They're not the super star first round picks, or even highly touted second rounders. The majority…
Patriots Notes: Weather, Fallon & Fun
Groundhog Day normally doesn't mean too much to residents of Central Indiana. No matter what some rodent in Pennsylvania says, Hoosiers know at the beginning of February they are still in for a good, prolonged dose of winter weather.
The Colts won Super Bowl XLI, on Feb. 4, 2007, and I stood in the middle of Meridian Street for a photo in a near gale-force wind and single-digit temperatures. The next day, fans waited for hours in even colder temperatures for the team's victory parade, which was more akin to an Eskimo funeral.
Tuesday night — the last day of January — I again stood in the middle of Meridian Street for a photo, this time only wearing a light windbreaker as the temperature was near 60 degrees at 9 p.m. The five-day forecast for the next five days has highs of 54, 52, 53, 44, and 47. Sure, it's not South Beach, but it's way, WAY above normal and beyond organizers' wildest dreams. As a lifelong Hoosier, I can't say it's anything less than a small miracle.
The other "warm" thing about the city so far is the welcome wagon. The amount of volunteers the city has for the event is staggering. Downtown on Tuesday night, it really seemed like there was one every 15 feet, all willing to answer a question or point people in the right direction. And "have a super day" may be the new slogan for the week.
Super Cast Turns Out for Pacers-Nets:
Following Media Day, many players were ready to get out and see a bit of Indy last night, and more than a few players from both teams turned out at Banker's Life Fieldhouse for the NBA game between the Pacers and the New Jersey Nets.
BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Deion Branch spotted courtside for the Patriots. Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs from the Giants also turned out to support their neighbors in the Meadowlands. Also in attendance: Jacksonville star Maurice Jones-Drew, New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller, ESPN personalities Ron Jaworski and Scott Van Pelt, and others.
Perhaps Jaworski or Van Pelt spoke to his colleagues after the game, as second-year Pacers guard Paul George's double-pump reverse slam was the No. 1 play on SportsCenter's "Top Ten" Wednesday. The Pacers won, 106-99.
Fallon Joins the Fun:
Comedian and late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon is known to New England fans for his role as a star-crossed Red Sox fan in the underwhelming 2005 film, "Fever Pitch." In fact, many Sox fans were upset when a scene involving Fallon and Drew Barrymore for the film was re-shot — during the team's on-field celebration in St. Louis after winning its first World Series since 1918.
Like it or not, Fallon is back, although it's unlikely he'll be close enough to the field to spoil another moment of sports glory for New Englanders. His show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, is taping in Indianapolis from the Hilbert Circle Theatre on Monument Circle for Super Bowl week. Fallon has been in town for a few days, and was spotted on Monument Circle on Monday, dressed in drag and taping a segment for the show. Wednesday morning, he rode the zipline on Capital Avenue.
Fans passing through Monument Circle around 8 p.m. Tuesday were treated to Fallon taping the introduction to his show. Fallon, in a blue suit, runs around the corner of Market Street onto the Circle, chased by a crowd of oddballs and characters.
Included in the crowd were mascots from Butler University (Bulldog), Ball State University (Cardinal), Marian University (Knights), Indiana-Purdue at Indianapolis (Jaguar). Also included were the Colts' cheerleaders and members of the Ball State marching band.
Late Night has an additional Indianapolis connection: the original version of the show was hosted by David Letterman, an Indianapolis native. Letterman left the franchise to Conan O'Brien, who in turn, handed it to Fallon.
Shows from Indy are planned on Feb. 1, 2 and 3, with a live show planned for after the Super Bowl on Feb. 5. Late Night With Jimmy Fallon airs at 12:35 on NBC.
Expect Long Lines at NFL Experience:
The NFL Experience, located at the Indiana Convention Center at the west end of the Super Bowl Village, features a variety of activities and displays for Super Bowl fans, as well as an NFL Network stage, autograph areas and a massive NFL Shop.
It's great for kids, as participants can kick field goals and extra points, run routes and obstacle courses, and throw to targets. Just give yourself plenty of time if you want to enjoy the activities, as lines can be long — this "big kid" waited close to 30 minutes for a field goal attempt (wide right from 30 yards, if you're interested).
Perhaps more interesting to adult fans are the displays and memorabilia detailing the history of the professional game. There are also authentic lockers with gear of a player from each team (Devin Hester from the Bears, Dwight Freeney of the Colts, to name two). The most popular locker was probably Tim Tebow's, with many fans snapping photos "Tebowing" in front of the locker.
There are also displays with game balls from many Super Bowls, as well as championship ring displays, and displays of the Lamar Hunt (AFC Championship) and George Halas (NFC Championship) Trophies. There's also an opportunity to be photographed with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but again, be prepared to wait in line for that.
Tickets to the NFL Experience are $25 at the box office on the corner of Capital Avenue and Washington Street.
Sights and Sounds from Indy
Patriots Notes: Brady, Practice, Receivers...
Eric Hartz is a lifelong Hoosier and former editor and publisher of ColtPower.com, Scout.com's Colts site. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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