INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts faithful have endured a dramatic, confusing offseason, punctuated by a massive overhaul of their team’s roster and an urgent sense of impatience spawning from the mysterious absence of quarterback Peyton Manning.
Andrew Neel, Hartford County resident and treasurer of the unofficial Colts fan club, has been waiting on word from Manning since he last spoke at a cryptic press conference in March.
“We was all waitin’ there for an autograph, thinkin’ he was gonna say somethin’ congratulating his brother, when he told us he was goin’ out for a pack of smokes and that we should learn to love Andrew Luck while he’s gone,” said Neel.
The official transcript of the press conference reads as follows:
My sweet, beloved Colts fans, I want you to know that I care for all of you and that you’re all so special in your own unique ways. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But I also wanted to let you know that I’m going to be leaving. Just for a little while…I’m out of cigarettes, so I’m gonna go try to find some cheap cartons. But I need you to be strong for me while I’m gone. Be good. Love Andrew Luck just as you’ve loved me. And never, ever even think of Googling my name, because…um…I’ve heard that there’s a virus going around and I’d hate for your computers to get infected. Gooooo COLTS!
Several dozen Colts fans, decked out in Manning attire, have been holding a vigil outside Lucas Oil Stadium awaiting his return. Though minicamp is already in session, the Manning devotees have the utmost confidence that their hero will arrive in due time.
“He’s just really busy is all,” said Desmond Hickum, who named all three of his sons Peyton in honor of the quarterback. “You just wait. He’ll be back, and he’ll bring us lots of presents. Maybe a couple new receivers, probably some cigarettes. Daddy will return.”
As they continue to anticipate Manning’s return, Colts fans have begun heeding the quarterback’s instructions to embrace Andrew Luck. The rookie out of Stanford was greeted at his locker Monday morning with a gift basket full of various jams and fried candy bars, along with a welcome card signed by all 283 of the team’s literate fans.