Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I, myself, have never gotten into football so I just assumed it was a regular game... you know they run with a ball and fall down, and people have parties on a Sunday night and eat massive amounts of munchies and drink massive amounts of beer. They said they were planning a big event and you could tell that buildings were being sandblasted clean and everything was shined up. I just wondered what would all the people from out of state do for entertainment.
My town. Indianapolis was a sleepy city where the sidewalks rolled up at 5:30pm every night in the 1950's and '60s. Everyone that worked there lived in the suburbs and never thought much about urban renewal. It was just a place to work and pretty blah. You came home from work and never thought about the city again until the next trip into the office. Christmas time you all gathered in the family car or took the bus and went to see the animated characters in the department store windows of the two major stores downtown. The month of May was the celebration of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing..the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Those two times of year the city came alive..each for a month at a time. Then nap time again.
We had a mayor in the 1970's who had a vision to improve the city with investment but Indianapolis needed a 'draw'...something to lure venture capital in and make the sleepy people excited. He and his committee decided sports would be the ticket. A basketball team was born~we built an arena and our people were excited and rallied it on. Investors were interested and we cleaned up the city and united some of the suburbs. We have a huge global pharmaceutical company based here and they invested in a convention/exposition center. A sports dome was then attached and as they say, "if you build it, they will come". We didn't have anyone to play in it, but because we had a fabulous facility and patiently waited, we were recognized as a contender for a national football league. We were in competition with Phoenix, Arizona but our already built and waiting 'ballroom' won out over a "we can build it for you" competitor. The Baltimore Colts needed a new stable and ours just happened to have the colors of their team. A fortunate twist of color fate.
People here are no longer napping but are exhilarated and lively and it is like that every day of the year.
Lady Victory, our grande dame on the top of the War Memorial of Monument Circle in the center of our city, was beaming brightly over the crowds and she, I'm sure, shed a tear of pride as she looked down on all the citizens of her beloved city that she has reigned over for over 100 years. I could see the torch in her hand blazing like golden fire. We visit her often, especially on moon lit nights and I have never seen her more radiant.
I am so proud to have been able to partake in the biggest party Indianapolis has ever seen in it's existence. The end of January and first of February are notoriously icy cold days, but not this year. The weather was just slightly chilly...perfect football weather...which lasted for over a week. The amazing expert planning and commraderie that every one showed each other must have brought the warmth. It had to be. Team Spirit, I'd call it.