INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The bunch that inspired a frigid procession through downtown Feb. 5, 2007 after delivering the Lombardi Trophy to the Circle City returns this weekend.
In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the Indianapolis Colts’ 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI after the 2006 season, the team will honor its world champions at halftime of Sunday’s game with the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. More than 40 players and coaches have RSVP’d they’ll attend.
In the days leading up to the reunion, some prominent figures share memories of the organization’s first world championship in three decades.
TARIK GLENN: The celebration
When you’re talking about memories of that time, the fondest memories are from getting back home after the game and just seeing the city so engaged and supportive and us bringing a championship home to Indianapolis. The city shut down and it was cold outside, but everybody came out and you just saw blue all over the city. For me that was the most fulfilling memory. It felt like it was one big team that put it all together and figured out how to bring a championship home to Indianapolis.
I probably feel that way, and a few others, too, because of the journey. You know, being 3-13 my first two years and just some of the disappointments and challenges and obstacles we had to deal with and overcome to get there. It felt like we did it as a city.
We were able to connect with the city. For one, the city of Indianapolis is real special in the way they care for each other. The city is very philanthropic by nature. Being a sports team in Indianapolis, there is a certain standard and quality of person that you have to be if you are going to play for the Pacers or the Colts. They are looking for a certain quality of person to represent their city. They’re not just looking for a great athlete. There are a lot of other attributes that have to come along with that.
That’s what I appreciated being there the most. What made you a valuable player was more than what you could do on the football field. It was also all of the other qualities and characteristics that came with you as a whole person. People respected that. If you’re looking for the best left tackle in the NFL, I probably wasn’t that. But there were other things that I brought to the table that made me a really good fit in Indianapolis.
I just remember the parade. Man, it was so cold. It was so cold. But it was one of those situations that was a surreal moment. The whole city just shut down. Kids, businessmen, everybody was all dressed in blue. People were hanging out. There were signs everywhere. The buildings downtown were lit up in Colts blue. It was just fun to see the whole city embrace that accomplishment because I feel like we all had a part to play in it.
That made that experience memorable.
The rest of the story: Glenn went out a winner, a champion. As it turned out, Super Bowl XLI proved to be the last time he guarded the blindside of quarterback Peyton Manning. In a surprise move, Glenn announced his retirement July 24, 2007. It brought an end to a 10-year career during which he was named to three Pro Bowls.
Glenn, 40, lives in Berkeley, Calif., with wife Maya and their four children: Isaiah, 16; Leila, 13; Nia, 12; and Elisha, 10. The former California standout works at his alma mater – “It’s about a 12-minute to work,’’ he said – as an assistant director in the Athletic Study Center. He provides academic advice and transition support to student-athletes.