Blue or Orange?
That was the question many fans grappled with as former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning returned to Lucas Oil Stadium — “the house that he built” — Sunday night for the Colts-Broncos football game.
Thousands of Hoosiers — including many football fans from the Wabash Valley — flooded the stadium in Indianapolis to watch Manning, now the Denver quarterback, play against his Colts replacement, Andrew Luck.
The sea of blue showed that the audience was primarily Colts supporters, but some were found wearing orange Broncos jerseys, which stuck out of the crowd.
But others, like Terre Haute resident Jonathan Wright, wore a half-Colts, half-Broncos jersey.
“In honor of Peyton,” the Colts fan said Sunday.
Wright and his group of seven friends arrived at the stadium in an RV ahead of the game to tailgate. Other groups from Terre Haute — including one group of about 30 people — also joined in the pre-game festivities.
While wearing the half-and-half jersey is a way for Wright to show “a little respect for Peyton,” he did not lose sight of “who we’re cheering for,” he said.
“I’m a Colts fan,” Wright said. “He’s [Manning] one of the best quarterbacks ever, but I’m not going to lose sight of the team I support 100 percent.”
Manning, the NFL’s only four-time MVP, joined the Broncos in 2012 after being released by the Colts, who drafted Luck, the team’s current quarterback. The previous season, Manning suffered from a neck injury that caused him to miss the entire 2011 campaign with the Colts.
Manning joined the Colts in 1998 and led the team to a Super Bowl championship.
Because of Manning’s return to Lucas Oil, there was a lot more hype surrounding Sunday night’s game compared to an average home game, said Wright, a season-ticket holder.
“It’s very exciting to see it and just be able to experience it,” he said. “I can’t wait for the game.”
Another Terre Haute fan, Allen Keegan — who went to the game with his friend and fellow firefighter, Ray Mulvihill — could hardly contain his excitement, being at the game.
“I’ve been a Colts fan ever since I was a kid,” Keegan said, who added that his dad and brother may be “upset” because “I’m going to be able to watch Peyton Manning return [live], and they have to sit at home.”
He just couldn’t believe that he was able to go to the much-anticipated game.
“For me to be able to be here to watch him [Manning] play against the team he’s been playing for since he got in the NFL is pretty cool,” he said.
But there is no doubt which team to cheer for.
“I’m going to have to stick with my Colts team,” he said.
Mulvihill and Keegan tailgated with other firefighters from the Terre Haute area present at the pre-game festivities.
“It’s kind of a last-minute deal. I didn’t know they were up here,” Mulvihill said.
But to be able to “hang out with people that I know” made the experience much better, Mulvihill added.
Mulvihill, a Manning fan and a loyal Colts fan, said that part of the excitement was watching the game unfold “with your own eyes,” instead of watching it on TV.
“He’s [Manning] always been one of my favorite players. It’s weird seeing him not in Colts blue,” he said.
Mulvihill said the tickets were expensive. He paid $147 for seats in the 600 section, the highest in the stadium.
“Just seeing the tribute for Peyton and just the magnitude of the game will be worth it,” he said.
Although he likes Manning and considers him one of the best players around, “he’s still an opponent,” and Mulvihill wanted the Colts to win, he said.
Mulvihill also thinks highly of Luck.
“It’s a good thing we drafted him. He’s been awesome. He knows how to play the game. It was a good pick up for the Colts,” he said.
Another Terre Haute Colts fan, Troy Jackson, visibly supported Luck.
Jackson, who wore Luck’s No. 12 jersey to the game, said he likes Manning but is rooting for the Colts.
“I wish him the best. I like Peyton. He’s always a great player [and] a great man. It’s hard not to be a fan of someone like him,” he said.
“It’s going to be a tough dynamic. I’m a true Colts fan, and yet I still want to see Peyton succeed,” said Jackson, who has been a Colts fan for more than 15 years.
“But I’m a true Colts fan first,” he confirmed.
He was looking forward to the football experience with his wife, Lana, who was also at the game.
“We just want to take in as much as we can,” Jackson said.
He called the atmosphere “festive” and the weather “football weather.”
And a good opportunity for the fans to thank Manning.
“The way he left … the fans really didn’t get to give him a farewell,” Jackson said.
It was a unique experience.
“I’m so excited. You’ll never be able to experience something like this [again],” Jackson said before the game. “It’s once in a lifetime.”
Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or email@example.com.
Fans juggle Manning’s return, love for Indianapolis Colts
Blue or Orange?
- Local & Bistate
Purdue shooting leaves one person dead
A Purdue University engineering student opened fire inside a basement classroom Tuesday, killing a teaching assistant and prompting officials to put the campus on lockdown, police and the university said.
Tasting their way to a cure
People appeared to be in high spirits Friday inside the historic Indiana Theatre as they gathered for an evening of wine, food and conversation while supporting efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.
