(Editor's note: This is part of our Camp Contest. Long time reader Westside Rob has shared his observations of last night's practice with us. Much thanks to Rob. If you attend camp and want to report, just drop us an email. After the jump, he has lots of great observations. Sorry about the double link, but the article is longer than normal)
Practice Attended: 8/5/09 – 7:30PM
Growing up (well my Teen years at least) Colts training camp was a yearly tradition. My Dad and I would drive up to Anderson at least once sometimes twice a summer to see the Colts practice. Even after growing up and moving on it was something that I did most every year, but when I had kids of my own (2 daughters) and started my own business 8 years ago that tradition died. Well I set myself to restarting it last night and took my wife and 2 kids to the first (and maybe only) evening practice of this training camp season. It’s probably been 5 years since I last attended at Rose Hulman but not too much has changed with the exception there is a lot more “stuff” in the fan area going on. Use to be you show up, hang around, maybe get a player passing by to sign something and that would be about it.
Now they have kids areas, hospitality tents, interactive media exhibits, cheerleader meet and greets, organized autograph sessions, and they even ended the night with what seemed like an never ending fireworks display that rivaled downtown Indy on the 4th of July. Personally I’d rather have it the old way but my kids seemed to like the “side show” so if that helps them get more interested in the Colts I guess it isn’t really hurting me any. It is nice that they have concessions now too; it would have been nice to be able to get a cold drink back on some of those 95 degree days in Anderson… It was a big crowd, pretty much both grandstands and a couple of temporary stands that were setup at the corners were all full, in addition to tons of fans along the fences. Manning came out early and probably signed about 300 autographs along the fence and front row of the big grandstand which was nice. I’m not an autograph guy myself but I know a lot of people get into that and for him to come out early and do that was one of things that make Peyton special to Colts fans.