Hate to admit it but Indianapolis has been best Super Bowl site ever

February 03, 2012 | Nestor Aparicio

Hate to admit it but Indianapolis has been best Super Bowl site ever

INDIANAPOLIS — If you’ve tuned into my programming or radio show or WNST at any point over the past two decades, you’ll know there is no love lost with me and Indianapolis. It’s a place I’ve visited far too many times over the past 15 years and a town that has sent me packing for the airport far too many times with Ravens’ losses instead of wins.

Every March, I’m here for the annual NFL combine and despite many memories of beers with coaches, prospects in gym shorts with prison numbers and sinuses bleeding from the shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse, there has never been any love lost between me and Indianapolis.

Here are a few examples of my past angst, anger and longing about all things blue and white and horseshoes:

And then there’s this genius, who I met the day that Chris McAlister allowed Peyton Manning to play catch with Reggie Wayne and friends:

I’ve opined regarding my experiences and relationship with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and finally “dropped the sword” two years ago after 26 years of angst related to his father Bob’s moving of my childhood love and passion, the Baltimore Colts via Mayflower vans in the middle of the night.

And perhaps the ultimate indignity was watching Lee Evans drop a sure touchdown and Billy Cundiff miss a chip-shot field goal that would’ve sent the Baltimore Ravens to this Super Bowl just 12 days ago in New England as undoubtedly a favorite to win Baltimore’s second Super Bowl of the purple era and then

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45 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    Glad you are enjoying the love and karma in Jimmy land.Please tell us old goats more!Seems to me the wonderful people of Indy would have loved the name “Racers” better than the Colts anyway that was 100 million offers ago! God Bless Art Modell and William Donald Schaffer.

  2. Mark Says:

    Nestor- would it still be great if it was 28 degrees and snowing? They got lucky with the weather.

  3. Indy Native Says:

    I guarantee you that repeat hosting of the SB will not be like this. This is not your typical Indy weather and there is no mass transit…parking is gonna be hell from here on out.

    On a side note…IMS should take notice. Make downtown Indy an 500 Village for the week leading into the 500. Make it more family friendly…increase the tourism. Make it more than a weekend event.

  4. Steve Nealy Says:

    Indy Native,

    Wet blanket much? Sure, the weather has been fantastic. But, in answer to your question, yes. Had it been cold, there are dozens of outdoor heaters set up along the Village. Regarding your “no mass transit”… that’s simply untrue. IndyGo is offering free trips to/from downtown.

    The main point of having a compact area is to minimize the need for long cab rides or bus rides. That has been accomplished. And, should the weather not cooperate in the future, there are many ways to maneuver to and from the Village area without ever stepping outside.

    Bottom line: your gig at the Visitor’s and Convention Association isn’t going to happen. Why not get out and enjoy it versus bemoaning what Indianapolis (incorrectly) doesn’t have.

  5. Hoosier In Texas Says:

    Wow! I appreciate the candor regarding Indianapolis. I bleed Colts blue but can understand your feelings and those of the fine folks in Baltimore regarding the Irsay’s. You have found the secret of the Midwest and that is the simple fact that there is no better place than Indianapolis.

  6. Robert Young Says:

    From a native indy resident, thank you for the kind words….I think. I don’t think the people of Indy had any control over the Colts name coming here, and yes we would have been just as happy with ‘Racers’ as we are with the Colts. Do you realize almost all the Colts players weren’t BORN when the Colts changed cities? Cleveland fans should be thankful…no doubt they got to keep their name as a result of the Colts uproar. For all you Baltimore fans, as much as you hate Indy and the Colts, we hate the Patriots more! We Indy residents would have rather hosted all you Colt hatin’ ravens than the Beantown boys! Indy fans are understanding, albeit a bit tired of the continued Baltimore hate. Today, both cities enjoy successful franchises…so guys, isn’t it time to get over it? You’re always welcome to come enjoy a frosty one here in Indy!

  7. Indy Native Says:

    @Steve Nealy…What’s IndyGo? Buses? LOL!!! I’m talking light rail…Indy needs to come into the 21st century.

  8. Barry Says:

    I’ve wondered this question for a while, but have never known a rabid Ravens fan. How can you be so mad that Indy “stole” your team, if the Ravens were “stolen” from Cleveland? You are not really the Ravens. You are the Browns. Is it because the Irsays took the brand with them? Also, shouldn’t you be more mad that the politicians didn’t support the Colts in Baltimore and not Indianapolis, since you took advantage of the same situation in Cleveland? I’d like a serious answer and am not trying to push your buttons. Honestly curious how you justify your position, as a Ravens fan that hates Indianapolis. Thanks.

