The arrival of a new NFL season means an updated Indianapolis Colts media guide, always a must read for reporters covering the team.
This ongoing documentation of the franchise’s extensive history is full of interesting facts. The Colts just completed the latest version, so what better time to share some tidbits from the media relations staff’s hard work to help fans get psyched for when the team reports to Anderson University on Aug. 1 for training camp.
— One of the first questions asked on game day at Lucas Oil Stadium pertains to whether the roof and window are open. What stands out about the roof/window statistics is that the Colts are 7-0 when the roof is open and the window is closed. They’re 6-5 when the roof and window are both open and 0-2 when the roof is closed and window open. When both are closed, the Colts are 27-9. So keep the roof open and window closed, right?
— The Colts’ 160-80 record in the regular season since 2000 ranks second in the NFL.
— Colts owner Jim Irsay had this quote in his bio, “I could not be prouder of our franchise. Both the football side and the front office have never worked better together. Our fans, far and near, will witness and enjoy many years of success on and off the field. We have the best fans in the NFL and our goal is to continue our position as one of the most consistently ‘best’ teams in the league.”
— Since general manager Ryan Grigson was hired in 2012, he has made more than 850 transactions as one of the league’s most active front-office bosses. He’s made 20 trades, signed 22 unrestricted free agents and drafted 30 players. His 2012 acquisition of cornerback Vontae Davis for a second-round pick is mentioned as arguably his best trade. Davis just made his first Pro Bowl last season.
— It’s been mentioned before, but Grigson and his wife, Cynthia, have six children. How does he find the time to juggle everything?
— Head coach Chuck Pagano is just the second coach in NFL history to win 11 games in each of his first three seasons (former Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh did the same in San Francisco). He’s also the third coach in Colts history to reach the playoffs in his first three seasons (Ted Marchibroda 1975-77, Tony Dungy 2002-04).
— Pagano’s Colts are 19-4 in games decided by one possession or less, the best mark in the league.
— The Colts have won 13 consecutive AFC South Division games, the longest division streak in the league.
— Numerous listings for front-office personnel includes the bio of former Colts linebacker David Thornton, who begins his fourth season as director of player engagement.
— Tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener each caught eight TD passes last season, the first time in league history two players at that position have ever had as many scoring receptions.
— Along those same lines, outside linebacker Robert Mathis has a franchise-best 111 career sacks. He’s sacked 56 different quarterbacks, counting the playoffs. Who’s No. 1 on his list? Former Houston Texans quarterback David Carr, seven times. Second is former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, six times.
— Davis and his San Francisco 49ers tight end brother Vernon were the third sibling duo to ever be drafted in the first round. Most know one of the other duos, former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and his brother Eli. But the first duo would probably stump trivia buffs: Jerome (2003, Philadelphia) and Stocker McDougle (2000, Detroit).
— In 61 years of NFL competition, which includes the franchise’s Baltimore days, the Colts have a 508-448-7 record with four world championships and 21 conference or division titles.
— Because there’s always a need for comic relief, a tip of the helmet to Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Players were asked, “What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?” One of the popular answers was the Internet. The ever-amusing Hasselbeck said, “A balance between nitrogen and oxygen.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.