This Week In Baltimore Football History: Sept. 3-9
UNITAS SUFFERS INJURY; RAVENS OPEN SUPER BOWL DEFENSE
By Joe Platania
1949 -- Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees was born in Dunkirk, Ohio.
1964 -- During the third annual Hall of Fame Game at Canton, Ohio, the Baltimore Colts routed the Pittsburgh Steelers, 48-17, in front of a crowd of more than 11,000 fans.
1968 -- The Colts closed out a 5-1 preseason with a 16-10 win against the Dallas Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl. During the game, quarterback John Unitas injured his hand when a follow-through hit an opponent's helmet, eventually causing hand and arm deterioration, which ended his career several years later.
1975 -- Kick returner Howard Stevens, who played on the Colts' three AFC East championship teams, was acquired as part of a trade with the New Orleans Saints.
1976 -- Ravens inside linebacker/special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo was born in Chicago.
1978 -- The Colts, three-time defending AFC East Division champions, opened their season on "Monday Night Football" and the Cowboys routed them at Texas Stadium, 38-0.
1982 -- Deep-threat receiver Roger Carr was traded from the Colts to the Seattle Seahawks for a 1984 fourth-round pick.
1983 -- The Colts began what would be their final season in Baltimore with a 29-23 overtime road win against the New England Patriots.
1988 -- Johnny Grier, currently a league officials observer who worked frequently in Baltimore, became the first African-American referee in NFL history.
1998 -- The first regular-season game at The New Stadium at Camden Yards (now M&T Bank Stadium) was preceded the night before with a concert featuring Stevie Wonder and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Ravens during the lid-lifter the next day, 20-13.
1999 -- Ravens defensive end Michael McCrary signed a five-year contract extension. Also, the team cut former Florida State kicker Scott Bentley, who had provided Matt Stover with the most serious challenge to his job during training camp.
2000 -- The Ravens began what would turn out to be a championship season with the first road shutout in team history, a 16-0 blanking of the Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium, which was beginning its final season of existence.
2001 -- The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens opened their season with a 17-6 home win against the Chicago Bears. The game featured a replacement officiating crew, with five of the seven officials having gone to college in Illinois. President George Bush conducted the pregame coin toss via satellite, and Ravens owner Art Modell displayed the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the crowd.
2002 -- For the first time, the NFL's regular season opened on a Thursday night, complete with a prime-time concert in New York's Times Square.
2003 -- Much-ballyhooed first-round draft pick Kyle Boller started the first game of his rookie season and was constantly under pressure during the Ravens' 34-15 road loss to the Steelers.
2006 -- The official transfer of power took place from outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue to Roger Goodell, who became the eighth chief executive of the league.
2008 -- Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and that year's first-round pick, quarterback Joe Flacco, made their debuts with the team during a 17-10 home-opening win against the Cincinnati Bengals.
2011 -- The NFL announced an eight-year extension of its contract with ESPN to televise Monday Night Football, with the deal expiring in 2021. ABC-TV had shown "MNF" from 1970-2005.
Posted Sept. 3, 2012