Monday, June 25, 2012

Vacation 2012, June 13: Colts Mini-Camp

Our view as we walked into the stadium.

 Today we drove to Lucas Oil Stadium and joined a couple thousand other people to watch the Colts practice.  Before practice started we went on the field (had to sign a waiver first though).  Zachary had a blast running around.  Bryan had thought ahead and packed a football, so we could toss it around.  It was pretty cool playing football on an NFL field with my boys.

Zachary throwing the football to Bryan.

Eli's first time touching the turf.  He wasn't sure what to think but ended up being okay with it.  The "87" jersey in the background is Bryan as he's chasing Zachary around the field.

Zachary lining up for the snap.

Zachary sacking Bryan.  The kid was having fun...both of them!

Zachary trying to score (the end zone is the other direction) as Bryan chases him.

A pose from his touchdown dance. 

Zachary thought the pylons were the coolest things ever.  He kept trying to carry them around.  I told him we couldn't take them home, but when we were leaving at the end of the day he saw a young guy (about 20 or so) carrying one to his car.  Zachary said, "Mommy, we could have taken it!"  Thanks for setting a great example 20-year-old-stranger.

Zachary posing with his beloved pylon.

My football fellas

Me & Eli.  He enjoyed his time on the field too.

Bryan & Zachary pose in the end zone.

 A few steps on the field.  He was having fun :)
Anyone else think I look about 8 feet tall here?

The four of us in the end zone.

While we played on the field Bryan took a moment to go into the seats and save a few for us.  After practice the players were going to come out and sign autographs so a front row seat was a necessity.  My sister's boyfriend Josh and his son Aaron joined us for some field play and watching practice.  They couldn't stay long because Josh had to get to work.  There was a long wait after the crowd cleared the field before players came out.  It was supposed to be about 90 minutes but I think it wound up being closer to two hours.  Josh helped entertain the kids during the wait. 

Aaron, Zachary, Josh & Eli.  Josh always has something fun on his phone for them.
It was a really hot day, and the roof was open.

Open roof with banners blowing in the breeze.

At first we were in the shade, but as the day got longer the sun was right over us.  I took Eli out for a few walks in the cooler corridors.  He did really well but was getting very fussy as he hadn't had a nap.  Eventually, I just took him out and walked around the stadium twice until he fell asleep.  He had his sweaty little head on my shoulder, and I couldn't see his face to tell if his eyes were closed or not.  A family of four was walking out, and I approached the mother using hand signals and mouthing the words "are his eyes open or closed?"  She immediately responded in mom-language that his eyes were closed & he was out.  I love those moments of instant camaraderie.

I saw a little bit of practice after getting Eli to sleep.  Here's some photos Bryan took of the action.

Andrew Luck #12,  red jersey.  First time in front of all the Colts faithful. 

Dwight Freeney #93  The guy kneeling in the front of this picture (wearing sweatpants!) is #91 Ricardo Matthews.  You can see his gloved hand resting on his leg.  He gave Zachary the other glove after practice and even signed it for him. 

Robert Mathis #98 doing some drills.  He signed Bryan's hat and I couldn't help but notice how big this guy is.  We were in the stands, much higher than him but he was still pretty intimidating.

The new coach, Chuck Pagano.

Defensive players getting ready to run some drills.

Adam Vinatieri #4 kicking a field goal.  The holder is the punter Pat McAfee.  He's one of Zachary's favorite players.
We got several autographs after practice and had a great time at the event.  The stadium is such an amazing place.  I've been to several Colts games there, but being there without a sell out crowd helped me appreciate the building more.  It will always be the house Peyton built and our family will always have a special appreciation for him and the work he's done in the Indianapolis area (especially because of the incredible work at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent).  However, it's time to move on and being at this event is getting me ready for some football!  GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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