Professional football arrived in Indianapolis after a midnight escape from Baltimore in 1984, but the vision, brains, and talent to produce a consistent winner and a championship contender were not delivered until almost 14 years later. December 22, 1997, was a day to remember at the Colts' West 56th Street complex. After years of experiencing pro football as only the son of the owner could--water boy, general gofer, ticket manager, accounting and public relations offices, youngest general manager in the NFL in 1984--Robert Irsay showed that, finally, he was in charge. Irsay slid into the driver's seat and took the wheel. He backed up the truck. He fired director of football operations Bill Tobin and head coach Lindy Infante and hired Bill Polian as team president--all in a day. Those who knew Irsay, who knew Polian and the Colts, hailed the move. "In 1998, in any segment of business or industry or sports, there will be no better hire. This was a coup," said Ralph Cindrich, a player agent whose many negotiations with Polian have included "a few wars." One of Polian's first decisions was to select quarterback Peyton Manning with the first pick of the 1998 NFL draft. Since that time, an increasingly more capable cast has surrounded Manning. A franchise that failed to win more than nine games in any of its first 15 seasons in Indianapolis has won 10 or more four of the past five years, including a 14-5 run that reached the AFC championship game after the 2003 season. Tales from the Indianapolis Colts Sideline takes readers inside the Colts' Union Federal Football complex, onto the RCA Dome sidelines, and into the huddle, inside the decisions, the strategies, the players, andpersonalitiesthat have made the Colts one of the NFL's most exciting teams.
|Publisher:||Sports Publishing LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Phil Richards is a former Indiana Sports Writer of the Year Award winner who is in his 21st year with the Indianapolis Star. He has covered the Colts since 1999 and writes the cover story for the Star's weekly "Colts Weekend" sections. The native of Alpena, Michigan, resides in Indianpolis with his wife and three children.