After defeating the New England Patriots and advancing to the Super Bowl to play the Chicago Bears, Colts coach Tony Dungy brought up the Summit City in his postgame comments to Jim Nantz on national television.
"It's a shame we have to go to Miami," said Dungy. "We should just go to Fort Wayne and play this off."
"Yeah, right," agreed Nantz, "split the difference."
Apparently Mr. Nantz is unfamiliar with the location of Fort Wayne relative to Indianapolis and Chicago.
Mr. Nantz is not alone, though. Paul Domovich of the Philadelphia Daily News was one. He not only placed Fort Wayne in the wrong location; he also gave his opinion of Coach Dungy's suggestion:
"It's a shame we have to go to Miami," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "We should just go to Fort Wayne [which is located between Chicago and Indianapolis] and play it off there."
I'll put forth an original Fort Wayne Observed suggestion:
Mayor Graham Richard should be on the telephone to Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson in the first hour after arriving at his office on Monday; he should ask Mayor Peterson to put him in touch with Colts officials. The Mayor ought to ask State Senate President Pro Tem David Long to join him in contacting the Colts front office. They should then offer to have a rally in Fort Wayne prior to the Super Bowl.
The Colts have a lot of fans in northeast Indiana. If Coach Dungy were willing to make a quick trip to Fort Wayne during the next week and a half, it would seal this region's fan loyalties forever. (That is, unless Rex Grossman -- with Huntington ties -- and Brian Griese -- with Fort Wayne ties -- would show up.)
It just might be possible to leverage Coach Dungy's quip into a very positive - and richly covered - media event for Fort Wayne.