HoF Weekend Has Become a Blast from the Past for Colts Fans, as Past, Present, & Future Collide
The first weekend of August 2016 will always be remembered as a glorious time, where the Indianapolis Colts franchise’s illustrious past collided with its bright present and glowing future. The glory days of yesterday have been oddly paired with the happenings of today, as well as the promise of tomorrow–at least for a rare moment in time.
Having just seen two former Colts legends Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy enshrined into football immortality on Saturday evening, the team’s fans will now get to see the likes of the franchise’s next wave of generational stars such as Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Vontae Davis, and Pat McAfee lace them up on the field–albeit in limited action on Sunday night.
This weekend didn’t just bring back the franchise’s larger than life personality Peyton Manning, who seems to be everywhere at all times–much like the sun, giving Colts fans rays for days.
It’s monumental gravitational pull also brought in the likes of former Colts standouts, yet smaller planets into orbit such as Gary Brackett, Dallas Clark, Ryan Diem, Tarik Glenn, Marlin Jackson, Edgerrin James, Jeff Saturday, Brandon Stokley, Reggie Wayne, etc. among others–players that were instrumental in the franchise winning its first Super Bowl in Indianapolis along with new Hall of Famers Harrison and Dungy:
Did I mention it brought back Bob Sanders?
Despite being 4 years removed from football, Sanders still looks like he could curl me and the entire Colts offensive line–okay maybe not the 6’5″, 355 pound Denzelle Good.
The former hard-hitting torpedo of a safety–and the Colts franchise’s only AP Defensive Player of the Year recipient has been relatively quiet since retiring in 2011 from professional football, yet finally made his long awaited public appearance in Colts gear:
“If you build it, they will come.”
And come they have.
Come they will.
What fellow Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian built in Indianapolis from 1997-2009 was greatness and a winning culture–highlighted by the Colts Super Bowl XLI Championship.
It ultimately started with Peyton Manning in 1997, much like the Colts are hoping it starts with Andrew Luck, but there were admittedly key pieces such as Harrison and Glenn already in place beforehand.
It was later supported by pillars of star Colts players: Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, and Robert Mathis, Jeff Saturday, among others.
However, just as young stars such as Hilton could be the Harrison or Wayne to Luck’s Manning, it also shows the importance of key role players on any championship team–players like Gary Brackett and Ryan Diem who will never make the Hall of Fame, but where instrumental for other players getting there by their tackling and blocking respectively.
Young players like Henry Anderson, Ryan Kelly, Jack Mewhort, Donte Moncrief, or Clayton Geathers could eventually develop into those core foundational players–maybe even star supporting pillars in time for today’s Colts as well.
This weekend has gotten us to think about Manning’s future first-ballot Hall of Fame enshrinement in 2021, while wondering whether Luck will indeed live up to his own talent and potential–clearly being fit for the football gods of Canton, Ohio, based on pure ability alone.
More than anything, it’s about the past, present, and future of the Colts franchise, where all three inexplicably found a way to collide for a rare moment in time.
Learn about the history, live in the present, and love the future, because moments like these happen very rarely for a franchise–and Colts fans are very, very fortunate in that regard.
Colts fans didn’t just get to see one Hall of Famer enshrined after all, they got two–in the same weekend.
They get to see former Colts greats both young and old come together, even if it’s just for a little while. Enjoy it while you can can because it will be gone before you know it.
Nothing truly great lasts forever.
Moments like these rarely do.