At halftime of today’s game between the Colts and the Jaguars, former Colts general manager Bill Polian took his rightful place in the Colts Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony.
He was able to do it in front of the Colts fans and in front of his family, as they were all able to make it since his son, Chris, was in town with the Jaguars. So though it’s been a down season for the Colts, it’s a cool moment to honor the Hall of Famer who built the Colts into a team that went on a remarkable run.
After the ceremony, Polian stopped by the press box to take some questions, and one of the questions he was asked was about his favorite moment with the Colts. His answer was immediate: “Beating New England in the championship game in the old building,” he said with a smile.
A reporter then commented that it was quite a game, to which Polian responded, “it sure was.” But what about hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after the Colts’ Super Bowl win?
“Well that was great,” Polian said, “that was great, but to finally get the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl after all the heartbreak and heartache that we’d gone through over the years, that one is the most memorable. And to do it here in front of our fans, the Super Bowl is different because your fans are there but there’s a lot of hoopla and so forth, that was just plain old fashioned Colts football. We came from 18 down to win it, that’s the signature moment for our team, I think that’s what we were about.”
I don’t think Polian will get any disagreement from any Colts fan about that, and he probably won’t get any disagreement from anyone on that 2006 team either. Winning the Super Bowl was great, and it made what the Colts had accomplished previously more significant. But the biggest win of the Peyton Manning era was without a doubt that AFC Championship victory over the Patriots, because it was so incredibly significant. The Colts had endured a number of playoff disappointments and had developed a rivalry with the Patriots, who had built a dynasty. The Colts again faced the Patriots in the AFC Championship game in the 2006 season, but this time it was at home. And in that game, they fell behind big early on before Manning and company mounted an epic comeback that culminated in a game-winning score by Joseph Addai and a game-clinching interception by Marlin Jackson.
That was the highlight of the entire era, and so it’s no surprise to see Bill Polian mention it. But it certainly brings back good memories, that’s for sure!