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Thread: Training camp stories.....

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    Default Training camp stories.....

    http://www.examiner.com/x-4450-India...after-11-years


    Add to favorites Examiner Bio Indianapolis Colts 2010 training camp news: A farewell to Terre Haute after 11 years
    June 2, 12:37 AMIndianapolis Colts ExaminerJohn Oehser


    So, on Tuesday afternoon, after weeks of rumors, the news came that the Indianapolis Colts aren't going back to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for training camp this season.

    The Colts, after 11 seasons training in Terre Haute, Ind., will move camp to Anderson University in Anderson, Ind., the Indianapolis Star is reporting.

    And so ends an era of sorts.

    We at Indy Football Report won't insult intelligence by overemphasizing the change, or by waxing too poetic about the change in venue. The Colts will go on, of course, and there likely will be little visible difference on the field once the season begins.

    Still, because the off-season is a bit of a slower news time and a time for reflection, let's reflect a moment on the Colts' time training in Terre Haute.

    The Colts have trained there for 11 seasons, with those seasons not only 11 of the most successful seasons in franchise history, but an 11-year span successful on a level few NFL franchises have attained.

    The Colts moved camp to Rose-Hulman in 1999, the year after Colts QB Peyton Manning's rookie season. They have missed the playoffs one time since, and in the Terre Haute era, the team has produced:

    Seven division titles, six in the AFC South and one in the AFC East.

    Ten playoff appearances.

    Two Super Bowl appearances.

    One Super Bowl title.

    They have produced countless Pro Bowl selections, and more success during that era than any franchise has a right to expect, and while the presence of Manning obviously had a bit more to do with resume than the tiny engineering school on the east side of Terre Haute, there's little doubt Rose-Hulman will be missed.

    Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy talked often of how perfect the campus was for training camp, and during Dungy's seven seasons as coach it often struck me as remarkable how much he truly enjoyed camp. And while it often struck me how much Dungy enjoyed everything about being a coach – from dealing with the players to doing his own errands and taking time to talk to front-office staff around the building – the memory of Dungy is one of the first things I think about when thinking about the Colts' 11 seasons at Terre Haute, nine of which I attended in some capacity.

    So, that's where we'll start today – with Dungy – and we'll free-form a bit through some other memories and thoughts on Rose-Hulman as the Colts say good-bye to the campus after 11 years.

    Dungy: There are few images as memorable for fans or media who covered the Colts at Rose-Hulman than Dungy walking everywhere around training camp. The team issued all coaches golf carts, and Dungy's was nicer than most of the rest of the staff, but I remember him saying in his first season – 2002 – that they were unecessary. The players didn't have them and he said he'd never use one, either. In seven seasons, I never saw him use the cart.

    Arrival Day: So many memories on this day. Almost all involve baking in an unforgiving sun while waqiting three or four hours for players and coaches to arrive, playing guess-the-player as SUVs carrying players in their last free hours arrived for camp. But the best part about arrival day was Edgerrin James, and later, Reggie Wayne. James started a tradition when he arrived in a taxicab one year after an off-season when he made news for some seriously high-speed speeding tickets. Another year he arrived in a school bus carrying kids from his hometown of Immokalee, Fla. When James signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2006, Wayne – a close friend of James – carried on the tradition. He arrived for 2006 training camp in an Edgerrin James Cardinals jersey, and the year after the Colts won the Super Bowl, he arrived in camouflage, with the Colts being the”hunted” and all. Last season, he arrived in a dump truck with a hard hat signifying the Colts' needing to get back to work to make the Super Bowl. Wayne had the knack for turning a long day into something memorable, and at the time, he set the tone for the season.

    Heat: OK, so that it's hot in Central Indiana in August isn't unique, but you can't mention Terre Haute camps without mentioning standing on the sidelines dripping sweat and trying tactfully find a way to stay out of the sun.

    Dungy's power: Colts President Bill Polian used to joke that it never rained on a Tony Dungy practice. This isn't saying it never rained, but it was remarkable how few practices got rained out in Terre Haute in Dungy's time as the Colts' coach.

    Autographs: Not having been to another NFL camp in nearly a decade, I can't say how much more or less Colts players sign autographs. What I can say is I have memories of watching the Colts' biggest names – Manning, Dwight Freeney, James, Wayne, Bob Sanders – stand and sign for for a long time after a lot of night practices over the last decade.

    Dominic Rhodes: The strangest training camp injury in nine seasons covering camp in Terre Haute may have been Rhodes tearing his ACL in 2002. This was the classic no-contact injury. He was running a pass pattern, went down and – just like that – done for the year. Rhodes recovered from the injury and returned to have a solid, successful career for the Colts.

