In the 2006 season, the Indianapolis Colts finally got over the hump and won the Super Bowl. Whether you can believe it or not, this upcoming season will mark the ten-year anniversary of that Colts' Super Bowl team. It just so happens that they'll be hosting the Chicago Bears - who they defeated 29-17 on February 4, 2007 to win the title - during the 2016 season at Lucas Oil Stadium.
It makes too much sense for the Colts to honor the ten-year anniversary of that Super Bowl team during the Bears game, then, and the MVP of that Super Bowl agrees. At his press conference today with the Colts, Peyton Manning said that he hopes that the Colts honor the 2006 team at the Bears game while reflecting on the memories and teammates.
"The ten-year anniversary is exciting," Manning said, "and Jim [Irsay], Pete [Ward], I don't know if there are plans? But yeah, the Colts are playing the Bears this year this year, I think it'd be appropriate to have that reunion. I don't think the Bears would like it so much, but that really doesn't matter that much to me. I think that'd be a good time to have it. I hope we do. I hope we do something, because everybody is so spread out now. I got a text from Cato June the other day, and Robert [Mathis], and saw Bob Sanders two years ago in a traning camp, and I got a golf trip with Dallas [Clark] and [Brandon] Stokley and [Jacob] Tamme and [Jeff] Saturday.
"Those are players from all different teams but that 2006 team was a special team," Manning continued. "We had gotten close, we were knocking on the door and had had some, like I mentioned, some disappointing losses and had some tough starts to the offseason because of the previous game that we just go beat. You know, there's something - I'm not sure if it's right, just the way it is - we used to always joke about how we'd have these unbelievable seasons and then we'd lose this heartbreaking game and a playoff game, and you just basically got your soul and your heart taken out from you, whereas teams that had maybe won their last three games of the season and finished 8-8, they're high-fiving in the locker room going, "great finish! We can only get started earlier next year!" But they kind of leave happy and it's ok. But it's really not; they stunk, they were 8-8. Whereas we just gave it everything we had and got beat by a better team that day.
"But one thing we never did was we never, ever gave up. We kept fighting, we kept fighting, and it would have been so easy to say, "well, we kinda had our window here, and we missed it, and some players are going to go somewhere else," but Jim [Irsay] and Bill [Polian] were committed to keeping that core group intact that believed that these were the right people and we were going to get over the hump, and so to do it that year in the fashion that we did it, beating a team that had kind of had our number in the playoffs in that game here, and then winning that game down there in the rain, where Prince sang "Purple Rain" in the rain, I don't know that it could have gotten any better than that. So it was a special group, and I hope we do [a reunion] because there's a bond that never gets taken away.
Last year, while with the Broncos, Manning got a chance to see what a Super Bowl reunion looks like, as Denver honored a Super Bowl team at their game against the Packers - who they had beat to win the title. Manning recalled not being jealous while observing it, because he knew he was going to experience the same thing with his former Colts teammates.
"The Broncos this year had a reunion from one of their Super Bowl teams," Manning said. "It was against the Packers, which as a player I'm not sure I wanted to alienate the Packers that much and have them watch all these highlights of the Broncos beating them, but it kind of felt appropriate: have the reunion against the team that you beat. So I think the Bears are appropriate, but I could see firsthand the bond that these guys had - this was 20 years - that these guys were talking about plays from that season, talking about moments in the locker room, the funny things that occurred, it's probably more of that and less on-the-field stuff. And I can remember not being envious, because I knew that I was going to have that. I knew that I'd always have that with this group here, and with Hunter [Smith] and [Ryan] Diem. You know, Hunter maybe could sing a song for us; he has a song about me, I never let him play it out in public and play it on the radios. Maybe that would be a good time at the reunion to pull that out. It's a classic. So yeah, I look forward to that. Whether it's the ten, or the fifteen, or the twenty, I'll be at all of them, I can assure you."
It makes perfect sense for the Colts to hold a Super Bowl reunion at their home game against the Bears next year, and Peyton Manning would be sure to attend. The only thing left to do is make it official, but it's something the Colts definitely should do.