News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

July 21, 2006

Given to Fly: Colts have changed since that first party in 1999

TERRE HAUTE — Take a trip back to 1999.

Star Wars Episode I — The Phantom Menace was the top grossing movie of the summer.

The Backstreet Boys’ “Millenium” topped the Billboard charts. If that doesn’t ring a bell — please tell me it doesn’t — Rage Against the Machine’s album “Battle of Los Angeles” was the best rock album released that year. Shania Twain was the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year.

Perhaps some of you crazy football fans were rocking Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” on your way out to Rose-Hulman.

Second-year quarterback Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts arrived seven years ago today for their first training camp in Terre Haute. Running back Edgerrin James arrived near the end of camp, before leading all NFL backs in rushing yards and touchdowns during the regular season.

The Colts have been one of the NFL’s top teams since going 13-3 behind the third highest-scoring offense in the league in 1999. Peyton Manning had a breakout season in which Coach Jim Mora’s team won the AFC East; the New England Patriots tied with the New York Jets for last place in the division for those that enjoy a healthy disdain for the Colts’ rivals.

As the Colts prepare to win their first AFC Championship since moving to Indy, a few things have changed with the team — and Terre Haute — as Coach Tony Dungy’s squad prepares to arrive in town July 30.

While it wasn’t a sign-and-trade deal, Arizona’s NFL team acquired Edgerrin James, and Rose-Hulman brought in a new president from Arizona State University.

The affable Jerry Jakubowski is excited about the arrival of Peyton Manning and company. He and his wife Lynn plan to be at many of the workouts at Rose’s state-of-the-art facilities.

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