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Colts Legacy - Full Circle



I havent attended many NFL Colts football games in my life, actually only 5 in total. One long ago in Baltimore(as the Colts) vs the Bengals, one in Baltimore vs the Ravens, two in Washington vs the Skins and one in Indy vs the Bears. But that doesnt tell the whole story. I watch this team on a daily basis grow, make changes, adapt, work hard,grinding it out all with the purpose of winning a championship. And they do it with integrity, high energy fun loving spirit. But it hasnt always been this way. After watching the "Elway to Marino" 30 on 30 show, it reminded me how far these Colts have come in my life. The Colts were looked high upon in their early years, a team to reckon with. They had stars on offense and defense..Unitas,Berry,Moore,Mackey,Donovan and Smith to name a few. Those teams were all before my time but I`ve paid attention enough to realize they were very,very good. My timeline of rememberance starts somewhere around a playoff game vs the Raiders with players named Jones,Mitchell,Carr,McCauley,and Laird. Those were my heros growing up, along with Evil Kneivel of course! We lived in southern MD and there were no sattelite dishes or cable TV`s. It was rare to be able to see the Colts on TV, Baltimore channel 11 was usually filled with static , guess the wind had to be just right it seems. But somehow I learned to hear these names and know them like family, amazing how youths do that. I even had a #7 Bert Jones jersey, with the shoulder pads,helmet and pants. I lived in that thing in the front yard. Id drop back to pass,just like Bert, lob that ball in the air and then turn into Roger Carr as it spiraled down into my hands, getting both feet in bounds as I slid the toes across that imaginary line.1st down!! Very fond memories indeed.

But what happened in the late 70`s and early 80`s that tarnished all that for me in that era? The Colts became the laughing stock of the NFL, that some writers still resonate in their views today 30 years later. Art Schlichter the gambler, John Elway refusing to play for the Colts and then the Colts "moving in the middle of the night" ( which is a 2 sided story). That was tough on a 13-14 year old teenager to take. My family life was very turbulent during those years, looking back it runs parallel with Colts history in some ways. And I was 700 miles away still trying to follow my team. The faces had changed but the one constant remained.The blue horseshoes on the white helmets. The COLTS!

The Peyton Manning years I absolutely treasure. They SO righted the ship, got the Colts back on solid ground, brought this team Full Circle back to their rightful place as a team to reckon with. Those years passed by way too fast for my liking, but minus the 2011 debacle, they changed the culture around Colts camp back to a winning franchise. This new version of the Colts is very exciting and follows the footprints layed out by Peyton and the boys, different but very good in their own way.GO COLTS!

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good stuff buddy, I share most of those memories with you, the Unitas' Colts were a little before my time, but I know them well and they were awesome!

The Jones' Colts were my fav era, I just started really following football and I thought we were on our way back, didn't last long

Then the rough years, when you had to be very diehard to say you were a Colts fan, it was a looooooooooooooooong wait for.............

the Manning era, what an amazing era it was and as many know, the way it ended kind took a little wind out of my sails and that's something, that I don't think will ever come back, not 100%

Life goes on and many of the "new" Colts have really impressed...Grigson (so far, but 1+ year does not make  legend) Pagano, loved that move from day #1, I still believe when it's all said and done, Luck will be the best ever.....It's not the same for me now, but I can still hold my own vs many , even without the "old" 100%

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Thanks Ken,appreciate your comments as always. I was watching that documentary on Elway and the Colts and how it all went down. It just made me sick in the stomach to see how low the Colts were thought of back then and the years that followed it all. Like watching a family member go through tough times and never anything going right for them, all you can do is show support. We were diehard to the core no doubt. I think thats why I appreciate so much what Polian, Manning and his team mates and all the coaches did for this franchise, they made it respectable again. That all just came to my mind watching that show. I know you were hoping the Peyton era ended differently, its kind of ironic that he signed with Denver with Elway running the show there when you think about it.

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what a wonderful post somd

It is something how football becomes part of our lives

and so different for the new generation of colts fans


thanks for posting

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even though Jim Harbaugh only played with us for 3 years, his contributions

in '95 and '96 proved that good things were around the corner. Also, we cannot

forget Ted Marchibroda and the GM at the time. BTW, Marchibroda was the coach who led Baltimore to the playoffs '75-'77.  

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Very good stuff. I've been a Colt fan since '67 but missed Unitas' best years. He still led them to a Super Bowl at 36 and was relieved by a similarly aged Earl Morrall. Bert  Jones, Lydell Mitchell, Roger Carr and the Sack Pack in the mid '70s was a great thing for a high school guy to look forward to seeing on Sundays. The short Dickerson years were competitive and then the short competive Harbaugh years. Then came Peyton Manning and an awesome run of wins, division championships and a Super Bowl victory. Here's hoping the Luck years will be even better.

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Thanks for the comments. I remember the excitement when Marchibroda was rehired. Maybe that really has been overlooked as a point of "return to greatness". The Colts have had a few bad seasons sprinkled in but really have been competitive since then. Everytime we visit the inlaws in Indy and I see kids wearing Colts apparel I always get a smile on my face and remember when that used to be me. 

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Great read I have been a Colts Fan since 1968 loved the Bert Jones era with the sack pack but the MANNING era was special I will always love my COLTS but nothing will ever top the Manning era sometimes I still think it was just a DREAM what a time

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