Here is an editorial from the Indy Star that helps explain why I like the Colts. I've never really been a football fan in a general sense and never will be, but for the past two seasons I've been following these guys and watching their games. This helps to explain why I like a football team more than a basketball team whose players seem to get arrested every other week, and why I'm so glad they finally got those rings:
February 5, 2007
Mission accomplished with lots of class
Our position: The Colts and the community can revel in the joy of a world title and the pride of a classy performance.
They did it!
We did it!
And all of it, the right way.
Given up for dead by many a prognosticator a few weeks ago as their defensive slump turned a fine season temporarily ugly, the Indianapolis Colts rewarded the loyalty of their fans and their faith in themselves Sunday by reaching the pinnacle of professional football.
Already history-makers by their participation in the first Super Bowl for this city and the first to feature black coaches, Tony Dungy's troops made it clear they were not satisfied just to attend the party.
Too many disappointments, too many second-guesses and too many years of paying dues were involved for the Colts to settle for second best, and too much talent -- mental and physical -- was brought to Miami for the mission to fail.
The opponent, a next-door neighbor with a large Indiana following and a Hoosier quarterback, made for one of the more interesting matchups in the 41-year history of the sports mega-circus.
But a rugged Chicago Bears team coached by Dungy's good friend Lovie Smith could not quite match a band of brothers who had survived the best shot of the New England Patriots, formerly known as owners of the Super Bowl and the Colts alike.
A lethal letdown might have been expected after the miraculous comeback win for the AFC Championship two weeks ago. The Colts, cast in the heady role of Super Bowl favorite after 23 years in a town that used to suffer routinely through losing seasons, never let it happen.
Often written off as more show than go for its up-tempo air-oriented attack, this mature and sophisticated team knew how to blend the spectacular with the methodical. The Colts entertained -- and got the job done. They did it, as their coach is fond of saying, the right way.
The calm, focused approach that sets Dungy apart from so many of his sideline-stomping, profanity-spewing counterparts proved to be just right for the businesslike Colts and their brainy quarterback, Peyton Manning. "Experts" who said the coach wasn't mean enough and the team Dungy and team president Bill Polian built wasn't tough enough will have to eat their words, but without all that much vinegar.
Crow they might, but Colts aren't much for trash talk, and Colts fans reflect their heroes much as the team reflects its coach. Even as they took care of their end of the enterprise by yelling their lungs out and decorating their lives in blue, the Hoosier legions remained nice people, drawing praise for their civility from astonished rivals throughout the league.
The power of a winning sports team to unite a populace is easy to overstate, but it is real. And when the team conducts itself with the level of class the Colts organization has exhibited, on and off the field, it is an asset beyond price.
Professional sports doesn't always honor politeness and integrity. Even organizations that show those qualities are headed by serious entrepreneurs who demand much from their communities in exchange for Sunday afternoon thrills. Jim Irsay's Colts are no exception. Contention will continue over their level of taxpayer support and the price tag for hosting a Super Bowl, now a hotter topic than ever.
But the chores can wait. It is Blue Monday now, and the sky-blue mood will last well beyond today as Indianapolis and Indiana celebrate their very own holiday and take a bow in front of the world.
Congratulations, Colts! And thanks.