ANDERSON, Ind. — As an old Indianapolis Colts teammate of the notoriously understated Marvin Harrison, Robert Mathis couldn’t help but be amused when asked about what he anticipates from the wide receiver’s Pro Football Hall of Fame speech Saturday night.
“What’s the average?” Mathis asked with a smile Tuesday during training camp at Anderson University. “Ten minutes? (Then) seven minutes tops. Five to seven minutes.”
Most who remember No. 88 and his disdain for interviews won’t expect the iconoclast to expound much on his legendary 13-year NFL career.
Asked if Harrison will have much to say, Mathis said, “No, and I am taking all bets on that.”
Head coach Chuck Pagano wants his team to attend the induction ceremony, which includes the enshrinement of former Colts head coach Tony Dungy. The Colts open the NFL preseason against the Green Bay Packers in Sunday’s Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.
Mathis is entering his 14th season, which means exhibition games aren’t exactly enjoyed. He’s thinking about Saturday, not Sunday.
“I want to see coach Dungy and Marvin Harrison speak,” Mathis said with a chuckle. “The game, I just want to see everybody get better. We are going to work our techniques and come out with the win, but ultimately, get better and just take a step forward.”
Dungy, Harrison and the rest of the 2006 Colts who won Super Bowl XLI will be honored in a 10-year anniversary celebration Nov. 20 at Lucas Oil Stadium. But this weekend will be a Colts reunion, too, with quarterback Peyton Manning and others expected to attend.
Harrison’s introduction will be by Colts owner Jim Irsay.
“It’s going to be great, just to catch up on old times,” Mathis said. “It’s going to be great and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.”
Dungy, the first black coach to win a Super Bowl, was a players favorite for his understated demeanor, a man who didn’t swear to make his point, someone who held his men accountable. His players cared so much about him, they didn’t want to let him down.
“He approached you like a man, treated you like a man and expected for you to do your job as a man,” Mathis said. “If you don’t do it, he is going to tell you that he is disappointed in his monotone voice and I think that kind of hurts your feelings worse than a coach yelling and screaming.”
“His expectations are very clear, he is going to put it out from day one and if you don’t do it, he is going to tell you. Make no mistake, he is a man’s man. His way about it was unique.”
Dungy and Harrison are being remembered on colts.com as the team and Bosma Enterprises have created a special online section dedicated to chronicling their achievements. The section includes in-depth features, which provide insight and unique stories. Fans can also congratulate both inductees via social media.
“As a proud partner with the Colts, we are excited to have the opportunity to congratulate coach Dungy and Marvin, while raising awareness of our mission to create opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired,” said Lise Pace, Bosma Enterprises director of marketing. “Marvin and Tony made a tremendous impact on the people in our city, which aligns perfectly with how Bosma, with the support of this community, strives to positively affect the lives of our clients, employees and partners.”
Added Colts COO Pete Ward, “Thanks to Bosma for presenting these pages, which bring back so many wonderful memories of two men so revered by our fans. Tony and Marvin were giants in the history of the Colts franchise, and they were pillars to our success that led to Indianapolis’ first world championship. We are thrilled they will take their place among the game’s true greats this week.”
For more than 100 years, Bosma Enterprises has been the leading provider of rehabilitation and training services for people experiencing blindness or visual impairment. It is also Indiana’s largest employer of Hoosiers who have lost their vision, providing job opportunities across several lines of business.
Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.