INDIANAPOLIS – Lucas Oil Stadium is a special place for a firefighter out of Terre Haute.
Matt McCullough has missed only a handful of home games since he became a season ticket-holder in 2008. Now, he’s bound to make one of his biggest trips ever as a die hard Colts fan.
“I’ve been a Colts fan ever since I was little, growing up watching them on TV. Here I am in my Colts pajamas in the early eighties,” McCullough says pointing to an old photo.
That picture was taken about the time the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984, so McCullough has been a fan since the very beginning.
This week, he will travel to the NFL Draft in Cleveland, where he will have a front row seat as one of the Colts’ draft ambassadors. McCullough was picked through a team contest.
“I just enter everything. Obviously, it’s a long shot lottery,” he said. “Got notified that we got picked for the Colts’ inner circle.”
Making the one-hour drive from the Illinois-Indiana state line to Lucas Oil Stadium has not been a big deal for McCullough in the past. Commitment is in his DNA. He has been fighting fires in his hometown of Terre Haute for 25 years and was promoted to Riley Fire Department’s Fire Chief about four years ago.
“Grew up living by the firehouse and just watched them when I was little,” he said.
What has also taken off is a room in his home dedicated to the Colts. The cost of his investment? Priceless.
“Probably shouldn’t say or my wife would probably get on me about it. Ended up getting a set of seats from the original RCA Dome. Some of the fabric.”
McCullough also has an old fire helmet signed by nearly 50 players.
“I think it’s up to about fifty-two signatures,” he said. “Pat McAfee was the first one that signed it. Dallas Clark’s here on the back. TY Hilton. Darius Leonard. Jack Doyle. Jim Sorgi from quarterback. Jacoby Brissett. Jonathan Taylor’s on here. Robert Mathis, got him at a Colts Camp. Pierre Garcon. So quite a few.”