Indianapolis Colts

The man who kept marching after the Colts left Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WISH) — The story has been told many times over: 1984. Overnight. The Colts pack up and leave Baltimore. But there’s one man who kept marching.

Born and raised in Baltimore, John Ziemann isn’t shy about his love for his city, his teams or his job.

“I went to a Baltimore Colts game in 1956, and I saw they had a marching band and … I said, ‘This is it. I’ve got to be in that band.’ And then (on) April 4, 1962, I auditioned. I was only 14 — I lied about my age. You had to be 15,” Ziemann said.

That audition turned into a lifetime role — one that continued on even after the Colts left town.

“I stepped forward and said we’re keeping this community together — not only me, but every member said we’re staying together to bring football back to Baltimore,” he said.

In 1984, the band participated in parades and concerts, and in 1985, the group decided to go on the road — and that’s what they did until 1996 when the Baltimore Ravens were born.

Ziemann, now 74, serves as the Baltimore Ravens marching band president.

You can watch the Ravens play Colts live on WISH-TV Monday, along with extensive post-game coverage.

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