  9. Michael Says:

    Indy doesn’t need mass transit for the Super Bowl. The average visitor doesn’t have a car. They took a shuttle from the airport to a downtown hotel and walked everyplace from there. The weather has certainly helped Indy but it would have been a great show regardless. I have friends in the area and they have all been anticipating this for a long time. I am a devoted Ravens fan but I get to Indy for business a fair amount and downtown is an exciting place during “normal” times, let alone the big game.

  10. Linda Says:

    As a Realtor & lifelong resident, I am also very proud of what our city has pulled off as a Host City. But is wonderful to hear from u & others from other cities .

  11. Tom G Says:

    Well I think the fact that it’s the Baltimore Ravens and not the Baltimore Browns is directly related to what happened to your city 28 years ago. I’m a Colts fan but have always respected the Baltimore scoreboard’s use of Indy rather than the Colts. I personally wish the Colts name and records were left in Baltimore as does every Colts fan I know and that our team would have had there own identity but that wasn’t the fans choice. Thanks for the kind words and our new coach. Sorry couldn’t resist that one.

  12. Shrea33 Says:

    This was a wonderful thing to say about our great city…We are always being hated on, so it’s kind of exciting hearing awesome things about us!!…What you see is just apart of our genuine Hoosier hospitality!!…Hope you continue to enjoy your time here and by all means please come back to visit us!!:)

  13. Walter Says:

    As a native and proud Bostonian, I naturally hope the Patriots remember their trip to Indy with satisfaction. I have no doubt you are going to see a great game. The Giants are our greatest threats. They will come right at us. Sorry there will be no Colts-Ravens game but maybe you will like us better on Monday morning. Hope do. I love Indy, another great sports town.

  14. Sonya Cox Austin Says:

    I’ve been a Colts fan since they came to Indy. Win or lose, we love this team! My daughter now lives in the Baltimore area, and although she’s a die-hard Colts fan, she also cheers on the Ravens. Most of Indiana would rather see the Ravens here. I, myself, also cheer for the Ravens….. With the exceptions of when they play our Colts. Good luck next year, Baltimore!!!! : )

  15. SuperBold Says:

    To suggest a Indy Super Bowl environment would trump New Orleans sounds completely absurd. I am glad Gam-Gam and little Timmy are free to peruse the Indy landscape in the evening hours but there is no way it is a better experience. You even stated Indy had a living breathing Bourbon St. Well, that is pretty telling that you think of New Orleans as a comparison.

  16. David Peters Says:

    Been a Colts fan since 1966 since my brothers were born in Baltimore, then they came to my hometown, Indianapolis. Personally don’t think the team names should go to different cities, but that is how the NFL does it. Go Colts, my favorite team in the world. Ravens are my 3rd favorites after the Cincy Bengals.

  17. Eric Says:

    As a former downtown Indy resident, I was astonished at the crowd. I went last Sunday when it was well below freezing and the crows was enormous and cheerful. Heaters all over downtown to warm up. Plenty of booze, coffee, and parties. I parked 4 blocks away. I paid $5 for 6 hours.

  18. IndianaBoy18 Says:

    Indy is a great “sports” town. New Orleans is a great “sin” town. What makes a better site for a NATIONAL event: A city known for it’s hospitality and love for the game or a town known for it’s strippers and cocaine? The superbowl is for EVERYONE! Not just boozers and gamblers.

  19. Wexford Says:

    Thank you for the nice words about Indianapolis. Born and bred in Indy, I’ve seen it change for the better and especially as a host city for sporting events and conventions. We want our guests to feel welcome and enjoy our city: Indianapolis, Crossroads of America!

  20. Indyalisa Says:

    I know it was difficult for you to admit, and it’s very much appreciated for the honesty! As a Hoosier, we are proud to show the hospitality. I can tell you I know a lot of people in Indy were dreading having the Pats here, because of they huge rivalry and irritation between the teams, I am thoroughly impressed with everyone who is in town and their attitudes. I haven’t really heard any negativity or poor sportsmanship. In fact most people when razzing each other, take it in fun and amusement, and don’t take it seriously as MANY games in the past. Even the players and famous people walking around Indy have been great! I don’t think I’ve seen anyone push away someone for pictures or autographs. I am, and always have been, proud to be a Hoosier! Thank you again for admitting how impressed you are with our Indy-gras!

