Redskins.’ I didn’t have the faintest idea what I was saying, but I’ve known it forever,’ she said.”
Huh? Pelosi grew up in Baltimore with the Baltimore Colts. The Colts played in Baltimore from 1953 to 1983. She was born in 1940. So, unless she did all her growing up before the age of 13, what she said is untrue and foolish. In fact, it was no ordinary team – it was the great Baltimore Colts, with legendary players throughout the 1950s. The 1958 NFL title game, with Unitas and Alan Ameche, is still known as the “greatest game ever played.” The movie Diner had multiple scenes showing the city’s devotion to the Colts in the 1950s. (Also, according to Wikipedia, there was an AAFC team called the Baltimore Colts, and the AAFC merged into the NFL, and in the 1950 season there was an NFL Baltimore Colts team).
For Pelosi to say that she grew up a “Redskins” fan and that there was no team in Baltimore is such poppycock that I sure hope you guys call her on it. What is it with these people that they even lie about stupid little things.
We all know what it is, but it wouldn’t be prudent to say it.
JOHN adds: Good Lord! This is even dumber than Hillary’s claim to have been named after the mountain climber, or Bill Clinton’s faux memories of non-existent church burnings. But not many people knew about those things, whereas–to be ignorant of the great Colts teams of the 1950s, while growing up in Baltimore?? The mind boggles. Johnny Unitas, greatest quarterback ever, in my opinion, Lenny Moore, Raymond Berry, Big Daddy Lipscomb, Jim Parker, Gino Marchetti, Art Donovan, Alan Ameche: she missed all of that as a kid in Baltimore? While ostensibly rooting for the hapless Washington Redskins? Those were household names in South Dakota when I was growing up (a good deal younger than Pelosi, I hasten to add).
But here is the most bizarre fact of all: Nancy Pelosi’s father, Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., was the Mayor of Baltimore from 1947-1959! So if the city gave a ticker tape parade for the world champion Colts of 1958, Pelosi’s father would have presided, and Nancy, age 18, no doubt was present. And now Pelosi says Baltimore “didn’t have a football team”?
It should also be noted that Pelosi can’t get off the hook by claiming that it was only during her earlier years when Baltimore “didn’t have a football team.” The Baltimore Colts played in the AAFC beginning in 1947, when Pelosi was a child of seven. Wikipedia notes that the Colts played before a crowd of over 51,000 in its final game that year, so it was not exactly an obscure franchise. The AAFC merged with the NFL in 1950, when Pelosi was ten, and Baltimore had a team in the NFL thereafter until the 1980s, with the exception of the two years from January 1951 to January 1953.