And leave it to Peyton Manning to come up with a great idea about when the Colts should get together to celebrate that victory.
“I think the Colts are playing the Bears this year,” the quarterback said. “I think it would be appropriate to have that reunion. I don’t think the Bears would like it so much, but that really doesn’t matter that much to me. I think that would be a good time to have it. I hope we do. I hope we do something because everybody is so spread out now.”
Manning’s right, the Colts and Bears play each other in Indianapolis. The Colts won their only Super Bowl with Manning when they beat Chicago 29-17 during a rainy game in Miami on Feb. 4, 2007. He finished 25-of-38 for 247 yards and a 53-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne.
The 2006 season was a special one for the Colts outside of just winning the Super Bowl. They went 12-4 that season and Manning finally figured out a way to beat Bill Belichick and the Patriots in the playoffs. Cornerback Marlin Jackson’s interception of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sealed Indianapolis’ 38-34 victory over New England in the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots had knocked Manning and the Colts out of the playoffs in the two previous meetings.
“To do it that year in the fashion that we did it, beating a team that kind of had our number in the playoffs in that game here,” Manning said. “And then winning that game down there in the rain where Prince sang 'Purple Rain' in the rain. I don’t know if it could have gotten any better than that. It was a special group and I hope that we do [have a reunion] because there is a bond there that it never gets taken away.”
Manning praised owner Jim Irsay and former general manager Bill Polian for not panicking and breaking up the roster despite the team failing to reach the Super Bowl after going at least 12-4 in the previous three seasons, including 14-2 in 2005, prior to them winning the Super Bowl. Polian’s approach was to re-sign their own free agents and not overspend on the outside market to sign players.
“One thing we never did is we never, ever gave up and we kept fighting,” Manning said. “We kept fighting. It would have been so easy to have just said, ‘Hey, well we kind of had our window here and we missed it.’ Some players are going to go somewhere else, but Jim and Bill were committed to keeping that core group intact and believing that these were the right people and we were going to get over the hump.”