Anderson, Indiana

Colts take the field, fans take the stands

Tue, 2011-08-02 08:56 -- univcomm
August 2, 2011

The Indianapolis Colts took the field for the first day of training camp Monday and were greeted by a crowd of 1,000 fans, according to Anderson University officials.

Later, another 1,500 fans arrived to watch the afternoon practice, hoping for a chance to snag an autograph or two as players left the field.

painterFranklin firefighter Rick Hestand clutched a printed list of players’ names, some marked off, others left blank to indicate that he still needed that player’s autograph. [Photo on left: Colts quarterback Curtis Painter signs autographs for fans after practice Monday morning at Colts training camp at Anderson University.]

Wearing a bright blue firefighter’s helmet covered in the scribbled autographs of Colts players, Hestand and his children stood close to the sidelines at camp, hoping to grab the attention of a player.

He’d already gotten the autographs of Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday and Jim Caldwell.

Ten more names needed to be checked off the list, he said.

His daughter, Taylor, clutched a small bound book of blank pages reserved for Colts autographs.

Her list of names was considerably longer. So far, she’d gotten the Colts mascot’s autograph.

Nearby, Noblesville mother Julie Baroudos joined her two sons and her nephew at the sidelines as the mascot, “Blue,” made his way down the line of fans, signing footballs, jerseys and posters.

Her nephew, 12-year-old Greg Chininis, held a weathered, autograph-covered football with a spot reserved for Reggie Wayne. During last year’s training camp at Anderson University, Chininis filled the football with other players’ names.

Baroudos’ twin sons, Evan and Eli, awaited their own favorites.

Evan Baroudos, still wearing the evidence of his blue raspberry treat on his bright blue lips, clutched a poster and eyed Curtis Painter, hoping the quarterback would look his way.

As temperatures soared to 95 degrees Monday, Anderson firefighters treated five Colts camp fans for heat exhaustion, providing ice packs to help cool them down.

Tuesday, practice resumes with a special teams session at 9:30 a.m. and a regular practice at 3:30 p.m.

—Brandi Watters is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Photo credit: John P. Cleary. Story republished with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.