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What Does It Mean To Build A Monster Part 1: People Like Me

My Opinions Are 0% Fact

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I have never been to a Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium (I attended last year's Titan's game in Tennessee). This is mainly due to the fact that I live in Chicago, home of the Bears, (Yes, Peyton, I suffer from Displaced Fan Syndrome). The second reason is I'm getting married, and justifying a ticket would put a...strain...on our budding (hopefully long lasting) relationship. This is only important because in part 1 of my search to find out what "Build The Monster," truly means I am going to be taking a look at people like me, the fans.

When most people think of building the monster I feel like their thoughts drift directly to the roster. That's a pretty understandable. The roster is something that is something that is actually "built," with players being added, subtracted, and moved around on the depth chart. I believe, however, that building the monster starts with the fans. When I was down in Tennessee, for a Thursday Night Game, I was surprised by how many Colts fans there were. Not only that I was astounded by the noise the fans brought to the away venue. It was a welcome sight (and sound) in a "hostile" stadium. Now LP Field isn't THAT far away and I can't speak to our road attendance, but in a '08 study done by Emory University ranked the Colts as the 6th most supportive fans in the NFL . Now a lot has changed since 2008, but one thing that hasn't changed is the loyalty of the fan base. One thing that I have noticed about my fellow Colts fans is the level of ownership they take in "their," team. This is why they can rank 6th in the NFL after having only been in the city for 23 years. It's also why we can be extremely critical of our team when an action is taken that is disagreeable. This criticism, which some have misinterpreted as being "fair weather," is in my opinion a good thing. I'd take that over apathy any day! Lucas Oil Stadium has won, once again, the Best Sports Venue Award given annually by Stadium Journey. This is because, in part, the fans. Paul Sweeny, Co-Founder of Stadium Journey, stated,

"The contrast in the level of noise between when the team is on offense or defense is astounding. This is partially a carryover of the Peyton Manning era when he would make calls from the line of scrimmage, so the crowd has been trained over the years to be quiet when watching the offense. The only time you will hear the crowd is after a big play, when the announcer calls, 'That's an Indianapolis Colts...' and the crowd responds exuberantly, 'FIRST DOWN!' On defense the crowd can be menacing, but they are far from hostile. On the contrary, Colts fans are very hospitable to visiting fans and you won't see anything more than good natured ribbing toward opposing fans. You can feel comfortable wearing your team's jersey if you are following them on the road."

Sorry for the block quote, but that is some good stuff! That quote above shows the signs of an intelligent fan base! It is one thing to be crazy loud when the opposing team is on defense, but it is an entirely different thing for a stadium full of fans to be quite. Also, having a fan base that knows where "the line," is when it comes to other teams' fans is a great thing. Not every fan base gets it.

The Colts as an organization have done a great job of fostering this fan base of "menacing" yet "hospitable" followers. On the website in t he days leading up to games there is always an article and/or video of a player, coach, or exec proclaiming the importance of the fans bringing the noise. That can't be by accident. The Colts organization seems to be, at least from the outside, a very intentional group of people. They also do an amazing job of catering to the fans almost rabid craving for team information. I think they understand that the Colts, being a smaller market team, will never get their fair share of the national sports talk time. I think they understand that to keep people plugged in and interested in anything you have to keep them engaged in whatever it is you are selling. Things like the Mailbag and are amazing ways to interact with the fans and "educate the monster," as it were. I feel like we are a fortunate group to have a team like that.

When one thinks about building the monster. I think the most important things to remember is 1.) It is the monster. Singular. BUT 2.) It is built meaning made of many separate parts. What a perfect analogy for a fan base. A singular entity striving for a singular goal, that is made of many different parts. If you have any questions or comments or wanna talk or debate about anything I said leave a comment! Go Colts!




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Didn't George Washington defy King George III & call for a revolution against Great Britain's colonization & lack of religious & economic freedom which lead to the formation of the United States in 1776?    Still other American scholars have made the argument that the red in our nation's union jack represents the blood of the many black men & women who paid the ultimate sacrifice through war & forced bondage to play a crucial role in the United States autonomy away from the cash crop economies of cotton & tobacco via indentured servitude that survived slavery, Jim Crow laws, & city & natl. prohibitions against unfair restrictions on unlawful voting practices, unlawful access to an equal education; unlawful employment restrictions, unlawful housing practices; & unlawful guidelines about separate lunch counters; restrooms; water fountains & basic dignity rights about human survival minus lynchings & other forms of physical & psychological torture.      Relax, I'm not here to lecture anybody about our country's past missteps or injustices CBE. I am only pointing out what others have said about America's right to peaceful protest earned tragically through rebellion, wars, death,  & social unrest just to allow some US citizens the right to not stand during the Natl. Anthem. I like you dislike this act of defiance immensely, but that decision to not stand or kneel during the Star Spangled Banner is a choice they are entitled to exercise no matter how much others might firmly be diametrically opposed to this notion outright.    I've said this before & I'll say it again: To me, the flag & honoring it through the Natl. Anthem represents the land of opportunity where immigrants with nothing can come here & make something of themselves despite language barriers, cultural barriers, geographic barriers, & gender barriers. Yes, I know. 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By that I mean, create an atmosphere where all sides can ask each other anything not as a mechanism to upset or blame each other but rather to listen to everyone's hopes, dreams, & aspirations while unpacking misconceived prejudices about another community that are not accurate or truthful at all in the interest of real growth & awareness. It may sound like a far fetched pipe dream on the surface, but it can be achieved as long as different groups from different backgrounds really listen to one another & they don't get obsessed with protecting their own point of view exclusively at all costs. Yes, I know. The first thing any group needs is to know that they are safe, protected, & no bodily harm will come to them when interacting with powerful authority figures in society or expressing a POV that may be deemed unflattering or unpopular in contemporary circles. I understand completely. Trust me.    I have my first college roommate named Al who happens to be an America Indian that converse with somewhat frequently on provocative issues. I just enjoy our conversations because we respect the other person's backgrounds & life experiences & we can ask each other anything because for us it's not about a gotcha moment or look how smart I am stance. We wanna get deep below the surface & kick every rock/road block over. To quote HOF INDY head coach Tony Dungy, "are you part of the problem or part of the solution?"    Thanks again CBE for jotting down your thoughts. I respect you as a writer & thinker a great deal.         
    • Here's my short take on Colin and what is going on: I have no problem with people protesting about something they believe in or serious matters like racism, that is everyone's right to do so. Where I have the problem is dissing the American flag. It doesn't accomplish anything and it really gets many people to dislike you and question why you are doing that. To me it's dissing the Military and the USA when you don't acknowledge the flag. All you are doing is drawing negative attention to yourself when doing so. Had Colin just went on TV or got with some politicians on TV and discussed his issues on different talk shows to get his message out and how we should go about improving the neighborhoods I would be behind him 100%. I just don't get kneeling for a flag that represents your country. Some people say it's just a song but it represents our country, where we live. If someone is that upset with the USA they can always move to a different country if things aren't getting any better for them. This country has a lot of issues but it is still gives most people a lot of leeway to say and do what they want. Colin Kaepernick isn't African American either, His mother is white, he is mixed.

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