The chant began the instant the
RAAAOOOOL ... RAAAOOOOL.
Raul Allegre would save the day, they swore.
Often, he did.
Four times as a rookie in 1983, Allegre booted game-winning field goals for the Colts (7-9), who boasted his right leg and little else on offense. The Mexico-born kicker accounted for 112 points, or nearly half of the team's output that year, its last in Baltimore. Colts fans voted him the club's most valuable player.
"That meant a great deal to me," said Allegre, 53, a Texas alumnus. "I had no assumptions that I would ever play in the
Allegre broke the mold. Fans besieged him for autographs. The Blast, the city's pro soccer team, invited him to kick the first ball at its home opener. And, thanks largely to Allegre, the Colts gained respectability following a winless 1982.
"We far exceeded all expectations," he said. "To be part of one of the great traditional teams in the league was a memorable, magical experience."
Acquired from the
"He seems too good to be true," coach Frank Kush said then.
Three weeks later, Allegre kicked a 33-yard field goal in overtime to defeat the
RAAAOOOOL . .
"That's the first time I remember hearing it," Allegre said. "Some guys on the team wondered why the fans were booing me for making the field goal. I said, 'I think they're calling my name.' "
In Denver, he kicked four field goals, including a 55-yarder, and barely missed one from 64 yards on the game's last play that would have defeated the
Allegre kept the ball but gave the booze to a teammate.
"It was the cheap stuff," he said. "I don't think Frank knew which tequila was best. And [linebacker] Barry Krauss was glad to get it."
He didn't know it then, but on Dec. 18, in a 20-10 home victory over the hapless Houston Oilers, Allegre scored the last point in
"I was shocked," he said. "I'd just gotten to know the town, the people. It was just a sad story. I saved a T-shirt, the only thing I had that says 'Baltimore Colts,' but I don't wear it because it'll start deteriorating.
"I'm glad the city has another team, a great organization that's creating its own tradition. But
Allegre played eight more years and earned two
Married 23 years and the father of three, he now lives in Austin and works for
"He [Tucker] has been very impressive," Allegre said. "I'm happy that another Texas kicker is having a good rookie year in Baltimore."
Even if his name doesn't lend itself to a chant.