Views from Lucas Oil Stadium at Colts' Home Opener

Publicly dedicated in August 2008, Lucas Oil Stadium has stood 49 months strong (“ColtsStrong” to some) for quite some time, really, and yet I just made my virgin voyage to an Indianapolis Colts game this past Sunday. I know, how shabby of me. But in all fairness, tickets had come my way a few times, though I was unable ultimately to use them, to attend, for one reason or another. And I did take in the Evansville F. J. Reitz versus Indianapolis Cathedral high school 5A football final there in 2009, a raucous game between southern Indiana and local Catholic pigskin powerhouses. That was a great time.

Even so, this was truly special. Great vibe, great comradery, even great eats (Colts aside, it’s that barbecue pulled pork sandwich for the win!). The view of our downtown skyline, yes, such as it is, was spectacular. The buildings may be shorter and stockier than other major cities’ own edifices, but they are entirely ours. And this remarkable stadium, a glorified barn to some naysayers but truly breathtaking when inside, is very much ours, too, on down to taxes that Marion County dwellers have paid to bring about its arrival. What’s more, the ruddy brick on its exterior is lined with that tried and true-blue Indiana limestone. Friends, quite literally, we have built this city on rock and Colts.

And now we have the arrival of Andrew Luck, who did not disappoint on this day. Don’t look now, but he has as many 2012 NFL victories to date as one Peyton Manning. (And here are more comparisons betwixt the two.) Even more inspiring was the military helicopter that flew low over spectators entering at the corner of Capitol Avenue and South Street before the game (pictured above). So many war memorials in this city. (See No. XXIX here.) We are a community taken with patriotic culture, and the whipping blades and swirling winds set the tone for the day: battle, in one form or another, in one uniform or another. On this day, those in action had a relatively insignificant goal at hand, with much less at stake. Luck and the Colts were ultimately victorious, 23-20, courtesy of Adam Vinatieri’s closing field goal.

Onward, Irsay’s soldiers.

Photos by Jonathan Scott