Every Colts fan knows the significance of this calendar day. January 21 holds a certain sense of nostalgia and great pride. 15 years ago, on this day, the Colts sealed a comeback in the 2007 AFC Championship game over the New England Patriots to advance to Super Bowl XLI.
Perhaps given the current climate of the Colts, it’s a good time to reminisce on what felt like the glory days: a team that was stacked on both sides of the ball that eventually became Super Bowl Champions.
I remember those days so clearly, even though they were 15 years ago. I remember being the only girl in fourth grade who was a Colts fan, and getting made fun of (often) because my classmates didn’t think of the Colts as a legitimate threat, even with Peyton Manning. I remember constantly arguing with the Patriots fans who insisted that Tom Brady was far superior to Manning, and the Colts couldn’t possibly make it past the top seed in the AFC. I also remember the Monday morning after that championship game, and how I felt nothing but pure, unadulterated joy and pride. That day consisted of a lot of classmates hearing “I told you so.”
That game goes down as one of the sweetest moments in Colts history. Manning led the Colts back from a 21-3 deficit, and in the last 30 seconds of the game the Colts defense focused on defending 79 yards of turf from Brady. With 24 seconds on the clock, Brady looked for tight end Benjamin Watson downfield. But Colts defensive back Marlin Jackson snatched Brady’s pass, sending the Colts to the Super Bowl.
Colts radio announcer Bob Lamey yelled out words that fans will never forget. When Jackson picked off Brady’s pass, Lamey shouted “Marlin’s got it! We’re going to the Super Bowl!” The fans inside the RCA Dome erupted with equal parts excitement and relief. Players piled on top of Jackson, the entire Colts sideline stormed the field, and Manning cracked a humble grin as if to say, “we finally did it.”
The Colts went on to defeat the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI. Though this season cut short any dreams we had of returning to the top of the league, let us remember the 2006 Colts and how much joy they brought us, and ponder what next season will hopefully atone for.
To watch a director’s cut of Jackson’s interception, click here.