    Bob Sanders: It was easy to see Sanders was special from the start of his time with the Colts. He made plays even as a rookie in 2004 that made players on the sidelines stop what they were doing and watch. But I knew he was special off the field the following season in training camp. Although he played only part of the season as a rookie, he came to camp in 2005 as a clear team leader, speaking of an improved defense and taking on a role as team spokesman.

    The fans: Not to be too trite, but if there's one overriding theme for Colts training camp in Terre Haute – or any NFL team in any camp, for that matter – it's the fans. With the league necessarily being relatively distant from fans during the regular season and much of the off-season, camp remains a few weeks each season when fans can truly get relatively close to teams at a pretty reasonable price. And that's why just about any fan could write a far better post about memories of Terre Haute than this one. Doubtless, thousands of Colts fans have memories of their own, special memories of Terre Haute, and while such memories will certainly be created in Anderson, there's little question that considering the players, the seasons and the titles that have been associated with Terre Haute, it long will occupy at least some level of a special meaning to Colts fans for many years.
    Last edited by RWB; 06-03-2010 at 09:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Training camp articles...

    Now that THaute is no longer the sight for Colts camp, as time permits, I'll throw in a few camp memories as well.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Dungy: There are few images as memorable for fans or media who covered the Colts at Rose-Hulman than Dungy walking everywhere around training camp. The team issued all coaches golf carts, and Dungy's was nicer than most of the rest of the staff, but I remember him saying in his first season – 2002 – that they were unecessary. The players didn't have them and he said he'd never use one, either. In seven seasons, I never saw him use the cart.

    My memories....I can't recall Tony ever using a golf cart as well. Once in a great while his daughter who worked a couple of camps and provided rides to players may pick dad up, but it was rare.

    Tony Dungy would make sure to know everyone's name and treated everyone the same. Didn't matter if it was Jim Irsay or down to the guy that took the trash out. The guy was the real deal and one reason the majority of his players were the real deal as well.

    Remember seeing a large stack of books (Quiet Strength) stacked in his office. He took time everyday to personally sign every book that someone would send in. No, these were not for a book signing, these were from folks who did take the chance of sending it to him in the hopes he would sign.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Default Re: Training camp articles...

    Speaking of golf carts.....Howard Mudd would always either take the governor off the cart to make it faster, or made sure he got a beefed up version utility vehicle. There is fast and then scary fast. Howard like to drive scary fast.

    Edited......
    Last edited by RWB; 06-02-2010 at 03:35 PM. Reason: CYA too much
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    You have to admire Tony Dungy for being an excellent role model for these young men. Behind the scenes (not everyone but most) where there were no cameras, no reporters, you would constantly find the players carrying their playbook and their bible. It wasn't for show as the coach wasn't around to gather brownie points and such. And there was a difference between a Mora camp and Dungy camp.

    While Coach Mora seemed to have a tougher persona his camp had more of a college feel where the players mess with each other. Some would call it hazing, Mora would not accept such a thing, but the players sometimes were not on the same page. This was also not acceptable under Dungy and you were expected to be an adult. I once again say the players followed the coaches lead. However, there was the anual tradition of putting an intern's golf cart out on a dock, in the middle of a lake, or sometimes all the tires were removed and the golf cart was set on concrete blocks.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    During Coach Mora's time the rookies were usually stuck in camp a little longer the day it broke. Not because they were putting in extra time, rather, they couldn't see.????

    No the players didn't go blind, but the night before camp broke the vets would sneak into the parking lots and completely cover the rookies car windows with a inch thick smear of vaseline. No matter how many paper towels they would use it just wouldn't come off easily. Be assured though that's as far as it went. If a player tried to touch another player or put someone in any kind of harm I have no doubt they would have been kicked off immediately.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Heat: OK, so that it's hot in Central Indiana in August isn't unique, but you can't mention Terre Haute camps without mentioning standing on the sidelines dripping sweat and trying tactfully find a way to stay out of the sun.

    Per the article what I remember about heat.....They made sure all the players hydrated constantly. Not only on the field, but everywhere they would go. Through out the campus they would have large fridges full of gatorade, water, and yes even the kids brand Pedialyte, with signs saying DRINK FLUIDS.

    What I remember most though was the running gag when Hunter the Punter was in camp. As an inside joke there was on going bet on when Hunter would hit the porta potty during the morning practices. Yes I know, too much information, but true.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    When the subject comes up who was your favorite player during camp over the years amongst the staff one name always rises to the top.....Edgerrin James....hands down. Funny as heck personality, down to the earth with everyone. and maybe a little crazy (in a good way, not Ron Ron).

