Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Hey, we're new to this.

I attended the parade honoring the World Champion Indianapolis Colts yesterday. You got the feeling that the city was ill prepared for the celebration that would follow a Colts Super Bowl win. After several years of seeing our teams fall, you could understand why.

The city had announced a parade at downtown Indy at 4PM on the following Monday. I personally thought that was odd considering that other cities that throw a party after its teams' big victory wait a few days. That being said, with the weather hovering about a five degrees I layered up for the cold. With three layers, a vest, and a heavy coat on I ventured downtown to meet my buddies.

The 4 PM parade, with the Colts in buses due to the weather, was to culminate at the RCA dome with a rally. I met my buddies at four and after debating whether to brave the cold (and man it was cold) or go directly to the Dome, we decided to avoid the elements and go inside.

The Dome has never seemed to me that well constructed for pedestrian flow. It appeared even less so yesterday. With no security everyone made a mad rush for the lower levels. Someone thought it would be a great idea to hand out posters right where everyone had tried to enter. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the sentiment but it really made getting inside the Dome an adventure. Once we made it through the entry way, we quickly discovered the lower levels had all essentially been taken up. We made our way to the upper level and made it there about a quarter after four.

While inside the Dome began filling up with Colts fans. On the field sat the stage and the team had roped off about three quarters of the Dome for fans. On each big screen the team replayed the Super Bowl. The crowd, having already seen the game and having dissected the plays over and over in their minds, still cheered at every big play. There was such a thunderous applause when Kelvin Hayden made his interception and took it to the end zone that you would have thought that no one in the Dome had ever seen that play before.

But then we waited. And we waited. I got a text message from another buddy that the Colts had just landed at the airport about the time we got there. I got a text message from another buddy that they went to the Colts complex before coming downtown. Then there was an announcement at 5:40PM that the Colts would begin the parade in ten minutes and the ceremony at the Dome at 6:20PM, about two and a half hours after the scheduled time. My brother, a family man, was with me and said he couldn't stay that long. We left to try to catch some of the parade.

We headed right for the Circle, assuming that would be where the action was. Then we waited. And waited. Finally someone said that Channel Six had announced the parade was cancelled. Cold and dejected we decided to go home.

I was walking back when I ran into some Colts fans. Figuring I would save them some time I told them the parade had been cancelled. They firmly told me no (let this be a lesson not to try to upset a guy in a chicken suit with a Colts jersey on) and told me it had started with the Colts on floats and not buses as previously reported. I called my brother and we ran back to the Dome.

At about twenty till seven, the parade finally made its way downtown. I couldn't believe how close the players were to the fans. The city didn't even rope off the streets. Each of us gave high fives to the Colts players who were sitting that close to the fans (except for Peyton, Reggie, and Marvin--most of the offense were on a very high float out of reach of the fans). To get a sense of how close everyone was to the players, click here. All the Colts wore their jerseys for easy identification.

The floats left a little to be desired. You got the sense that the Colts team was going to use buses but the players wouldn't hear of it. With that in mind they slapped together some floats real quick. Not withstanding that, it was amazing for the fans to be that close to the enthusiastic team.

We ran back down to the Circle and saw Bill Polian, Jim Irsay, and Coach Tony Dungy on a cherry picker. When Irsay held up the trophy the crowd went wild. From there we ran back down Meridian. The fans there were a little more subdued. No one was right up on the floats and shaking the Colts' hands. My brother looked over at me and said that he didn't think the crowd knew you can congratulate them personally. He then ran up and gave high fives to all of the defense players and that started the mad rush to the floats.

Notwithstanding the long delay it was amazing to see how excited and proud everyone was for the Colts and the city. I personally think a few more days of planning would have helped but in hindsight with the weather and five of the Colts going to Hawaii for the pro bowl, I guess it made sense. I also think that the city shouldn't have opened up the Dome. I know it was cold but think how amazing it would have been to see the fifty thousand folks in the Dome (published reports of 40,000 were off) on the street. ESPN reported today that there were "hundreds" of fans on the street. It would would have been much more impressive of an overhead view of all the fans along Meridian Street with the ceremony that took place on the Dome right in front of the monument. I am certainly not complaining because even with these few minor gripes I have been waiting for this for a long time and was just thrilled that it finally happened.

Plus the city now knows what to do for the celebration when we win Super Bowl XLII next year.

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5 Comments:

Blogger torporindy said...

Hey, I am glad that you didn't mention what a whiner I was and that I left.

February 06, 2007  
Blogger tommyspoon said...

Plus the city now knows what to do for the celebration when we win Super Bowl XLII next year.

*snicker*

February 07, 2007  
Blogger Timmy said...

I think you are right.....we are just new to this....next time, I am sure it will be better!

February 07, 2007  
Blogger torporindy said...

Are you a redskins fan, Tommy?

February 07, 2007  
Blogger tommyspoon said...

I snicker because, in the age of parity, winning back-to-back Super Bowls is extremely difficult.* Who knows? Maybe my 'Skins will be in next year!

*Unless you plan on kidnapping Bill Belichek and bringing him to Indy under armed guard.

February 08, 2007  

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