Protecting the Horseshoe

An NFL Blog with an Indianapolis Colts Focus

Super Bowl Saturday in Indianapolis

Here’s a collection of photos I was able to collect on the Saturday before the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. I made the trip there with my wife and our friend Alessandra. We made a lifelong memory.

We arrived in Super Bowl city around 10:00 AM and it was like instant Heaven. I have seen a lot of scenes in sports, but it was one of those moments when I just couldn’t believe that we were able to actually be there in the flesh. This above is one of the first early morning shots of Lucas Oil when we parked and got out of the car in Indianapolis.

Here’s a shot of Lucas Oil Stadium after we parked the car. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait for my first trip inside the palace that will belong to Andrew Luck someday. You needed credentials to get past security, something we absent-mindedly didn’t think of when we made the trip to Indy. We thought we were going to be able to walk up to the stadium and get pictures. Not the case.

I’ve seen this a couple of times when I’ve been to Indianapolis. I want to know more about it, what it is. It’s on the side of a couple of sports bars that appear to be closest to the stadium in Indy.

Here it is, the majestic view of the backside of the stadium from where we parked. This was taken on our morning walk into the city.

The media horde appeared as soon as you got to center city Indy.

More media horde.

All street roads were marked in the ‘Super Bowl Village’ by team names.

There were cool mural-like paintings of Eli Manning (pictured above) and Tom Brady on each side of Lucas Oil Stadium.

Look closely. This is behind the live filming of Saturday morning’s Sportscenter on ESPN. Steve Young, Trent Dilfer, and Steve Levy were at work as we stood behind and watched.

Here’s what the television looked like, shot of Indianapolis in the background. There were lots of Colts fans and #18 jerseys that weren’t pictured.

Here’s the infamous Super Bowl ‘Zipline’. We didn’t wait in line to do it. It seemed like a long wait for 30 seconds of fun.

This was the artificial surface field outside the NFL Fan Experience. I had never stood on NFL artificial surface until this point. I can see why players say it’s just like grass.

This is an ice sculpture we saw downtown on our way to eating lunch at the Colts Grille.

Here’s the prices of Super Bowl tickets in the StubHub booth that we walked into. This was around 11:30 AM Saturday. I guess tickets got as low as around $1,200.00 by kickoff.

Here’s Antrel Rolle. We went into the Giants team hotel before lunch and saw the entire Giants team load the bus and head to practice.

Just a Hallway the players were all walking by to head to the team bus at the J.W. Marriot. Looks like my camera failed me a little bit.

This was the elevator all the players came down before walking past us at the Marriot. As you can see, we weren’t the only fans there who wanted to wish the Giants well on the way to their last walk-through before the big game.

Here’s my first time at the NFL Experience. It was very neat, I wish I had more than one day to see everything. My favorite thing at the Experience was the memorabilia show. I would have liked to get my picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy but I wasn’t feeling up to waiting in the line.

Probably the best shot of the entire day. There’s Kevin Gilbride, Giants Offensive Coordinator and Eli Manning. When I saw Manning walk by and just the emotion he seemed to carry–how laid back he was–I knew the Giants were headed for a win on Sunday and another World Championship.

One of my other favorite Giants, Victor Cruz.

My favorite restaurant in the world. Every time I go to Indy, I’m headed here in some fashion.

Who wouldn’t want to stay the night at the Bud Light hotel? Bud Light, the official beer of the NFL.

The Colts Grille just looks cool from the outside.

I still have no clue what “Put the Money in the Bag” means, Reggie Wayne. But you remain one of my favorite Indianapolis Colts of all-time and I hope you’re coming back.

This was the hotel that we spent a large portion of the day at. A famous shot that got a lot of television time as the week went on.

There’s nothing not to love about the Colts Grille, even the ketchup.

I’m a Buckeye, and I love this man. Thanks for all those Saturdays, Jim.

A legend.

Completely over-rated. The NFL Shop before you left the NFL Experience. Stuff was marked up 200% and the selection just wasn’t that great. Glad I kept my wallet in my pocket to be honest. We did get to see Alyssa Milano from a distance.

The pride of Ada, Ohio. The Wilson Football Factory. It was only $160 to make your own personalized football. No wonder my wife said don’t even think about it.

Here’s Matt Forte signing some autographs at the GMC stand at the NFL Experience. I just missed Cam Newton, much to my dismay.

Now here’s a bit of foreshadowing I believe. Why would whoever is in charge allow that #12 Colts jersey to appear? Every team had the #12 jersey representing the mannequin. But it’s a little coincidental, no?

Jim Cordle, #63 for the New York Giants. These are die-hard fans. Or family members.

This is Jim Cordle’s aunts stuffed into one jersey. And maybe his sister. My co-worker is childhood friends with him. He’s also a Buckeye. And now he’s got a Super Bowl ring.

Night falls on Indy. Wow, we were really there.

This is where we spent the majority of our evening. This is the Giants team hotel. My wife is from the same home town as the VP of HR for the NFL. When the hotel came around and looked for credentials, she told them we were with her.

We talked about Roger Goodell, NFL Films, Peyton Manning’s future in Indy, how things were during the strike, the NFL’s feelings on Indianapolis hosting the Super Bowl, and a number of other things.

I saw a lot of the Giants team. I saw Kate and Rooney Mara. I talked with Mrs. Tisch. I saw Archie Manning. I talked to Spencer Paysinger, his uncles and dad. I could go on and on. We hung out with NFL and Giants family members until about 10:30 PM. It was one of the coolest memories I’ve ever made.

NFL Shop at the NFL Experience.

One of the cooler things to look at during the NFL Experience. Every team had one locker with unique items and equipment in it. Here’s Cam Newton’s.

The Wilson Football stand, hard at work.

These are fans who waited in line to get their picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy. People really do love this game.

Sam Hurd’s autograph picture can be had at a markdown price. I wonder why.

We really came, conquered, and saw.

Here’s the guys I grew up watching as a kid. 

February 5, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis, Super Bowl | Leave a comment

It’s Super Bowl Weekend

What a tough work week it was. Then again, they’re all tough.

Today invokes memories of the past for me, starting with the Super Bowl between the Giants and Buffalo Bills in 1990 which was my first Black Sunday I ever remember watching.

Who remembers the ‘Bud Bowl’?

That’s what Super Bowl commercials are to me. I’m hoping we see a return of the Bud Bowl one of these days. I always rooted for Budweiser by the way, it was probably some evil foreshadowing of what my future would hold.

And how about the Budweiser Weasel?

There’s been a lot of great commercials, game day dishes, and memories that surround this weekend for me. We’ve finally reached the end of the 2011 NFL season and while it’s a celebration and culmination of the great season we just witnessed it’s also the end and the long off season awaits us all.

I think this is going to be a tremendous Super Bowl on Sunday, and my wife’s team hopefully wins their second title in four years over the Patriots. Really there wasn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to this post, but I needed an excuse to get those clips in here at some point.

February 4, 2012 Posted by | Super Bowl | Leave a comment