    For folks who have been to camp you will recognize this area. There is a pedestrian bridge over a creek that runs between Rose-Hulman's dining hall and their Sports Center. Like most players he would stop on the bridge sometimes to watch the fish. He swore one day he was going to get a cane pole and do a little fishing off the bridge.

    Actually someone took him up on it and bought him a cheap cane pole as a joke. Well one evening when it was only an afternoon special teams practice Edgerrin took his pole, got a worm, and went to work. I was told later he went to the dining hall with 3 little fish braging 'I told you I could do it, now who's going to cook my fish'?

    For some reason he was never big on giving out autographs, but he loved to talk to people.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Default Re: Training camp stories.....

    Did you check his fishing license?
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    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Did you check his fishing license?
    Nah, private property you know. Hard to believe its been 7 years since you and Cato June became buddies. Time flies my friend. Anyway since were talking fishing here's another one, though my memory starts to fade.

    Sometimes when their was rare free time after practice, some guys would go to the local pubs to just get away. Marcus Pollard (did you know he played basketball in college ) would usually stay on campus.

    Marcus use to bring several fishing poles to camp, buy bait, and then loan them out to anyone who wanted to hang out on campus to fish. Rose-Hulman has a nice size lake stocked with fish near the residence halls.

    Another thing the lake is well stocked with are ..... snakes

    One of the funniest things I've seen during these camps was Marcus Pollard, (I think it was Adam Meadows and maybe Steve McKinney?) and number of other D and O lineman standing around the lake fishing together. Pollard somehow get's a snake tangled up in his line and casually reels him in. He pulls the snake up to cut it loose and all the guys go ape ****. I mean they are screaming like little girls and running the fastest 40 they ever had away from Marcus. Pollard casually unhooks the thing and drops it on the ground.

    With a big grin he goes right back to fishing. Oh he did yell out a comment to his teammates. "Any fool who loses a pole better be ready to find a Galyans cause you owe me".
    Last edited by RWB; 06-03-2010 at 11:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Training camp stories.....

    I'm sorry to hear they areleaving Terre Haute. I've always enjoyed RWB's camp reports.

    I think you told one time about someoes golf cart ending up na plaform in the lake or something like that?

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    One of my favorite stories involved Edgerrin James during his rookie season. As some of you may recall, he held out for a week or two and was a late arrival to camp. Anyway, I ran into Edgerrin at a concert in Indy in late July and no one recognized or knew him yet. We spoke for just a minute and he was a super nice guy and ended up signing with the Colts a few days later.

    Anyway, fast forward a week or two and I was over in Terre Haute for camp. Edgerrin was getting ready to walk off the field and saw 4 or 5 of us standing by the bleachers and walked over and started signing autographs, taking pictures, talking to fans, etc. I mentioned the concert to Edgerrin and he recalled our conversation and we talked about Indy, music, football, etc. for a good 5-10 minutes and I couldn't believe that he recalled our conversation.

    As he was leaving the field, a heavy-set guy comes running over in pants and a long-sleeve shirt. Keep in mind it's mid August and probably 90+ degrees out and the guy is out of breath, breathing heavy, coughing and drenched in sweat. One of the Rose Hulman attendants said something like "You need to quit smoking, man" and Edgerrin just burst out laughing and thought it was hilarious.

    During the early years in Terre Haute when the Colts weren't as good, there wouldn't nearly be as many fans and you had a chance to really talk to the players and get a ton of autographs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smoothdave1 View Post
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    During the early years in Terre Haute when the Colts weren't as good, there wouldn't nearly be as many fans and you had a chance to really talk to the players and get a ton of autographs.
    Thanks for the story SmoothD. Yeah camp has changed over the years and I think the folks in Anderson are going to have a little letdown. Don't get me wrong, they're going to be excited to see camp and the players up close. But I would be surprised if it's like they were use to years ago. A lot more people are aggressive in trying to get autographs now (ebay problem) and has really turned off players. Shoot, last camp a kid maybe 9 or 10 kept following the rope line where Peyton was signing would squeeze in between people and was pretty much pushy to get the autograph. You would think he was just a determined kid wanting a signature from his idol. Nope....soon as he got it he yells out "woohoo, I just made $20 bucks". Of course it's possible a parent promised him money if he got it, but I doubt it. Seen too many times usually a older male or two with gym bags full of stuff and they would hand the kids items to get players to sign. And no the kids weren't trying for Justin Snow or Michael Coe's signature.
    Last edited by RWB; 06-04-2010 at 10:36 AM.
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    My personal best camp story....and the key word is personal. This isn't about something funny a player did, rather it was prove that sports can mean a little more to folks than just entertainment.

