Nov 20, 2005; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James (32) runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quarter. Colts beat the Bengals 45-37. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons- US PRESSWIRE
The Colts sent out a release yesterday notifying media that 1999 first round draft choice Edgerrin James and his No. 32 will be placed in the Colts Ring of Honor at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Few players have ever left such an endearing image of themselves with a fanbase than James, whose easy-going, relaxed style was pleasantly disarming and entertaining to watch. When drafted No. 4 overall in 1999, ahead of Texas running back Ricky Williams, James became (along with quarterback Peyton Manning and wide receiver Marvin Harrison) the third member of what many dubbed the new "Triplets" in the NFL (the original being the Cowboys Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith).
Whilewas a Type-A control freak and a quiet, introverted perfectionist, "Edge" (as he is called by his friends) was just... well, he was just Edge.
One story I've heard about his days with the Colts happened sometime in 2003. He politely voiced his displeasure with the stadium music. Too dated. Too generic. Nothing to get the crowd jumping and excited. He offered suggestions, including several then-contemporary hip hop artists. Months later, the stadium was blasting a whole new style of music, and it was hilarious (at least, for me) to see middle-aged white guys nodding their heads and jumping up and down to rap and hip-hop on game day.
That was Edge as a Colt.
He had dreads. He had gold teeth. He had tattoos. He's exactly the kind of player Midwesterners typically reject. Yet, he is still viewed with a fondness that is so very deserving, so very appropriate, that when the news of him being inducted into the Ring of Honor was announced, I said out loud (and I'm sure I wasn't alone): It's about time.
I won't debate his Hall of Fame credentials because they are obvious. He should be there, and anyone who disagrees isn't using logic as their foundation. Hall of Fame voting is a farce, and there is no accountability for the voters. Thus, I won't rant and rage at them if some think that John friggin Riggins should be there, but James shouldn't. James' career 12,246 yards are ahead of Thurman Thomas, Franco Harris, O.J. Simpson, Marcus Allen, and John friggin Riggins. All those men are in the hall. James is 33 yards behind Marshall Faulk, who is directly in front of him on the all-time rushing list.
Faulk was a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Edgerrin was directly responsible for the turn around of two franchises, the Colts and the Arizona Cardinals. He almost won a Super Bowl with those Cardinals back in 2009.
However, despite his success in Arizona, after leaving Indianapolis via free agency in 2006, Mike Chappell got this quote from Edge yesterday:
"No matter where I go or what I do, I’m always a Colt."
Now that he will be in the Ring of Honor, yes. Edge will always be a Colt. Arguably the greatest Indianapolis Colts running back ever.