From the moment I woke up, I knew it was going to be a busy morning.
I woke up and immediately ran my customary five miles; returned home and cleaned up just in time to watch the gold medal men's Olympics basketball game. In truth, I'm not a fan of any of the players on that U.S. team, but I am a huge fan of my country. I also happen to be a fan of several of Spain's players so, all in all, it was nice to see a competitive game. That contest went rather quickly, ending at just over 9 a.m. (I'm on pacific time).
But that was only the warm-up. I believe in boxing it's known as the under card. The best of my morning was to come just over an hour later.
This was to be my first Colts game experience and I wanted to do it right. There was a lot riding on this game; most notably for me, it was to see how my fellow Stanford nerds (an affectionate term), Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener would fare in their first game as professionals. Sure, it's only a pre-season, but it's real enough!
I was painfully aware that I would not be able to watch as my family does not have the NFL Network. I could have paid to stream online, but I cannot justify that expense (though it may not seem like much to some, it's one more expense this college girl must omit from her budget).
After having posted some inquiries as to finding an audio stream on the message boards and, unfortunately, not seeing answer, I entered the chat.
It was still around 50 minutes prior to kickoff, so I was actually surprised the chat was open. Pleasantly surprised. There were a few in there and I was able to post my audio stream inquiry and get a response.
I must say, I was mightily impressed with the pregame show on 1070-TheFan. I adored the wide-ranging interviews with players and coaches. See, getting different perspectives on something is what makes me learn more and become even more interested than I already am.
Game time was rapidly approaching.
I was all set. Wait, check that. At 10:25 I made a beeline for the kitchen for snacks. After all, you've got to have some snacks to follow a football game! So I had my Sprite and some fruit and was ready to go.
It cracks me up that I was actually disappointed at the results of the coin toss which had the Colts kicking off. How dare they postpone Andrew and Coby's debuts!
When the Colts finally did get the ball, the results from the first three plays were ... well, let's just say, not too impressive. I knew we'd get the ball back, but had no idea what was in store.
We had the ball in fairly good field position on the next possession and I expected us to run. As all of you know by now, we didn't. In fact, Andrew's first professional pass was a screen to Donald Brown which went for a touchdown! I jumped up and down and screamed. My cat ran out of my room! I knew Andrew wouldn't let me down as I followed my first Colts game (Brown deserves a lot of credit for his sprint to the end zone as well)!
Already feeling great about Andrew's poise and the Colts' lead, I was on cloud nine. The chat was alive and it was at that point when this fan truly felt herself a member of the ColtsNation!
The next drive was even more impressive. the offense seemed to be clicking. It ended up with Andrew's touchdown throw to Austin Collie. It was Andrew's first successful sustained drive. That's another thing I'd hoped to see. I saw it again on the very next drive; this one, an 80-yard engineered with surgical precision. Andrew took the Colts to the one yard line, and let Delone Carter to the rest (they give him credit for a touchdown "run," but it should be tabbed more as a touchdown "fly!"). We were up 21-3.
With that, my hero was done for the day. He'd proved what he needed to prove. I was ecstatic.
Now, I'm not one to leave a game early; not even in a blowout. i stayed in the chat, mostly following others' comments regarding players still unfamiliar. I was soaking up information from the ColtsNation.
The distinction of referring to a team by its name and using the pronoun "we" do describe them is a fine line to me. I feel I have to be committed to a team, or to be accepted by a team or at least a good portion of it's core group of fans before, myself, I feel I can refer to my team amongst the fans as "we."
Just before halftime, that happened.
We had a great win today. Pre-season or not, we had a great win. There are things upon which to build, but this was a wonderful start.
I know I've entered a passionate community who love their Colts. I greatly look forward to following the Colts as we go forward and follow our team.