    I had the opportunity to assist a woman (late 50s?)who had MS in getting a little closer walking distance to the stadium. Her daughter (30ish) was very appreciative and kept going on how her mom may have been the biggest Colts fan in the world. I wasn't really busy at the time so I offered to give her and her daughter a tour of the camp from an outside view. In other words by vehicle, in some restricted areas, but not in any buidlings.

    It was no big deal since she didn't get out of the vehicle but was thrilled to see where the players stayed, the customized cars/trucks they were driving, etc.

    This was the season Peyton was hurt and of course no one media wise knew exactly where he was early in camp. Just so happened at this particular moment Peyton was walking (with a noticeable limp) toward the Sports Center to get some rehab. Immediately the lady with MS see's Peyton and starts to hyperventilate and keeps saying "Oh my God there he is, there he is". Anyway she asks "can I get a picture of him"? I hated to do it but had to say no. Like I said, no one really knew where he was and of course I don't think the managment would have liked a photo of Peyton limping over for rehab out there.

    You could see the disappointment in her face but she said she understood. Right at that time we stopped the vehicle and Peyton walked in front of us to the building. He looked over, gave a thumbs up, gave a little wave to the ladies, and continued on his way.

    The lady with MS had tears coming down her face at this point and the daughter was crying too cause her mom was so happy. She said this is one of the best day's of my life.

    I guess some folks could look at it like 'come on people it just sports'. But for this lady it was that important to her. The players make a lot of money, but just for that I would like to thank the Colts and Pacers for what they do.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Default Re: Training camp stories.....

    I was with my buddy at camp one year when the Colts had John Standeford on the practice squad. My buddy was older than John but had gone to the same high school and his kids were going to that high school. Even though they didn't know him they were interested in a "local kid does good" way and wanted to get his autograph. At the end of practice some of the players, including John were walking away from the field while a large crowd started asking for autos. People were shouting "Dwight", "Reggie", asking for autographs. Just then everything got quiet like happens at a party and my buddy yells "John, John Standeford". The entire crowd stops, the players stop, everyone, including John Standeford, turns around looking at my buddy like he had two heads. Hilarious. My buddy told him the story and they struck up a quick conversation while John was signing for his kids. Good stuff.

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    Yep, good guy, Boilerup and wore number #11 his first camp.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWB View Post
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    Thanks for the story SmoothD. Yeah camp has changed over the years and I think the folks in Anderson are going to have a little letdown. Don't get me wrong, they're going to be excited to see camp and the players up close. But I would be surprised if it's like they were use to years ago. A lot more people are aggressive in trying to get autographs now (ebay problem) and has really turned off players. Shoot, last camp a kid maybe 9 or 10 kept following the rope line where Peyton was signing would squeeze in between people and was pretty much pushy to get the autograph. You would think he was just a determined kid wanting a signature from his idol. Nope....soon as he got it he yells out "woohoo, I just made $20 bucks". Of course it's possible a parent promised him money if he got it, but I doubt it. Seen too many times usually a older male or two with gym bags full of stuff and they would hand the kids items to get players to sign. And no the kids weren't trying for Justin Snow or Michael Coe's signature.
    I was in Anderson today on business and almost stopped to check out the facilities, but ran out of time. I assume it's not nearly as fan friendly?

    I just recall going to Terre Haute the first year or two that the Colts were there. Keep in mind, this is around the same time the Pacers were making trips to the ECF and Finals and Indy was definitely a Pacers town at the time. Anyway, guys like Edgerrin, Dilger, Cota, Bratzke, Burris, Pollard, Vandy, Hunter Smith, Adam Meadows, McKinney, etc. all used to be very approachable. Literally, there were a few times I had gone during the week and there might have been maybe 100 fans there. Obviously it got a little crazier over the years, but I can recall walking back from the fields with Vandy, Smith, etc. on a few occasions.

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    Default Re: Training camp stories.....

    Quote Originally Posted by RWB View Post
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    Nah, private property you know. Hard to believe its been 7 years since you and Cato June became buddies. ".
    I can't tell you how many times I started out for camp and had something interfere I know twice I was literally getting in the car and rec'd a call asking to see a house...right then, another time it was a call about a wreck my Mrs. had been in (minor).

    I remember that first time with Cato tho, it was right outside the dining room and it really made my day to be able to talk with the rookie from Michigan (GO BLUE). For those unaware.....they had a huge dining room that was split by a curtain player/all others. Looking over the players side I never saw so much food in my life actuall piles of steaks and almost anything they could want. RWB and I ate on the otherside of the curtain...and I'm telling you, it was dorm food. Now thanks to RWB's selfish desire to have summers off I'll never get my Jeff Saturday jersey signed.



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