I was born to be an Indianapolis Colts Fan. My whole life (born January 18, 1984), they have been the Indianapolis Colts.
As like many, growing up in Indianapolis allowed an easy path to be a fan of the Colts. My dad, having also grown up in Indy, was a fan of the Chicago Bears, well, because Indy didn't have a team. His allegiance immediately switched to the team residing in the city he loved. It was the only thing I knew. He was such a die hard Colts fan that I did not even know he was a fan of the Bears for many years until I was well into my 20s. We didn't speak of any other team, unless it was negatively towards our rivals.
I have clear and vivid memories of many ups and downs of the team, but my fandom didn't hit a high point until the cardiac Colts and Jim Harbaugh in 1995. I was old enough to care, and old enough to know realize the finite nuances of the game that can swing it in our favor or the other's in a split second. They were fun to watch, football was fun to watch, and I then understood why my dad was glued to the TV on Sundays (if they weren't blacked out).
Jeff George, Jack Trudeau, Jim Harbaugh, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck. Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, Edgerrin James, Joseph Addai, Frank Gore. Marvin, Reggie, TY. Pollard, Dilger, Clark. I can list a longer string of no name contributors throughout my fandom than I can classmates from my K-12 education. They were my team. They were our team.
I moved away after college to northwest Indiana surrounded by Bears fans. I married into a family of Bears fans. I listen to Chicago sports radio and know all the ins and outs of the Bears only because I can't stand current music. I remain steadfast, strong in my commitment to my city and team.
I called my dad weekly after I moved away to discuss life matters, but more importantly the state of the Colts. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly two years ago and I still remember to this day the last phone conversation I had with him, the last words spoken. It was about the Colts.
I will forever be a fan because that's how I was raised and that's what I love.
For the Shoe.