Colts Flashback: Monday Night Football's First Game in Indy

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.
Halloween Rout
The Colts arrived in 1984, but the true coming-out party didn’t happen until four years later. In October 1988, John Elway and the Denver Broncos trotted into town for the city’s first-ever showcase on Monday Night Football. “For me, there was a personal piece with that game because of the Elway trade,” offensive lineman Chris Hinton says of the Halloween matchup: In 1983, Denver had sent Hinton packing to acquire Elway after the first-overall draft pick refused to sign with Indy.
The Colts galloped out of the gate and quickly reduced the Broncos to horsemeat. Running back Eric Dickerson racked up 159 yards and four touchdowns in the first 19 minutes. Dickerson took himself out of the game, a 55-23 win, despite Hinton’s best efforts to dissuade him from reining it in. “I wanted him to get 400 yards.”
Hinton himself got caught up in the be-costumed Hoosier Dome frenzy. “They had masks of the Monday Night crew, and during the game, I put on a Dan Dierdorf mask,” he says. “It actually became a football card of mine.”
This article appeared in the September 2014 issue as part of the “30 for 30” feature on three decades of Indianapolis Colts football.

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.