The Indianapolis Colts last week officially announced plans to honor the ten-year anniversary of their Super Bowl XLI victory during the upcoming 2016 season. The Colts will celebrate during their November 20 game at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Tennessee Titans.
Ten years ago this season, the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in the rain in Miami to win Super Bowl XLI, their first championship in Indianapolis. It was the culmination of a special playoff run that saw the defense lead the way, and it featured the greatest game in Indianapolis Colts history (and in Peyton Manning’s career): their 2006 AFC Championship game over the rival Patriots in dramatic comeback fashion. Two weeks later, the Colts beat the Bears to win their title, with Manning earning MVP honors.
There will certainly be plenty of festivities for the members of that team surrounding that November 20 game, but they will also be honored during halftime of that game against Tennessee. It may initially seem odd that the Colts aren’t conducting the ceremony during their home game against the Bears, but it likely has to do with attempting to get the most members of that team to reunite as possible - in other words, trying to work it out with everyone’s schedules.
Two people who will be there: head coach Tony Dungy and quarterback Peyton Manning, WISH-TV’s Chris Widlic reported. Neither should be a surprise, and Manning has previously supported a reunion publicly as well. “Whether it's the ten [year reunion], or the fifteen, or the twenty, I'll be at all of them, I can assure you,” Manning said in March.
"But one thing we never did was we never, ever gave up,” Manning said, reflecting on that 2006 season. “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.”
That reunion will come this season on November 20, and it should be a tremendous opportunity to reunite the team that went on a magical postseason run to finally get over the hump and hoist the Lombardi Trophy.