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The Colts’ story begins in 1946, long before they settled down in Indiana’s capital city. That was the year the Miami Seahawks moved to Baltimore and were renamed the Colts.
The league dissolved the franchise after two losing seasons, but a few years later, Commissioner Bert Bell challenged the team to sell 15,000 season tickets within six weeks. They met their goal early, so they were able to come back to the NFL. This time, the Dallas Texans were brought up to play in Baltimore, but they kept the Colts nickname.
Finally in 1984, the Colts’ owner Robert Irsay brought the squad to Indianapolis.
The Colts have the distinction of putting together one of the biggest trades in sports history: ten players from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for five Colts. Among the players they received in the 1953 trade were Don Shula and Art Spinney, who helped the Colts begin their season with a huge Chicago upset.
In 1954, Weeb Ewbank was hired as the coach, helping the team score two NFL championships in his nine-season tenure. Don Shula took over in 1963, the same year star quarterback Johnny Unitas led the offense to an impressive eight team records.
The franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance was 1968’s Super Bowl III, where they lost to the New York Jets 16-7. But thanks to Jim O’Brien’s clutch last-second field goal, they redeemed themselves a few years later with a win against Dallas in Super Bowl V.
The era of Peyton Manning began in 1998, and the quarterback didn’t waste any time setting NFL rookie records in every single passing category. That following year, the Colts earned their first playoff spot since their big move to Indianapolis in ’84.
A glory year, 2005 saw the Colts starting off 13-0 and coach Tony Dungy topping 100 career victories. 2005 was also the year the team surpassed 400 total franchise wins. The following year, they captured the championship title, with a 29-17 defeat of Chicago in Super Bowl XLI.
Jim Caldwell succeeded Dungy, earning the most consecutive wins to start a season by a first-year coach. Indianapolis went on to Super Bowl XLIV, where they fell to New Orleans 31-17.
2012 brought lots of changes to the organization, with Chuck Pagano hired as the new coach and Manning leaving the team. The Colts used their #1 draft pick to replace Manning with quarterback Andrew Luck.
The Colts boast many players of distinction inducted into Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Gino Marchetti, Johnny Unitas, Don Shula, Eric Dickerson, and Marshall Faulk. They are also lucky enough to call Lucas Oil Stadium home, which features spectacular views of Indianapolis’s skyline and a unique retractable roof.
Serving as great entertainment for fans young and old, Blue is the Colts’ horse mascot who has brought lots of good karma to the team. He was introduced in 2006 – the same season the team went on to win a national championship.
Sources: colts.com lucasoilstadium.com