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11-06-2013, 08:39 PM #1
50th anniversary of the Baltimore Colt Corrals
I was going to post this as OT on the Ravens forum after they beat the Browns - but it just wasn't in the cards unfortunately. Still, something good did in fact happen concerning Baltimore football last week.
On Sunday of the bye week I attended the 50th Anniversary of the Council of Baltimore Colt Corrals (now Ravens Roosts) at Michaels 8th Avenue in Glen Burnie. Colts Corral No. 1 got started in 1957. By 1963 there were 4 Colts fan clubs. Under the leadership of the Colts #1 Fan, Hurst "Loudy" Loudenslager, they incorporated and formed the Council. They stuck together through 12 years without NFL football, supporting two championship teams - the USFL Stars and the CFL Stallions along the way. In 1996 they became the Council of Ravens Roosts.
The event on Sunday was co MC'ed by current Council VP Bill West, and Frank Luber, who worked for WJZ years ago. Guests included Sandy Unitas, HOFer Lenny Moore, Tom Matte, Rick Volk, Bruce Laird, John Ziemann director of the Band That Wouldn't Die, the staff of Sports Legends Museum, Stan the Fan Charles, former Governor Bob Ehrlich, and Len "Big Wheel" Burrier who led C-O-L-T-S cheers in Memorial Stadium and inspired Wild Bill Hagy to do his thing for the Orioles.
It was an excellent event. Sports Legends had jerseys from each of Baltimore's four championship teams. They also had 3 flat screens set up so you could watch the entire 1958 Championship Game, or highlights from Super Bowls V, XXXV or XLVII. Rick Volk posed with Fans holding the SB V Trophy. Lenny Moore talked about God, and Johnny U in the huddle. Sandy Unitas said Johnny loved being involved in the community and "only the dear Lord could get John out of Baltimore". Frank Luber said he and a friend checked into their hotel room in OC during a Colts Corral convention (still held annually by the Ravens Roosts). The room was filled with bottles of booze. They figured there had been a mistake so they inquired at the front desk. As it turned out the room had been reserved for Mr. and Mrs. Bob Irsay - Go figure!
I was introduced to "Big Wheel". He was kind of an icon to me growing up 'cause the guy went out of his way to get Fans fired up at Memorial Stadium. The C-O-L-T-S cheers that he led from 1975-1983 were so loud that you could hear them three miles away in Hamilton where we hung out. He also led cheers for the USFL Stars (Len said that didn't work out too good because you can't drink beer at Byrd Field in College Park!) and the CFL Stallions (initially called the CFL Colts). I had a few beers with Len Burrier at the Council's anniversary bullroast and we shared stories. We discovered that neither of us initially supported the new Baltimore franchise in 1996. Neither one of us wanted to support a team called the Baltimore Browns that would steal the name, colors and history from the great Fans of Cleveland. Len supported the Stallions bid to remain in Baltimore, and I plunked down a $100 deposit for 1996 Stallions season tickets. In fact, Len was in the Memorial Stadium lobby when I paid the deposit. We didn't talk much, but we took a picture together with the CFL Gray Cup before going our separate ways. Turns out neither of us bought Ravens PSL's until we were assured the Baltimore team would have its own name and fresh start, and Cleveland would keep it's colors and history. Len never led cheers for the Ravens. In 1998 when the new stadium was constructed, I found myself surrounded by 25 members of this thing called "Ravens Roost 18 of Glen Burnie". They were a good bunch of eggs and I eventually joined their club. That first season I turned to our Roost president and said "You know, we need our own cheer, like Big Wheel used to do in Memorial. I used to love that shit!" My president replied "Well get the fuck up and do it then you dumb ass!" and the rest is history. We've led "R-A-V-E-N-S" cheers after every Ravens score ever since. One of the guys in the Roost made big placards with the letters on them and in no time we had whole sections joining in on the cheer. That was 16 seasons ago. Nowadays, three to five sections (529-533) regularly join in on the cheers. After key scores, the cheer "jumps the gap" to Sections 534-538 in the West end zone. Occasionally (usually when the sound system is on the fritz!) participation in the cheer expands to the 50 yard line to the left, and halfway around the EZ to the right. We do it to continue a great Baltimore football tradition. Besides, it's a lot of fun lol!
Leonard "Big Wheel" Burrier was the last guest to be called up to the mike at the Colt Corral's anniversary celebration. When he got up there he asked me to join him. Together we led the crowd of 400 Fans in the C-O-L-T-S cheer, the R-A-V-E-N-S cheer, and the Baltimore Fight Song. It was my distinct honor and privelage to do so, i assure you.
In closing I've included a link to an article about Loudy Loudenslager who helped get the Colt Corral's going 50 years ago. He was the epitome of the Baltimore football fan and helped lay the foundation for todays Ravens Fans and the traditions of Baltimore football fandom for years to come. We drank to his memory and all the great Fans that make Baltimore such a great football town. Sticking by your team during tough times like our Ravens are experiencing right now is what sets us apart from other fanbases. Raise your glasses high!
- Real Fan Dan
Last edited by Real Fan Dan; 11-07-2013 at 07:43 AM. Reason: spelling, grammarVisit your heroes at the Sports Legends Museum
Preserve Baltimore's sports legacy - before it fades away!
Re: 50th anniversary of the Baltimore Colt Corrals
Unitas was a pall-bearer at Loudy's funeral.
Wish you had told me of the event Dan. I would have been there.Pic of a natural act: UBER RAVENS FAN!
Re: 50th anniversary of the Baltimore Colt Corrals
Thanks, Dan. Great to hear about The Big Wheel. Miss those days.