It's Friday, and you know what that means: time for another installment of The Horseshoe Diaries! This week we're treated to a touching story from Caleb. No 'lead in' I write would do it justice, so let's go straight to it.
I love the Colts. I think about the team all the time. I’m constantly thinking about plays that happened during past games, thinking about possible roster changes, and mostly (especially recently) the health of one Peyton Manning.
One of the reasons I love the team has to do with how I grew up. I don’t want to get too personal but I didn’t have the greatest childhood. I grew up a part of a weird religious organization that was very controlling.
Everyone I knew was apart of this group. I was home schooled my whole life. I never was allowed to take part in organized sports, watch TV, or do any of the normal things that people do while growing up. Most of these rules were in place to keep us from knowing what “normal” life was like. However, for some strange reason, people in the group were allowed to watch sports.
I could go on and give hundreds of examples of how bad it was, but I don’t really think it is necessary. I hope you get the idea. Being raised in that situation forced me to make adult-level decisions at far too young an age. These decisions were far too heavy a load for a kid. I was miserable, almost all the time.
The only times I was happy was the three and a half hours every Sunday in the fall when the Colts were on TV. During that time, nothing else mattered to me. I sat down and watched those games and felt perfectly happy. I felt normal.
The feeling normal part was really important to me. Every moment of the day I was constantly reminded of how un-normal my situation was. Those three hours of feeling normal were so important. I watched every moment of every game. I didn’t matter how poorly the team was performing or how badly they were being beaten, those tough moments in the game were better than what I was going through.
Perhaps another reason I watch every moment of every game is there was always that chance of a comeback. With Manning, it never really mattered how large the deficit was. The 2003 Tampa Bay, 2008 Houston, and 2009 Patriot game should have taught us that.
So the reason that I care about the team so much is that watching them helped me get through those tough times. In fact, it was during the Colts Super Bowl run in early 2007, that I finally got the courage to leave. As the team was winning a championship, I went ahead and won one of the biggest battles of my life.
My memory of the Colts doesn’t go back as far as I would like. My first Colt memory is the Divisional Round playoff game against the Chiefs in 1996. I was 6. I have a snap shot of that 3rd quarter field goal that ended up being the winning points going through the uprights. I’ll never forget that.
I remember the next game (AFC Championship game against the Steelers) and then other games off and on until 1998. Looking back at box scores from 1998 is one of my favorite things to do. Often times I can remember where I watched the game, what we ate that day, and what we did right after. And, as I already described above, every moment of the Super Bowl run is special to me.
Since leaving Indianapolis in 2007, I’ve become an even bigger Colt fan. I’m on Colt websites all the time. I still watch every game. At one point, I was even an intern for a popular Colts podcast. I went to my first ever Colts game in 2010. I’m glad I got to see Manning play in person. I am very thankful for the Colts. Without them sometimes I wonder if I would have every gotten the courage to pursue my own path.
A special Thank you to Caleb for sharing his story with us. We'll be back next Friday with the next installment of the Horseshoe Diaries, keep your stories coming!
It's pretty cool to know that the Colts can be so much more than just a hobby to watch. I've always considered professional sports players as over-paid entertainers, but in this case they are inspirational and life-changing. Cool stuff!
Thank you for sharing your story buddy. I'm sure it wasn't easy. Your story is a perfect testament to why we love our teams so much. Some people will never understand that but we all will :) Go Colts