Colts return to frigid Indy and rally at Dome

Monday, February 5th 2007, 6:30 pm
By: News On 6

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The Indianapolis Colts shared triumphant shouts and high-fives with fans who braved the 8-degree chill to flock to their floats as the Super Bowl champions paraded through downtown Monday night.

An estimated 40,000 fans packed the RCA Dome to welcome the team home at a post-parade rally. Some had been there for hours. The parade, first scheduled for 4 p.m., got under way about 6 p.m. after the Colts' plane from Miami was about an hour late.

``It might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing,'' Robert Smith of Indianapolis said while watching a giant-screen TV replay of Sunday night's 29-17 victory over Chicago.

Many of the fans were wearing Colts blue.

``I don't know how to explain it. These are exciting times,'' fan Eric Dycus of Indianapolis said. ``The Indianapolis Colts waited for this for a long time. We went through the hard times and all of the muck and mire. This is worth celebrating.''

The Colts won the Super Bowl in 1971, when the team was based in Baltimore, but Sunday's victory over Chicago gave the city its first major pro title in any sport since the Indiana Pacers won their third ABA championship in 1973. Already, some fans were looking ahead to another run for the NFL crown next year.

``I think if they just stay healthy and do what they've been doing, we might be able to pull it off again,'' Dycus said.

Roger Fairchild, a construction worker from Brownsburg, helped build the RCA Dome.

``I spent a lot of cold days in here before the roof was on. This is great,'' Fairchild said.

The Colts will play one more year in the Dome before moving into the new Lucas Oil Stadium, which is expected to be completed in time for the 2008 season.

``I know at times I wondered if it would happen in this building when they started building a new stadium,'' Fairchild said. ``It's highly likely they can pull it off again.''