Colts Rally Around Their Leader

Yesterday, Jim Irsay, Bill Polian, and many of the Colts players openly expressed their support for a man they admire and love.

"I spoke with Tony Dungy about (3 p.m.) and he is in Tampa. He is making arrangements, meeting with his spiritual advisors, his family out there and some of the authorities. He sounded very good, very strong. In terms of when he will return, he will make that determination. I suggested that he needs to take as much times as he needs, to go through the mourning process and come back when he's ready. He told me that his family also is with the team and the players and the coaches, and that's something he sees as great strength to be around as well. So, I think he will try to determine how to process what plans he needs to make and the needs of his family. My view is that none of it is based around football. It's all based around what is best for him and his family…." – Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay, December 22, 2005

"That's why it breaks your heart to see something like this happen to such a great person. It really breaks your heart. We're just going to pray for him and ask everyone else to pray for him and his family." – Colts WR Brandon Stokley

"Our prayers and thoughts are with Coach Dungy and his wife Lauren and their family at this time. Obviously every player around here respects Coach Dungy as a coach, but I think everybody around here loves him as a man." – Colts QB Peyton Manning

"I think the message is clear with Tony. He's a very spiritual man and grounded in great faith. Like I told the team, darkness came to knock on this house, but this house is built on faith. The faith that we have and the unity that we have only grows stronger. It doesn't shake us at all in terms of the faith that we have. We have each other in this world, too. And his message was simply that his faith is strong and he's doing what he needs to do to take care of things. It was obviously a shock and a thing that happened very suddenly. He is just trying to work through it. I do think the fact that he is there, on the scene, and able to see with his own eyes and be around the whole situation and what happened, have a chance to talk to people, that's started the process for him to get grounded and continue to come through this." -- Jim Irsay

"We talked this morning about emulating our leader and that's what we're going to do. He's always a class act and handles himself as a professional, and that's what we're going to go do." – Colts Center Jeff Saturday
"….As Jim said to the team this morning, we'll emulate our leader. We would ask that those who have come to know and respect and care for Tony, remember his family in their prayers and remember James in their prayers, and in the interim until we know further detail with respect to arrangements and the family's wishes, we'd ask that people respect their privacy as much as possible at this tragic time…

"He's in Florida with his family. When we know the arrangements and it is appropriate we will announce it. He's Tony, the most amazing person in the world. As much as it is possible, it sounds like he is doing okay." – Colts President Bill Polian

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