I'm in the midst of major travel for my job. A big questions I always get asked is what Iowa State's travel abroad program is like. Since I'm used to talking about it, and the Colts are over seas this weekend, it seemed like a good time to look back on the other times the Colts have played a game outside the United States.
I knew coming into this that the Colts had played a game against Atlanta in the pre-season over in Japan. What I didn't realize, though, is that the Colts also played a game in 2000 in Mexico against the Steelers. This game was also a pre-season contest.
We'll start with the older of the two games, the 2000 pre-season game in Mexico City against the Steelers. This was the Colts fourth of five pre-season games this year, and second not at a team's home location. A week earlier, the Colts had played a game "at" New Orleans, but the game was played in West Lafayette, IN (if anyone remembers why is was the location, let me know. I can't remember nor can I find it anywhere on the Internet).
Anyway. The Colts offense was in full swing. Within the first quarter Manning had thrown two touchdowns and Edgerrin James had added on a touchdown as well.
Once the starters were pulled, the Colts held a 21-10 lead over the Steelers. Then the comeback from Pittsburgh started, led by Tee Martin (who, remember, replaced Manning at the University of Tennessee after Manning graduated). Martin led the Steelers on a drive that pulled them within 1 point. They Colts stopped the two point conversion, preserving the one point victory.
Five years later, the Colts traveled to Tokyo to play a pre-season game against the Atlanta Falcons. This was the first of five pre-season games for the Colts in 2005 (all loses).
In this game, Manning and Michael Vick each played about a quarter for their respective teams. Manning threw a touchdown and an interception, while Vick tallied 51 passing yards, and a few yards on the ground.
The star in this game was Matt Schaub. The Falcons back-up threw two touchdowns, leading the Falcons to a 27-21 win over the Colts. This game was actually the last time that the NFL played a game in Tokyo, and was the last pre-season game played outside of North America.
As another fun fact, in the Colts first over-seas game Jim Mora was the coach. In the second over-seas game, Jim Mora Jr was the coach of the Falcons. At least, I thought that was interesting.
The Colts overall record abroad is 1-1, so they'll be looking to add another to the win column this week. Of course, this is the first time they'll be playing a game that actually counts.