Today's morning walkthrough was the final "practice" for the Indianapolis Colts at their Anderson University training camp for 2012. his was the first camp for new head coach Chuck Pagano, first-year G.M. general manager Ryan Grigson, and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.
It was their introduction into the "new era" as much as it was ours.
Based on the numbers, fan attendance at Anderson over the last three weeks or so was solid, averaging roughly 2,000 a day. Maybe more. However, as the Anderson Herald Bulletin pointed out the other day, camp had "mixed" results for local businesses. I spoke to George Bremer, Colts beat writer at the paper, earlier this week and he said the reasons for this were the Colts closing morning practices to fans, extremely hot weather, and a general apathy that has settled into the fanbase since Jim Irsay cut Peyton Manning.
Once again folks, I'll bring up the dirty term that is "fair-weather."
Hate me all you want to mentioning it, but when hot weather and apathy are reasons fans do not show up to a training camp facility that is less than an hour's drive from Indianapolis, that term will come up. The team also hasn't sold out the season opener, and we're nearly three weeks away.
I'll also state another obvious point: There's no reason to have training camp in Anderson if people in Indianapolis are not going to go up there and spend money to assist the local economy. That was one of the key reasons for moving camp there from Terre Haute. Anderson is closer to Indy, and fans have a better chance to see their Colts and then (hopefully) spend money at local restaurants and shops.
Yes, I'm aware of the overall economy. That's becoming too much of a cop out. Ya'll can buy tickets to sell out a preseason game, but you can't afford a few bucks at Gene's Root Beer in Anderson? Come on.
I realize that not everyone who reads this fits into the filthy "fair-weather" category. It's probably not even a majority of the fanbase. However, it's enough to make dents like these. I don't like it either, but pretending it isn't there doesn't solve anything. What will solve things is time. Time, and more dedicated fans telling the folks of the "fair-weather" variety that they kind of suck.
Again, this was training camp, folks. Access was free. Anderson is practically a suburb of Indianapolis. It's easy to get to. More fans should have been there, and they should have helped the local economy.
We'll focus on the football side of things later today. If you agree or disagree with me, use the comments to offer constructive supporting points or counter-point arguments. Always interested to read what you think on this subject... as long as it adds something.