It was a sea of blue at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Saturday night, as the Blue Ladies gathered for the fifth annual Blue Evening. The signature event for the Colts’ female fan club, it was a celebration of football, the Colts, and the upcoming NFL season. And the ladies had some special guests join them in doing so.
Kicking things off, so to speak, was Colts punter Pat McAfee. McAfee has a lot going on these days, but he still managed to make time to take pictures, sign autographs, and talk to some of the most passionate supporters of the Colts and (as he refers to himself) “Numero Uno.”
“I see so many people wearing my jersey. This is so amazing to me,” he told them. “I really appreciate you spending money on this stuff. I love you too. And I’m going to really do everything I possibly can to make you proud to wear that shirt.”
Always active in the community, McAfee is taking his comedy act to the stage, with two live standup shows scheduled for July at The Palladium in Carmel. He says it’s the Hoosier State that’s allowed him the opportunity.
Now entering his seventh season, Pat McAfee has grown a lot as a player and a person while wearing the horseshoe. Funny enough (just not at the time), it was one experience and one evening (yes, it involved swimming) that really changed his perspective on life.
“One particular night, I did a negative thing that really let down a lot of people and it was on that particular night and that situation that I promised my family, I promised my mom, I promised my dad, I promised the Colts GM at the time, Bill Polian, that I was going to do everything possible to get my name back because my name was tarnished.”
Since then, Pat McAfee has become a poster child for turning a negative into a positive by lending not only his name, but also his time and his money to various causes in and around Indiana. He started the Pat McAfee Foundation to help military families send their kids to college. And in the process, he’s turned himself into one of Indy’s most recognizable celebrities.
One night five years ago, life handed Pat McAfee lemons. And he’s been turning them into lemonade ever since.
“We’re lucky to have this pedestal, so we might as well help out. “And I’m grossly overpaid by a particular family in this city who has given me the world, and the least I can do is help give back to the city that has given me so much.”
Make it lemon meringue pie. And the brand McAfee has built for himself in the process is the cherry on top.
In a surprise entrance and inspired by American Pharoah’s triple crown win, Colts owner Jim Irsay made a guest appearance at the Blue Evening, telling the ladies Coach Pagano sent him a text message reminding him to watch the Belmont.
Irsay says the Colts, on a collective level, are working to do the same — be special and make history – as winners of Super Bowl 50.
“Sometimes good is the enemy of great. And that really just means that we can’t be satisfied when you have success. You can’t be satisfied just because you win in the division. We go out there with the intention of being in San Francisco when it’s all said and done.”
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2015 is the year of the sheep. But if Jim Irsay has his way, it’ll end up being the year of the horse. And he knows the Blue Ladies will be with them every step of the way.
At 360 members, the Colts Blue Ladies group is one of the largest and most active female fan clubs in the NFL. To join the Blue Ladies group, go to Fanzone on Colts.com and click on fan clubs and Blue Ladies.