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Ca-ching! Colts are hot: If you win it, they will buy
Not since they hit town have the Indianapolis Colts ranked so high nationally in the sale of NFL merchandise. The team's run at perfection and 14-2 record last regular season enabled the Colts to jump six spots to seventh in licensed items sold.
It's just the second time the Colts have cracked the top 10; the other time was their first season in Indianapolis in 1984. The rankings are based on reports for 400 licensed products sold in a fiscal year that ended March 31.
"Next year at this time, you could probably see the Colts go up even higher," said Brian McCarthy, NFL director of corporate communications. "With another great year, they could break into the top five."
Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh, which knocked the Colts out of the playoffs, was No. 1 for the first time since the Steelers' last championship in 1980.
Next came traditional favorites Philadelphia, Oakland, Dallas, New England and Green Bay. The Patriots and Steelers were the only playoff teams ahead of the Colts. Chicago was eighth, the New York Giants ninth and Denver 10th.
-- Phillip B. Wilson