“The stories that I hear are all unbelievable,” said Vice Chairman and Owner Kalen Irsay. “How long they’ve been fans or how long they may have been a season ticket holder. Or they weren’t involved at all until they heard about the Blue Ladies and now they’re huge Colts fans. It’s just really cool to see something that you put your heart into and your passion into really impact the community and your fan base.”
It was Irsay’s mission when she officially joined the family business back in 2010.
“It’s just one of those things where I think we were looking for an outlet for them and I think a lot of women were looking for an outlet for their fandom and it’s kind of what we landed on,” she said. “It went from 40 to 50 women and kind of losing them, not retaining them, to 400-plus women now and just continually growing and continually coming up with new ideas.”
Saturday was the sixth annual Blue Evening. But for Jennifer Corzine, it was her first. And she can’t wait for more events.
“I love it. I absolutely love it,” she said. “All the ladies, they know so much, they love all the Colts. It’s so heartfelt is what it is.”
This year’s guest, safety Mike Adams, saw that too.
“They understand football,” he said. “They’re not just fans. They know. That’s what I love about it. They’re not just showing up, they’re showing up with knowledge. They bring something to the table.”
After a brief talk about offseason training…
“We get together to build chemistry for the season. This is when we start having that camaraderie, getting to know each other, guys that came in, knowing how they play, so when we get to camp, we just start rolling and getting ready for the season to start.”
Adams talked about preparing to start his 13th NFL season.
“Growing up, this is what we dream of. This is our goal. This is what we want to do. Life after football, we think about that after football because we don’t want it to end,” he said. “But the reality of it is, it will end one day. And when it does, I’ll have a plan.”
Adams already has a plan. And he’s already working it – getting involved with youth, starting charter schools, and encouraging all kids to follow their dreams.
“I want all the ‘bad kids.’ The kids that go into the system and they say they can’t make it. I was one of those kids,” he said. “And I’m not afraid to go into any community, whether it’s the suburbs or the ‘ghetto.’ If it takes that for me to show a young kid that this is the way, so be it.”
“I think every player that has done this event has walked away kind of amazed at the connections they’ve been able to make and the true, genuine kindness and support and love and passion that they have for them and for the team,” Irsay said. “I think they see it all the time, but this is an event where they walk away smiling thinking, ‘This is so fun.’”
And that’s what happened with Adams. He was feeling the love. And he returned it by plucking flowers out of the centerpieces and charming the ladies with them.
A fan favorite before the evening started, Adams set the bar for future Colts players.
“Tell everybody they’ve got big shoes to fill when they try to come up in here,” he said.
Mike Adams leaves big shoes to fill wherever he goes. And the Blue Evening was no exception.
It was a gathering of old friends, a meeting of new friends, and a celebration of what’s to come.
For the Blue Ladies, a new season starts just like it always does – with each other.
“It’s about the heart of the Colts,” said Corzine. “That’s what I love.”
For information on becoming a Blue Lady, go to: http://www.colts.com/fanzone/clubs/blue-ladies.html.