John Woestendiek, writing for the Baltimore Sun, has a column entitled "Many fans but fewer fanatics in Indy: Are folks nicer there or just indifferent?"
Jason at Four Square No. 266 gives the simple answer to the dumb question: nicer.
(More on the flip)
Woestendiek starts his column like this:
Maybe it's because this is basketball country. Maybe it's Midwestern modesty. Or maybe it's that their football team is still relatively young and its roots lie, shall we say, elsewhere.
Whatever the reasons, Indianapolis' support for their Colts - while solid - doesn't seem to reach the trash-talking, chest-thumping, paint the town (insert your team color here) fever pitch of some other NFL cities.
Here, in the birthplace of Wonder Bread, life goes on and, by the way, there's a football game this weekend.
I don't think there is any less passion for the Colts in Indiana. I think more of our parents just raised us right. And, I think with respect to our fandom, we take the advice coaches give to players -- "when you get to the end zone, act like you've been there before."
There wasn't always a lot of enthusiasm for the Colts, but since Jim Irsay took the helm and Peyton Manning helped the Colts to become a consistent winner, the fan base has grown and intensified. (Probably doesn't hurt that the quality of our basketball teams has been dropping off in the past few years.)
The column quotes Bill Benner who puts things pretty well:
"Our fans are far more apt to root for the Colts than against other teams or their fans. There's not that deep-rooted anger. I don't want to call it an East Coast mentality, but we're not like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and a lot of other NFL cities. We treat opposing fans pretty civilly.
"We're nice people here in the heartland, and we tend to pride ourselves on our friendliness. We have a slogan - 'Hoosier Hospitality' - and it's going to sound corny, but it really is the way we are. We want people to like us."
I'm with him on that right up to the "We want people to like us" part. We don't treat people civilly because we want them to like us. We do it because it's the right thing to do.
I like Jason's conclusion:
I'm proud to say that my wife and I have given birth to the next generation of Colts fans six months ago. That's where the fan base becomes really solid, when one generation passes on their love for the Colts to their children. In short, Mr. Woestendiek, Colts hysteria is alive and well in Indianapolis, it just wouldn't be proper of us to throw it right in your face.
On a similar note, I do have to admit some pride in my son's expression of frustration at the Colts' performance in the January 2004 playoff game in New England where Manning threw 4 interceptions. He was about 4 months old at the time. Somewhere toward the end of the 3rd quarter or beginning of the 4th quarter, I changing his diaper and he peed all over the Colts outfit I had him in. "Good boy," I said.
He's potty trained now, so hopefully Peyton won't throw any interceptions on Saturday.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.