[photo, Baltimore Ravens fans at Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, Maryland]
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    On February 3, 2013, the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl, in New Orleans, defeating the San Francisco 49ers.

    Baltimore Ravens fans at Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, Maryland, February 2013. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    [photo, Johnny Unitas: The Golden Arm statue, by Frederick Kail, before M & T Bank Stadium, West Hamburg St., Baltimore, Maryland]

    Baltimore Colts first began as a team in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) from 1947 to 1949. They joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1950, but folded that same year. The team name Colts was chosen to honor Baltimore's horse racing industry, including the Preakness Stakes horse race, the second event in the Triple Crown.

    In 1953, a new team called the Baltimore Colts debuted and they played at Memorial Stadium until 1983. The Colts made it to the postseason ten times, winning the NFL Championship in 1958, 1959, and 1968. In 1971, the Colts won Super Bowl V.

    Johnny Unitas: The Golden Arm statue (2002), by Frederick Kail. The statue of the Baltimore Colts' quarterback appears on the north side of M & T Bank Stadium, West Hamburg St., Baltimore, Maryland, April 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    Despite the success of the Colts, tensions arose with the City of Baltimore regarding a new stadium. Several proposals were made to solve the problem, including the renovation of Memorial Stadium, as well as the construction of a new facility near the Inner Harbor, but they fell through. With the NFL's permission and despite legal action by the State, on March 29, 1984, at 2:00 a.m., the Colts' owner, Robert Irsay, moved the team to Indianapolis, taking the name, logo, colors, and records as well.

    As part of the short-lived U.S. Football League, a professional football league aimed at spring and summer markets, Maryland was home to the Baltimore Stars during 1985. The Stars had relocated to Baltimore from Philadelphia, and played at the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium (now Maryland Stadium) in College Park. The Baltimore Stars won the USFL Championship at East Rutherford, New Jersey on July 14, 1985, defeating the Oakland Invaders. Although scheduled to play at Memorial Stadium during the 1986 season, the League ceased operation, and the team only played one season in Maryland.

    In 1987, the Washington Commandos, based in Landover, debuted in the newly-formed Arena Football League (AFL). After a year's hiatus, the team was renamed the Maryland Commandos for the 1989 season, after which the team moved to Fairfax, Virginia, and adopted its former name.

    The Baltimore Football Club, later called the Baltimore Stallions, formed in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Playing at Memorial Stadium from 1994 to 1995, the team chose a horse head logo, as well as blue and white colors, as a nod to the former Baltimore Colts. It had winning records both years. Considered the most successful of all the League's teams in the U.S., the team became the first American one to win the League's Grey Cup trophy. The Stallions ceased operation in Baltimore after the NFL returned for the 1996 season with the new Baltimore Ravens.

    [photo, M & T Bank Stadium, West Hamburg St., Baltimore, Maryland] The Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League debuted in the 1996 season at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. Ever since the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984, Baltimore had been trying to get another NFL team with the lure of a new stadium. On November 6, 1995, Art Modell, owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced the relocation of his team to Baltmore for the 1996 season. The Ravens franchise is an expansion, or newly-formed, team and, unlike the Colts, the Browns' name, records, and uniforms remain in Cleveland.

    M & T Bank Stadium, West Hamburg St., Baltimore, Maryland, April 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    In 1998, a 69,300-seat stadium was completed to host the team. Formerly called Ravens Stadium, it was renamed M & T Bank Stadium in 2003. The Stadium is part of Baltimore's Camden Yards sports complex.
    [photo, Poe, the Baltimore Ravens mascot, Maryland State Fair, Timonium, Maryland] The Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2001 and 2013.

    From the franchise's inception in 1996, the Ravens had held their summer training camp , open to the public, at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. In the summer of 2011, however, the Ravens began holding their training at their practice facility, now known as the Under Armour Performance Center, in Owings Mills. There, practices no longer are open to the public.

    The Washington Redskins National Football League team plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The Stadium opened in 1997 and seats 80,116 people. The Washington Redskins won the NFL Championship in 1937 and 1942 and the Super Bowl in 1983, 1988, and 1992.

    Poe, the Baltimore Ravens mascot, Maryland State Fair, Timonium, Maryland, September 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.

    On April 7, 2017, the Baltimore Brigade, the newest team in the Arena Football League (AFL), started its inaugural season. They will play their home games at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.

    In the National Women's Football Association, the Baltimore Burn debuted in April 2001 with nine other teams. The Burn plays at the Community College of Baltimore County (Dundalk Campus).

    Minor league semi-professional football teams also compete in Maryland. The Arbutus Big Red Football Team, for example, is sponsored by the Arbutus Athletic Association, and competes in the Mason-Dixon Football League.

    University of Maryland, College Park, won the Gator Bowl on January 1, 2004, beating West Virginia 41-7.

    On July 1, 2014, the University of Maryland, College Park joined the Big Ten Conference. The University had been part of the Atlantic Coast Conference from 1953 to 2014.

    [photo, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, 550 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, Maryland] Navy football is played at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Opened in 1959, the Stadium seats 30,000. It is home to the midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy athletics department. On December 22, 2005, Navy beat Colorado State University 51-30 in the Poinsettia Bowl.

    Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, 550 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, Maryland, April 2016. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.

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