News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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July 28, 2013

Wayne's grand entrance sets off start of training camp for Colts

ANDERSON — Leave it to Reggie Wayne to make another grand entrance for the start of Indianapolis Colts training camp.

Wayne, the Colts’ Pro Bowl wide receiver, has made a habit over the years of being one of the last players to arrive for camp. And he’s also made it something of a media event for the various modes of transportation that he uses to show up.

Saturday’s entrance was certainly no exception. And maybe the best yet.

Thanks to an assist from Indiana University Health, Wayne landed in one of the organization’s Lifeline helicopters. Wearing a black flight suit and accompanied by one of the hospital’s patients, the helicopter touched down around 1 p.m. in one of Anderson University’s auxiliary practice fields.

“We came in style,” the affable Wayne said after exiting the helicopter with his left arm around 20-year-old Matt Sercer, who lives near Plainfield and is recovering from a serious farming accident that occurred in December. Sercer was told that there was a chance he would never walk again.

“My new friend, Matt Sercer,” Wayne continued. “That’s my riding buddy. Brought him in with me. He’s part of Colts nation.”

It was somewhat of a poorly kept secret that Wayne was planning a special way to arrive for this year’s camp. For previous training camps, he had used a cement truck, a large bus and a military Humvee. In recent days, however, several of his current and former teammates had tweeted to be on the look out for something different.

“I also want to thank IU Health for going ahead and letting me come in style in their Lifeline chopper,” he said.

During his past grand entrances, Wayne often used the occasion to make some sort of statement about his personal and team goals.

“Well, I sat back and thought, ‘We’ve got a pretty good team.’ I really think our team this year is better than last year. And if we don’t hurt ourselves, the sky’s the limit for us,” he said. “I really sat back and thought, ‘Sky’s the limit, sky’s the limit.’ Why not come in through the sky. So IU Health helped me do that. And we’re here.”

Wayne admitted that it’s getting tougher to try and top himself each summer.

“This is definitely No. 1. I don’t know if you can outdo this one. This is tough. But I said that last year, all the other years, so we’ll come up with something,” he mentioned.

One thing he wanted everybody to know was that he did not try his hand at flying the helicopter. He left that job to the professionals.

“Absolutely not,” Wayne said laughing. “I was just a passenger. You really take things for granted. You think football is hard. I’m sitting up there just in awe just looking at [pilot] Jerome [Brissom] work all the shifts and press all the buttons.

“Those guys got to have A’s in their class. There’s no time for C’s and D’s. It was fun. I enjoyed it. It was a great experience, a little choppy, but that was expected being in a chopper. I enjoyed it.”

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