News From Terre Haute, Indiana

CNHI News Service Originals

February 3, 2007

Dungy proud to honor Indy

Miami Beach, Fla. — Most of the time, Tony Dungy is not an emotional man. But for a brief moment Friday, just prior to his final pre-Super Bowl XLI press conference, the Indianapolis Colts coach showed a side of his personality that few people get to see.

Dungy followed Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith to the podium at the Super Bowl Media Center, where both paused to pose with the Vince Lombardi Trophy for a large group of photographers. Afterwards, the two longtime friends and former coaching associates embraced each other and took a few minutes to savor the moment.

“It was an awesome moment, not only because of what that symbolized for African-American people, for African-American coaches and for the country in general. But more, more than that, because of who I standing with and the type of person I know Lovie is and the way he runs his team. It’s just a very, very proud moment for me,” Dungy said afterwards, referring to the fact that Sunday’s game will be the first in NFL history with two black head coaches squaring off for the Super Bowl championship.

The Colts coach also admitted that he thought of what his team’s appearance in the league’s title game has meant to the city of Indianapolis and to the state as a whole. Additionally, he has been pleased as well with the approach both teams have taken in the days leading up to the game.

“I think it’s been a great week for our team, for our city. I think it’s been great for the NFL. Everything that I’ve heard come out of this week has been very, very positive. I think both teams have shown you the type of young men they have on their team, the type of players, the type of organizations there are. I think it’s been tremendous,” Dungy said.

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