  21. Cara Says:

    I’m an Indy local who just came from the Super Bowl celebration and I have been loving this week. The city of Indianapolis is having a blast, that’s for sure. Thanks for saying such nice things. I can guarantee we all would have rather seen the Ravens here.

  22. Tim Says:

    Thanks for the props to our city and people! Your article is going viral here in the city! Looks like you’re getting some love back! Enjoy your stay!

  23. Dan Says:

    Indy ? Baltimore ? , It’s a no brainer ,
    Just look at who runs Baltimore ,
    (Politicians)
    The Preakness , That Stupid car race , Sheesh !

  24. BIG JOHN Says:

    I live DT indy….I have been to the village 2 times and each night there were free concerts in the streets..vendors everywhere….one of the nights all 33 indy 500 cars were lined up in the street like they were getting ready to start the race..each night differet atractings…and 30,000 to 100,000 people parting and having a good time…200+ resturaunts and bars within 5 blocks of each other…indy rocked this week JB

  25. Chris Says:

    After next weekend it will once again return to “Naptown” …
    “Hoosier hospitality”? Do like the locals, and don’t forget your gun when you go drinking at the bar!

  26. Liz Lowe Says:

    Thank you SO much for your outstanding article complimenting our state capitol! The organizers and volunteers, vendors and hire help have done such a wonderful job!

    Admittedly, I have not gone to any of the events. My kids have been in school, and I really have not had the desire to fight the crowds. But watching the news casts and seeing how much fun everyone is having, I’m pleased our city was finally able to host a Super Bowl. It wouldn’t have been possible without building the new Lucas Oil Stadium, that’s for sure!

    Also, I just wanted to say this about the Ravens….I wanted you all in the Super Bowl! I cheered and hollered at my TV, rooting for you all the way! Next to the Colts, you are my favorite team! Was really hoping you all would get to be here this year and very sorry it didn’t turn out like we all wished and hoped and cheered.

    /respect

  27. Thomas Ho Says:

    What a class act!

  28. anna Says:

    Just got the Wounded Warriors, wonderful young military men, settled to be able to attend the Super Bowl. Hope thay have a good time and enjoy Indy hospitality. It’s the least we can do.

  29. Anna Hail Says:

    That you for such nice article. The event has been fantastic, and is nice to hear from someone who has the ability to compare hosting sites.

  30. Pam Brown Says:

    Great article. Thank you for that. I have lived in Indy since I was 5 years old.
    Personally I just don’t understand why people have to be “haters” towards any teams/fans. (per some of these prior Posts) We can all have our favorite teams and like other teams less. But it is child-like to be haters towards other teams. The Baltimore/Indy Colts thing is OLD news and everyone needs to get over it!
    The “hate” towards the Patriots is silly too. It just makes you haters look immature. Does anyone like to run across rude fans at events?? I don’t…
    Indy prides itself on our hospitality and I don’t want the Pat or Giant fans to feel unwelcome, nor Indy come across as Brady-Haters… And there you have it!

  31. Kristen Says:

    Took my dad downtown to Super Bowl Village and the NFL Experience on Monday night. Monday. There were huge crowds even then. At 70 years old I had him standing above the crowd on a pole support rockin’ out to the Village People. He said it was neatest thing he’s ever seen. And no, he’s no parochial. Thanks so much for the props! We invite everyone to come visit Indy and enjoy our great city. We love having you and treat out-of-towners wonderfully!

  32. Kristy Says:

    Thank you for saying such nice things about our city! I like to call it Hoosier Hospitality. We love football, regardless who’s playing. Cheers!

  33. Sadie Says:

    Can’t believe the year, years, that I don’t live in Indy…#1, they win a super bowl, #2 they host it….. Sheeeeit

  34. Deacon Says:

    I was in a bar last night and my friends were in the way of the door. I said, ” Guys please move so we can make room for our guests”. Everyone said “Sorry, please excuse us”. That’s how we were raised here in the heartland. We are all so happy to have all of you in a city that means do much to us. Thank you.

  35. Bodie Big Fish Says:

    What an article from a baltimore guy.. That had to be hard to do. While i agree that Indy’s public Transportation is not the best. The need for it was minimized by the design of the village, game site, hotels, restaurants, entertainment, etc. Weather was unbelievable, but Indy was prepared for that as well with all the pedestrians skywalks connecting all the hotels with the venues. throw in the volunteer who were ready to shovel snow if needed. We were ready. Indy has always been first class when it comes to putting on events. The atmosphere this week is like the night before the 500 for a week straight. and while Indy will never be New Orleans, New York, Vegas or Miami, We don’t want to be. But once again we’ve proven we know how to throw a hell of a party! I can see another Super Bowl coming to town again.

