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Colts Flashback: Devin Hester's Super Bowl Kickoff Return

In the Atlanta Falcons’ Thursday-night game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, speedster Devin Hester returned a second-quarter punt for a touchdown. With the score—his 20th all-time—Hester surpassed Hall-of-Famer “Neon” Deion Sanders as the most prolific returner in NFL history, with 14 TDs on punts, five on kickoffs, and another on a missed field goal.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of NFL football in Indy, and IM celebrates the occasion in our September 2014 issue with “30 for 30,” a roundup of the most memorable moments, milestones, plays, and players in Indianapolis Colts history. – See more at: https://www.indianapolismonthly.com/news-opinion/monday-night-football-first-colts-game-elway/#sthash.s5JiC8Kv.dpuf

But easily the most memorable return of Hester’s career, at least for Colts fans (and the team, no doubt), was his run-back of the opening kickoff in Super Bowl XLI in Miami. The record-setting scamper is chronicled in the “30 for 30” feature in IM‘s September issue, a roundup of the most memorable moments, milestones, plays, and players in Indianapolis Colts history—excerpted below.
 
Hester Houses the Opening Kickoff
In just his rookie season, Bears speed demon Devin Hester had already established himself as the most dangerous kick-returner in the league. But the surging Colts didn’t seem too worried. “Before the game, we’re like, ‘Kick it to him—we’re not scared,’” says Robert Mathis, who was playing on the coverage unit. Hester subsequently became the first player in Super Bowl history to return the opening kickoff for a touchdown. “On the next kick,” Mathis says, “I was like, ‘Hey, do NOT kick it to him. Kick it to him, and I’m going to fight you.’” —J.L.

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This year marks the 30th anniversary of NFL football in Indy, and IM celebrates the occasion in our September 2014 issue with “30 for 30,” a roundup of the most memorable moments, milestones, plays, and players in Indianapolis Colts history. – See more at: https://www.indianapolismonthly.com/news-opinion/monday-night-football-first-colts-game-elway/#sthash.s5JiC8Kv.dpufv
This year marks the 30th anniversary of NFL football in Indy, and IM celebrates the occasion in our September 2014 issue with “30 for 30,” a roundup of the most memorable moments, milestones, plays, and players in Indianapolis Colts history. – See more at: https://www.indianapolismonthly.com/news-opinion/monday-night-football-first-colts-game-elway/#sthash.s5JiC8Kv.dpuf
This year marks the 30th anniversary of NFL football in Indy, and IM celebrates the occasion in our September 2014 issue with “30 for 30,” a roundup of the most memorable moments, milestones, plays, and players in Indianapolis Colts history. – See more at: https://www.indianapolismonthly.com/news-opinion/monday-night-football-first-colts-game-elway/#sthash.s5JiC8Kv.dpuf
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