Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I Touched The Lombardi Trophy!
When I heard that I had already missed my chance to touch the Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis, I knew there would be a road trip in my not-too-distant future. That expedition was realized last Saturday, as I drove to Linton, Indiana for my chance to "Make It Personal," and touch the Super Bowl Trophy.
I woke up at 4:30 Saturday AM and hit the dusty trail, as they say. Linton is a small town in rural Indiana (kind of a redundant statement). As I drove through it's two stoplights, I was reminded of the small towns you see in movies like "Children of the Corn," "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and "Pet Cemetary." Before I had a chance to convince myself that I was safe in this quaint little town, I had already driven through it.
-As a side note, it's really cool when you're driving through snow at night and you put your brights on. It was like traveling through hyper-space on the Millenium Falcon. Or that screen saver that used to be so popular.-
I pulled over into the local Casey's General Store to find out where they were supposed to be bringing this trophy. I asked the cashier where the Humphrey's Park Community Center was located. Her response was, "You're here for the Colts trophy, ain't you?" She had amazing powers of perception. She went on to explain that it was just up the road and had a big red train in front of it. "You can't miss it," she assured me. Well, apparently I can, because I already did.
Sure enough, as I drove back through town, I noticed a large red train sitting in the midst of a park. I drove back to the Roy Clark Building and waited for the trophy.
I had arrived around 6:45 and was expecting to be in the back of the line. Apparently, touching the Lombardi Trophy was not as big of a deal to the folks in Linton as it was to me. Eventually, others started showing up and a line was formed...with me in the front.
It's hard to describe how proud I was to be the first in line. As people started showing up, I had reached celebrity status. "He got here at quarter-ta seven," they would exclaim as I ate from my sack lunch.
After standing in the cold for an hour, they let us inside the building to warm up until the trophy arrived. Unfortunately, this meant breaking up our current line. Many more people showed up, and soon people began to get nervous about where they would be when we reformed the line outside. There was only one person who didn't seem to care. Yeah, that's right. I could hear the whispers all around me..."All I know is, the fella standing there reading a book and eating that apple was first."
Yep, soon my face was recognizable to everyone who ever lived in Linton, Indiana. And they both knew my name too. I was more popular than the mayor.
Around 10:00, they began shuffling us outside again. Here is a picture of everyone moving outside from my vantage point. At the front of the line.
About 10:30, a Colts truck arrived and in about fifteen minutes, they had turned the Roy Clark Building into a virtual Hoosier Dome. About that time, the trophy arrived, accompanied by two very large black men. I wouldn't normally describe the color of their skin, except that these may have been the first two black men that this city had ever seen. "Check out the size of that negro, Jimmy! He could eat you for breakfast!"
Here's a picture of the trophy going right past the front of the line (that would be me) on it's way into the building.
After it was inside, I was the only one in position to take this sweet picture of the two large black men sealing the trophy in its bullet-proof casing.
(no, that's not a mirror. those are two different men.)
So after waking up at 4:30 and waiting in line for four hours, my fifteen seconds of glory was finally up. I was rushed to the trophy and told to pass my camera off to a girl who would take it for me. This was the result:
What! I was so disappointed. What a crappy picture. Of course she had to get Agent 00-douchebag in the background. Dangit! Then two cheerleaders ruined a cool poster by signing it. Then Blue the Colts Mascot wasn't there yet to sign something for me. Then I was given another poster and pushed out the door. Piece of crap! So I did what any reasonably-minded Colts fan would do. I took my posters to the car and got right back into the end of the line.
This time through I only had to stand for about an hour and a half. The time flew by as I listened to two pre-pubescent Linton Emo kids talk about how excited they were to see Colts cheerleaders. I made it back to the trophy and made sure the picture was how I wanted it. This one is much better.
I love how the big black guy is plastered to the wall. It's like he's scared just to be in my presence. This time through, I also got to see Blue. Man, I just feel sorry for whoever has that job.
The young men of Linton were way more excited to see the Colts cheerleaders than they were to see the trophy. They actually let these girls sign their clothing. I couldn't believe it. Good for them though. They gave these kids hope that there really are women out in the world with a full set of teeth and no babies.
All joking aside, I really am glad that I made the trip. And honestly, I almost wish I grew up in a town like Linton. Everyone seemed to know each other and the local football coach was like a hero. They were all really friendly and I'm glad to have shared this experience with them. Kudos to the Colts organization for taking this trophy out to everyone in Indiana. It's an experience I'll not soon forget.
See if the trophy is coming to a town near you