  36. Bodie Big Fish Says:

    And Tell Troy Johnson to stop hating indy. He did, after all, go to High School here. I have proof.

  37. mike Says:

    The act everyone is putting on is hilarious they all might as well work for the mayor and the nfl. I dont know why the term hoosier hospitality stuck but lets be real Indianapolis is usually in a bad mood with rude people everywhere who are annoyed daily when doing everything under the sun and lots of insecurity to go with it. There are exceptions everywhere but lets be real. They are putting on an act for this event and they will go back to being jerks in the near future. The NFL is laughing all the way to the bank at how many people will bend over backwards for them in smaller cities. The village looks cool and it is all well done but its like everyone is scared to say anything negative about it. Being shocked or surprised at anything is childish and of course Indianapolis is bigger then it ever was, every city on earth is thats what cities do they build non stop and gentrify. The gentrification of Indianapolis has never been more out in the open during this event.

  38. unitastoberry Says:

    Too bad Merton never learned to read or write so he could chime in here on line with his love and respect for Baltimore too. I have no disrespect for the citizens or the town of Indy,just the offspring of the drunk for not making things right in 1996 with Modell for a reasonable price.

  39. Courtney Says:

    My only problem was a huge problem. Not one bathroom in the convention center had a changing table. Not good Indy. Not good

  40. Adam Schlee Says:

    Why did they pick Indianapolis?? I went there for a funeral once. My Dad and I spent Friday seeing Indianapolis and going to the funeral and then we were stuck there Saturday and Sunday because of scheduling complications. We spent Saturday in the hotel just watching TV. It was snowing and raining as it was early March, similar weather to now, and so there was no where to go. Come Sunday we went to Mass at the Cathedral and saw someone while in town and then once again went back to the hotel before leaving Monday morning. Great bonding time but boring city. I think Baltimore, MD is more exciting. Only thing we saw was the speedway on the morning before the funeral. One thing I liked though was the coverage by the local media of John Paul II, who was ill then, as they seemed interested with a report they gave one month before he died.

  41. Debra Knuteson Says:

    U r a funny guy. I’m glad u are enjoying Indy . Maybe we’ll do it again one day- ravens verses colts lol! Think how much we hate the patriots. Of all the teams , this is the last one we wanted to be in our superbowl. I was hoping ravens, even though it was going to be awkward.

  42. Carol Says:

    mike Says:
    February 4th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    The act everyone is putting on is hilarious they all might as well work for the mayor and the nfl. I dont know why the term hoosier hospitality stuck but lets be real Indianapolis is usually in a bad mood with rude people everywhere who are annoyed daily when doing everything under the sun and lots of insecurity to go with it. There are exceptions everywhere but lets be real.
    ^^^
    Mike, as a non-native Hoosier (I moved here six years ago) I have to take exception. In fact, people here are nice to a fault. The state motto should be “It’s Good Enough.” Frankly I’m surprised we got organized enough to even BID for the Super Bowl. There does tend to be a lackadaisical attitude here. If you’re not paying attention at a light in your car, the people behind you won’t even honk, they’re so frickin’ polite! (As a west coaster, it drives me insane when people just poke along here.) But seriously, rude? No, The folks here are not rude, and I am quite happy to call myself a transplanted Hoosier. You want annoyed and rude? Move to LA.

  43. Browns Fan Says:

    Football writer Nestor of Baltimore: you certainly seem, as expected, schizo. Who deserves to be more completely despised? Quaint midwesterners who innocently woke up with a team? Or dastardly, pure evil Baltimoreans who knew EXACTLY the pact with the devil they were making? Ravens and bruise purple are good representations.

  44. Sarahmc Says:

    As an Indy native who has cringed over the fact that I’m a “Hoosier” and have moved out of state several times to get away from this dump, I could not have been more proud to say I’m a local these past 10 days. I’m a football fan, Colts of course which automatically makes me a Patriots hater, but I don’t bow down to any football Gods. I was skeptical at first because of he way this city turned itself upside down. Then I went to Super Bowl village and it was amazing. Sorry there were no changing tables which are a cesspool for germs and bacteria and you’d be better off changing your kids diaper on the sidewalk, but this was by far the greatest thing to happen to the city. I bartended at the stadium and fans from all over were mighty generous, even Patriots fans, and I greatly appreciate it. No homicides, no hiding in basements. Everyone could enjoy the game however they liked. Hoosier hospitality…have a super day. Only thing I would change- Madonna, really?

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