It's been an unusual year to be an Indianapolis Colts fan. On one hand, our team was abysmal. Our quarterback sat on the sidelines all season. Our record (2-14) looked more like the score of a first grade basketball game. The Colts owner made a game of sending cryptic messages via Twitter, almost just to amuse himself to watch everyone wondering what he meant. And after the season was over, the coaching infrastructure exploded (which actually might be a good thing). But despite all of that, there was a silver lining to the 2011-2012 football season: We are to be at the center of the world stage that is the Super Bowl.
All of the city is abuzz with Super Bowl XLVI (that's 46 for you not up on your Roman numerals) fever. People from hospitality workers to restaurant staff to government officials to ordinary citizens are psyched and ready to share that well-known "Hoosier Hospitality." Volunteers wearing hand-knit blue and white scarves will be out in force to make sure our guests leave here with the feeling that Indianapolis is a city that is worth visiting again.
There's just one (very big) piece of broccoli stuck in our proverbial service with a smile. The Patriots are coming to town. If you're an Indianapolis Colts fan, it's a given that you hate the Patsies. You hate Bill Bellicheat and his whiny quarterback. The name Pa------ (I can't bring myself to type it out again) makes your blood boil at first mention. And their fans? About a 110% on the obnoxious meter. I'd venture to bet there is no team more hated by Indianapolis Colts fans than those Minutemen who will be coming to our house on February 5.
The thought of them playing in the Super Bowl in our stadium is bad enough. But the thought of them winning the Super Bowl here? Well, I just might have to start a Facebook petition to raze Lucas Oil Stadium and start all over. It would be like Voldemort throwing a party at Hogwarts while Harry Potter was forced to serve drinks and clear tables.
But this is Indiana where "Hoosier Hospitality" is more than a tourism slogan. I know that we can put our wands and our cursed charms away and greet our guests with cheerfulness and a desire to put on a spectacular week-long show. When those New England fans and their team return home (hopefully sans the Vince Lombardi trophy), I hope they'll go back impressed with the spectacle this "flyover city" put together. I hope they will talk about the friendly people, the world class service, and the stellar party Indianapolis threw for the occasion.
Even if we do still hate them and the team which shall not be named.