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Indianapolis Colts History

  Untitled Document





Colts History

The current Indianapolis Colts is a National Football League team based in Indianapolis, Indiana and are one of four teams in the South Division of the American Football Conference. This team had previously been the the Boston Yanks 1944-48, New York Bulldogs 1949, New York Yanks 1950-51 and the Dallas Texans 1952. Meanwhile, there was another team called the Baltimore Colts who played one season in the NFL 1950. That team had started out in AAFC in 1946 as the Miami Seahawks and had played from 1947 to 1949 as the Baltimore Colts in the AAFC.A fan contest produced the Colts name reflecting the great tradition and proud history of horse breeding and racing in the Baltimore region. The original Colts disbanded after the 1950 season but the name was retained when a new Baltimore franchise began play in 1953, in the NFL.That team moved to Indianapolis on March 28, 1984. They played their first game on September 2, 1984 in the National Football League.The teams uniform consists of the colors blue and white. The design on the helmet is a white background, blue horseshoe.Three years after its first NFL franchise folded, Baltimore got another team, also known as the Colts.The new Colts came to Baltimore because the Dallas Texans ran into serious financial problems during the 1952 season.

Edgerin James


The league took over the franchise and operated the Texans as a road team, meanwhile looking for a replacement.In response to a Baltimore group headed by Carroll Rosenbloom, NFL Commissioner Bert Bell said the city could have a new franchise if 15,000 season tickets were sold in a six-week period, beginning in December of 1952. The quota was met in just over four weeks and the franchise was issued on January 23, 1953.This was a new franchise, not a transfer of the bankrupt Dallas franchise. However, the new Colts were given first refusal on the contracts of former Dallas players.

 Only thirteen of them made the squad, but among them were two future Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive linemen, Gino Marchetti and Art Donovan.The new team also kept the "Colts" nickname and inherited the Texas colors of blue and white. In 1953, Carroll Rosenbloom became the principal owner of the new NFL Baltimore Colts.Before their first season in Baltimore,Rosenbloom would engineer the biggest trade in the National Football League history;a deal that sent five Colts to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for ten players, including defensive back Don Shula,as well as Bert Rechichar, Carl Taseff and Art Spinney. These players would help the Colts open the 1953 NFL season with a 13-9 upset of the Chicago Bears in a game where Bert Rechichar set a then-NFL record with a 56-yard field goal. In 1958, coached by Hall of Famer Weeb  Ewbank, the Colts defeated the New York Giants 23-17 in the NFL championship game, an overtime contest sometimes called "The Greatest Game Ever Played." The Colts repeated as NFL champions in 1959, beating the Giants again, 31-16. In the early 1960s the Colts continued as an elite NFL team although they lost the NFL championship game in 1964 to the Cleveland Browns, 27-0.The Colts have played in two Super Bowls, the first was in 1969 against the New York Jets but they lost 16-7, the second would be against the Dallas Cowboys who they defeated 16-13, in 1971.

The Colts have won four League championships 1958, 1959, 1968, and 1970. The Indianapolis Hall of Famers include wide receiver Raymond Berry (1955-1967), offensive tackle Art Donovan (1953-1961), coach Weeb Ewbank (1954-1962), line back Ted Hendricks (1969-1973), tight ends John Mackey (1963-1971), running back Lenny Moore (1956-1967), coach Don Shula (1963-1969),quarterback Johnny Unitas (1956-1972),defensive ends Gino Marchetti (1953-1964, 1966), offensive tackle Jim Parker (1957-1967), and fullback Joe Perry FB (1961-1962). The teams retired numbers are Johnny Unitas (#19),Buddy Young (#22), Gino Marchetti (#89),Lenny Moore (#24), Art Donovan (#70), Jim Parker (#77), and Raymond Berry (#82).Since 1987, the Colts have had mixed success.


Baltimore Colts coach Don Shula, and players, after the Colts won the NFL's Western Division title in 1964.

They have appeared in the playoffs seven years since then, with their best advance to the AFC championship game in 1995, when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-16, and in 2003, when they won the American Football Conference (AFc) South Division title, defeated the Denver Broncos in the wild-card playoff and advanced to play the Kansas City Chiefs in a divisional playoff, winning 38-31. In the AFC Championship game, they were defeated 24-14 by the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots; the defeat prevented Tony Dungy from becoming the first African-American head coach ever to lead a team to the Super Bowl.The team plays their home games at the RCA Dome, which was opened on September 2, 1984, and has a seating capacity of 56,500. Previous stadiums include Memorial Stadium, Baltimore (60,020) 1953 to 1983 and RCA Dome, Indianapolis (56,500) 1984-, known as Hoosier Dome 1984 to 1994. For more information visit (


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