Former Colts Receiver Aaron Bailey Is a Good Sport

A Jim Harbaugh Hail Mary nearly sent Indy to the Super Bowl in 1996. IM investigated in its “30 for 30” tribute to three decades of Indianapolis Colts football, and discovered that while the ref might’ve ruled the pass incomplete, a local-pride T-shirt—and this guy wearing it—tell a different story.

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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.

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