Wednesday was a big day for Tiny and the rest of the Colts marketing crew as we headed three hours north to LaPorte, Ind., home of the Slicers. What exactly is a Slicer? I’m still not exactly sure, but I do know that the Slicers showed up in full force for Wednesday’s Fan Fest.
While we managed to entertain ourselves throughout the lengthy car ride with various “Call Me Maybe” remixes and some old school rap jams, we all felt a little sluggish by the time we arrived at LaPorte High School. However, there were several volunteers ready to help when we began to set up for the event. Water, crowd control, you name it: these Colts fans were ready to step in wherever the need may be. Thank you, volunteers!
I met with some fans while they waited in line to visit with our sponsors, register to win free tickets, sign up for one of the Colts Official Fan Clubs and most importantly, meet the Colts players and cheerleaders. There were blue wigs, countless Colts jerseys and even a man sporting his Colts pajama pants.
Avery, a six-year-old from LaPorte, waited in line prior to the gates opening so he could show off his fresh blue Mohawk to some of his favorite Colts players. Avery remembered traveling down to Lucas Oil Stadium to watch a Colts game a few years ago. “I’m not sure who the Colts played, but I know that we won!” While his semi-permanent hair color may not last until the season starts, Avery assured me that he’ll still be cheering for the Colts come September when we kick off the regular season against the Bears.
Finally, a limo arrived with the cheerleaders and a bright red helicopter swarmed over the field carrying Colts players, Pat McAfee and Joe Reitz. Fans cheered and pointed to the sky, barely containing their excitement.
Reitz said, “They’ve really rolled out the red carpet for us here in LaPorte. It’s great to see how excited the fans are for Colts football even three hours north of Indianapolis.”
Colts punter, Pat McAfee welcomed all of the fans to Wednesday’s Fan Fest and thanked them all for their support. McAfee said, “Colts fans are the BEST fans.” But we already knew that, right?!
Before McAfee and Reitz had even signed their first autograph, the line stretched throughout the football field and out into the parking lot. Fans endured the long wait in the scorching sun with live music from the Jai Baker Band and competing for t-shirts tossed from our very own, Blue.
Colts fans Stephanie and Brandon stood at the end of the line, but they didn’t care how long the wait was. “We’re here because we love the Colts!” said Stephanie. “Who knows, maybe we’ll even win some free tickets while we’re here!”
Our good friend, Tiny (a 30’ inflatable mascot, in case you haven’t met him), welcomed kids of all ages to our Play 60 zone that included the Colts bounce house and inflatable slide. Colts fan Brock told me he was so “COLTSTRONG” that he could tackle Tiny to the ground. While Brock aced the quarterback challenge and sped through the drills in the Play 60 zone, he was only a little more than three feet tall, compared to Tiny standing at 30 feet tall. However, when you’re “the strongest kid at the Fan Fest” you can do anything you set your mind to.
It was obvious that fun was had by all that attended the LaPorte Fan Fest. By the time the sun began to set and the line finally started to dwindle, the helicopter was swirling above the field waiting to take McAfee and Reitz back to Indianapolis.
McAfee tweeted to his followers that it was his first time riding in a helicopter. I’ve never ridden in a helicopter either so I’m hoping that they’ll consider allowing Tiny and I to ride down in a chopper of our own to our next Fan Fest event.
Before leaving the Fan Fest, Reitz showed his appreciation for the hundreds of Colts fans that came out to the event. “We’re nothing without our fans,” he said.
Although it was a little warm outside, it was nothing a cold bottle of water couldn’t fix. Thank you to the LaPorte High School cheerleading squad who spent their evening making sure fans stayed hydrated! I had a great time getting to meet our fans that cheer on the Colts from nearly 150 miles away. We’re glad we could bring some Colts blue spirit up north!
Get ready, Kokomo – we’re headed to you Friday! And Rushville – we’re coming your way Saturday!
Tags: fan fest, joe reitz, pat mcafee
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