THS grad Miller among students in adjacent building when shooting occurs
Kris Miller and his roommate were in a computer lab of Purdue’s mechanical engineering building Tuesday when they received a call that a shooting had occurred next door.
Bosma moves gay marriage ban bill to friendlier committee
Republican House of Representatives Speaker Brian Bosma sent a bill that proposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage to a more conservative-leaning legislature committee Tuesday, because it lacked support on the first committee to which it was assigned.
We enter the deep freeze again
If you had to step outside to get your newspaper this morning, you might have noticed it’s painfully cold once again.
Levy redirects school funds
If the new “protected levy” legislation goes into effect later this year, it would mean “a substantial reduction” in revenue for Vigo County School Corp. bus transportation, capital projects and bus replacement funds, according to the district’s chief financial officer.
School debt levy redirects funds across Indiana
School officials and state legislators from around the state are searching for ways to keep the school buses running — and children safe on the streets — pending the loss of millions of dollars for school transportation.
More than 50 school districts in Indiana stand to lose at least 20 percent of their revenues for transportation, new buses and other big-ticket projects under a new law that requires them to first pay off their debts.
VIDEO: Sen. Donnelly updates T-S editorial board
Passage of a long overdue U.S. farm bill could be completed by the end of this month, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Tuesday.
Vigo coroner tries again for salary increase
After being denied last year, Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos is again seeking to have her county salary increased to match that of several other county office holders.
Same-sex marriage: 4 couples sue state over ban
Four gay couples from southern Indiana sued the state Friday, seeking to force Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state and issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Time to check smoke alarms
Three years after a house fire on South Nine Street in Terre Haute resulted in the death of three people, a Terre Haute grandmother still wonders if the outcome of that fire would have been different if smoke detectors in the home had been working.
Indiana State Board extends president’s contract
Indiana State University has signed up Dan Bradley, the school’s president, for an additional three years of service.
New animal shelter gets welcome boost
The aging Terre Haute Humane Society shelter is not a place for the faint of heart.
4 couples sue Indiana over same-sex marriage ban
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Four couples from southern Indiana are asking a federal judge to force the state to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Vigo County Jail Log: March 7, 2014
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.
Bill for welfare drug testing in negotiation
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two Indiana lawmakers trying to pass a bill requiring drug tests for some welfare recipients say they have passed voluntary drug tests.
Book signing March 7 in Crossroads Café to benefit Success By 6
The book “One Day I Could Be ... Careers in the Wabash Valley,” is on sale now and will be available at a book signing today, March 7, during a First Friday event in downtown Terre Haute.
Groups ask regulators to probe plant’s power woes
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Environmental and citizens’ groups are asking Indiana regulators to launch a formal investigation into problems and delays that have sharply limited the power output of Duke Energy’s $3.5 billion coal-gasification plant near Edwardsport.
Nature trust expands Owen-Putnam State Forest
POLAND, Ind. (AP) — State officials say funding from the Bicentennial Nature Trust has helped the Indiana Department of Natural Resources expand a central Indiana state forest by 84 acres.
Vigo County high school team in FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional
Drivers of remote-controlled robots will match skills, similar to those used in basketball and soccer, to score in the FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Benefit planned for daycare fire victim
Veronica Gray never met 19-month-old Emma Lloyd, but when she learned about the child’s tragic death in a Sullivan day care fire, she had to do something.
Winter’s costs add up for Vigo
While still within county and city budgets, the snowstorms of January and February were more costly than a year ago.
Mayor Bennett threatens veto of consultant funding
Mayor Duke Bennett is threatening to veto a measure before the Terre Haute City Council that would transfer money into the council’s budget allowing the body to again hire a financial consultant.
Semitrailer fire slows eastbound traffic on Interstate 70
Traffic on Interstate 70 was slowed Thursday afternoon by a semitrailer fire just east of Terre Haute.
Tests show Skittles had no unusual chemicals
The Indiana State Health Department has given Skittles a clean bill of health.
No problems reported in early 10-digit phone dialing
Just be grateful you (probably) aren’t using a rotary telephone these days.
Cloverdale woman sentenced to 10 years in molestation/neglect case
A Cloverdale woman received a 10-year prison sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to child molesting and neglect of a defendant in Vigo Superior Court 3.
Youth orchestra performs March 9
Crossroads of America Youth Orchestra will present its "Spring" concert from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 9, in Central Presbyterian Church at 125 N. Seventh St.
Gun stolen by Dillinger gang returning to Nortern Indiana
AUBURN, Ind. (AP) — The FBI plans to return a .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun stolen by members of the John Dillinger gang from a northeastern Indiana police station to the department.
Indiana workplace safety agency addressing issues
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesman says the agency has cooperated fully with federal investigators who found the agency mishandled complaints, put its inspectors under strict time constraints and didn’t help whistleblowers.
- More Local & Bistate Headlines
- Purdue shooting leaves one person dead