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Miami, the Colts, and all the history between

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Jim O'Brien kicking the Colts to victory in Super Bowl 5
Photo: CBS.com
Believe it or not, Miami is a special place for the Colts. The city has hosted many memorable games involving both the Baltimore and the Indianapolis Colts. So, it is only appropriate that the first Super Bowl the Indianapolis Colts are in is held in Miami.

Miami is the last place the Colts won a Super Bowl. For you old timer Colts fans, you remember Jim O'Brien kicking a 32-yard game-winning FG over the Dallas Cowboys to win Super Bowl 5, the only Super Bowl Johnny Unitas ever won (he won several NFL Championships, before the league championship was called "The Super Bowl"). For my generation, we all remember the days when the Colts were in the AFC East, and the yearly trek down to Miami always seemed to produce some amazing games that burn hard in the memory.

I first started watching the Colts in 1991. They were 1-15 that year, and good God were they bad! It was a different NFL back then; less parity. The good teams were really good and the bad ones were really, really bad. In 1992, the team drafted Steve Emtman, a DE out of Washington. He was big, fast, and we the fans loved him. His career was tragically cut short by injuries sustained on that horrible turf they used to have in the Hoosier Dome.

I remember one game down in Miami, it was Emtman's rookie year, and the Colts were poised to beat the Dolphins. Marino got the ball back with 3 minutes left, and he marched the Dolphins right down the field, right to the goal line. Marino dropped back, threw a pass, and Steve Emtman reached up and with one hand snatched the ball right out of the sky. He then ran 99 yards the other way for a TD. As he ran, I remember screaming and shouting and jumping up and down for joy. As a Colts fan, it was the first time I'd ever seen my team come through in the clutch.

There are other games I remember. One involved Jim "Captain Comeback" Harbaugh leading the Colts back from a big deficit in Miami back in 1995, the year they lost to Pittsburgh in the "Hail Mary" AFC Championship Game. I remember Peyton Manning making Jimmy Johnson look like a fool by leading the Colts down the field in the final seconds, setting Mike Vanderjagt up for the game-winning 58 yard FG. Miami is full of many Colts-related memories; some good, some bad.

Miami also has special significance for Peyton Manning. For a while, it was thought he couldn't win in Miami (even though he had, repeatedly). I remember years ago a Dolphins fan telling me Jay Fielder was a better QB than Manning. Why? "Because he's a winner." Where is that fan now? Heck, where is Jay Fiedler now? There is also the old "Manning can't beat Florida" thing, and since Miami resides in Florida there is that ghost to exorcise.

Miami has been home to many special Colts games, and it is only fitting that the city to host the Colts for the Super Bowl is Miami. I'm sure Dolphins fans don't agree with that, but that aside as a fan I have very strong memories of Colts games in Miami.