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Former Colts Receiver Aaron Bailey Is a Good Sport

A few months ago, an IM editor was working on “30 for 30,” a list of the most memorable moments in Indianapolis Colts history. High on that list was the team’s unlikely run to the AFC Championship game in 1996—and the last-second end-zone toss from quarterback Jim “Captain Comeback” Harbaugh that nearly sent Indy to the Super Bowl.
In the meantime, the editor took a sneak peak at a spread of Indiana T-shirts featured in IM’s August issue, and saw one by Indianapolis-based Hayes and Taylor that read, “I Still Think Aaron Bailey Caught It.”
It hit the editor like a sack from a 300-pound lineman: Interview Bailey—the Colts receiver who nearly caught that Harbaugh Hail Mary—and then talk him into posing for a photo while wearing the shirt that honors his place in Colts history.
The editor tracked down Bailey, now an educator and high-school coach in Michigan, and he agreed, under one condition: Send an extra tee for his wife, Jennifer.
Brian Kelly of Hayes and Taylor generously supplied the shirts, the editor shipped them to Michigan, and these images arrived a couple of weeks later.
We’ll say this much for Bailey: He didn’t get the touchdown on that fateful day in 1996, but in 2014 he scored big points for sportsmanship.

Since first joining Indianapolis Monthly in 2000, West has written about a wide range of subjects including crime, history, arts and entertainment, pop culture, politics, and food. His feature stories have twice been noted in the Best American Sports Writing anthology and have received top honors from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “The Collapse,” West’s account of the 2011 Indiana State Fair tragedy, was a 2013 National City and Regional Magazine Awards finalist in the category of Best Reporting. He lives on the near-east side.