Warm Weather, Welcome Awaits Visitors:
Groundhog Day normally doesn't mean too
much to residents of Central Indiana. No matter what some rodent in
Pennsylvania says, Hoosiers know at the beginning of February they are
still in for a good, prolonged dose of winter weather.
The Colts won Super Bowl XLI, on Feb. 4,
2007, and I stood in the middle of Meridian Street for a photo in a
near gale-force wind and single-digit temperatures. The next day, fans
waited for hours in even colder temperatures for the team's victory
parade, which was more akin to an Eskimo funeral.
Tuesday night — the last day of January
— I again stood in the middle of Meridian Street for a photo, this time
only wearing a light windbreaker as the temperature was near 60 degrees
at 9 p.m. The five-day forecast for the next five days has highs of 54,
52, 53, 44, and 47. Sure, it's not South Beach, but it's way, WAY above
normal and beyond organizers' wildest dreams. As a lifelong Hoosier, I
can't say it's anything less than a small miracle.
The other "warm" thing about the city so
far is the welcome wagon. The amount of volunteers the city has for the
event is staggering. Downtown on Tuesday night, it really seemed like
there was one every 15 feet, all willing to answer a question or point
people in the right direction. And "have a super day" may be the new
slogan for the week.
Super Cast Turns Out for Pacers-Nets:
Following Media Day, many players were
ready to get out and see a bit of Indy last night, and more than a few
players from both teams turned out at Banker's Life Fieldhouse for the
NBA game between the Pacers and the New Jersey Nets.
BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Deion Branch
spotted courtside for the Patriots. Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs from the Giants also turned out to
support their neighbors in the Meadowlands. Also in attendance:
Jacksonville star Maurice Jones-Drew, New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller, ESPN personalities Ron Jaworski and Scott Van Pelt, and others.
Perhaps Jaworski or Van Pelt spoke to
his colleagues after the game, as second-year Pacers guard Paul George's double-pump reverse slam was the No. 1 play on SportsCenter's
"Top Ten" Wednesday. The Pacers won, 106-99.
Fallon Joins the Fun:
Comedian and late-night talk show host
Jimmy Fallon is known to New England fans for his role as a
star-crossed Red Sox fan in the underwhelming 2005 film, "Fever Pitch."
In fact, many Sox fans were upset when a scene involving Fallon and
Drew Barrymore for the film was re-shot — during the team's on-field
celebration in St. Louis after winning its first World Series since
Like it or not, Fallon is back, although
it's unlikely he'll be close enough to the field to spoil another
moment of sports glory for New Englanders. His show, Late Night with
Jimmy Fallon, is taping in Indianapolis from the Hilbert Circle Theatre
on Monument Circle for Super Bowl week.
Fallon has been in town for a few days, and was spotted on Monument
Circle on Monday, dressed in drag and taping a segment for the show.
Wednesday morning, he rode the zipline on Capital Avenue.
Fans passing through Monument Circle
around 8 p.m. Tuesday were treated to Fallon taping the introduction to
his show. Fallon, in a blue suit, runs around the corner of Market
Street onto the Circle, chased by a crowd of oddballs and characters.
Included in the crowd were mascots from
Butler University (Bulldog), Ball State University (Cardinal), Marian
University (Knights), Indiana-Purdue at Indianapolis (Jaguar). Also
included were the Colts' cheerleaders and members of the Ball State
Late Night has an additional
Indianapolis connection: the original version of the show was hosted by
David Letterman, an Indianapolis native. Letterman left the franchise
to Conan O'Brien, who in turn, handed it to Fallon.
Shows from Indy are planned on Feb. 1, 2
and 3, with a live show planned for after the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon airs at 12:35 on
Expect Long Lines at NFL Experience:
The NFL Experience, located at the
Indiana Convention Center at the west end of the Super Bowl Village,
features a variety of activities and displays for Super Bowl fans, as
well as an NFL Network stage, autograph areas and a massive NFL Shop.
It's great for kids, as participants can
kick field goals and extra points, run routes and obstacle courses, and
throw to targets. Just give yourself plenty of time if you want to
enjoy the activities, as lines can be long — this "big kid" waited
close to 30 minutes for a field goal attempt (wide right from 30 yards,
if you're interested).
Perhaps more interesting to adult fans
are the displays and memorabilia detailing the history of the
professional game. There are also authentic lockers with gear of a
player from each team (Devin Hester from the Bears, Dwight Freeney of
the Colts, to name two). The most popular locker was probably Tim
Tebow's, with many fans snapping photos "Tebowing" in front of the
There are also displays with game balls
from many Super Bowls, as well as championship ring displays, and
displays of the Lamar Hunt (AFC Championship) and George Halas (NFC
Championship) Trophies. There's also an opportunity to be photographed
with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but again, be prepared to wait in line
Tickets to the NFL Experience are $25 at
the box office on the corner of Capital Avenue and Washington Street.
Sounds from Indy
Notes: Brady, Practice, Receivers...
Eric Hartz is a lifelong Hoosier and former editor and
publisher of ColtPower.com, Scout.com's Colts site. E-mail him at
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