8th Annual NFL Scouting Combine Tweetup with Peter King

The 2015 NFL football season may be over, but for fans in Indianapolis we still have one more NFL-related event to soak in before the pool dries (freezes?) up until training camp. The NFL Scouting Combine returns to Indianapolis February 23-29. It’s a great event for our city, and I highly encourage you to experience the atmosphere downtown. You never know who you might run into!

NFL Scouting Combine Tweetup 2015 with Peter King

Photo by Todd Rosenberg

I can tell you for sure that if you make your way to Sun King Brewing Company on the evening of Friday, February 26 you’ll run into me. I’m helping to put on a Tweetup with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. You can read the story about how I stumbled into my first Combine Tweetup a few years ago. Since then it’s been one of the highlights of the year for me. This is the second year I have the honor of organizing the Tweetup for Mr. King. Last year’s event was fantastic – we raised over $1000 to fight hunger with Thrive360. Here are the details for this year’s event:

What:

NFL Scouting Combine Tweetup. You have burning questions about the NFL or the upcoming draft, we have NFL insiders with answers.

Who:

Anyone who wants to come! You aren’t required to have a Twitter account, nor do you need to have ever sent a single tweet. However, if you are on Twitter and follow various NFL media, chances are one of them will either be on the panel or in attendance. In past years, we’ve had Indy’s Bob Kravitz, the NFL Network’s Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport, SiriusXM NFL’s Alex Marvez, and Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier and Matt Miller. Oh yeah, and that ESPN guy Adam Schefter was there once, too.

Adam Schefter NFL Combine Tweetup

Where:

Sun King Brewing Company, 135 North College Avenue, Indianapolis. Pints of their delicious Fresh•Local•Beer will be available for purchase.

When:

Friday, February 26, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets:

Like last year there is a $10 charge to attend. However, all the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Nine13sports. Nine13sports is a local non-profit that uses the art and sport of cycling to teach and positively influence at-risk youth. All this is to say, your $10 is going to a great cause. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and you can get them via our Eventbrite page. Hurry, though – last year the event sold out.

NFL Scouting Combine Tweetup 2015 with Peter King and Thrive360

Photo by Todd Rosenberg

I hope to see you there! If we haven’t met before, please find me and introduce yourself.

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Colts vs. Texans: The 12th Man Doesn’t Use An Inside Voice

The Colts and I have something in common this week: we’d both like a do-over. The Colts would happily go back to end of the first half and do things a little differently. And me? I’d like a few words with the woman sitting in front of me who threatened my husband. We’ll get to that, but first the usual details.

Angie Six Colts Blogger

My Seat:

Mike and I returned to Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the game with my sister, Ana, and her boyfriend, Greg. We had the same seats we had for the Broncos game. In other words, our seats were pretty sweet. Well, other than the fact that no one ever scored a single touchdown on our end of the field. The last time my sister and I went to a game together was the 2006 AFC Championship game. You know, just that legendary game in the RCA Dome where we beat the Patriots on our way to a Super Bowl Championship. Let’s just say that game was a little more fun than this one.

Sun King Cans

My Drink:

There’s only one drink for me at Lucas Oil, and it’s the locally brewed Sunlight Cream Ale from Sun King Brewing. Mike made a comment about the fact that this particular beverage costs $9.25. My sister didn’t miss a beat – “Worth it,” she said. She’s absolutely right. If I could only drink one beer for the rest of my life, this would be the one.

My Post-Game Analysis:

I’m going to go in a different direction here than I’ve done in the past. For one, what can I say about this game? It was utterly disappointing. I’m scared for Matt Hasselbeck’s health, and if I was his wife I’d be hiding his keys so he can’t drive to the Colts facility anymore. This is not our year. I’m resigned to that now. Instead, I want to focus on what has to be the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me at a sporting event.

Our seats were in the second row, right where the Colts players come out and warm up. In the row in front of us sat a husband, wife and two boys, which I would guess to be around middle-school age. As the first and second quarters progressed, I noticed two things about them. One: they were pretty quiet for Colts fans. Two: the woman turned around several times during the first half and gave Mike what I would call “the stink eye.” It’s the same look my kids get when I’m trying to wordlessly communicate I’d give them what-for if we weren’t in public.

Before I go any further, let me tell you a little story about Mike and his decibel level. He’s a loud guy. I’ve been know to give him the stink eye myself, most often when we’re in a public place and he answers his phone. Hush, hush, voices carry, dude. Just last month, the kids and I had a conversation with him at the dinner table, suggesting the numbered chart they use in Eli’s school for how loud you should be talking at any given moment might be helpful. For reference:

voice level chart

He’s pretty much a four in a world of twos. And we love him for it (mostly). So back to the game. It’s the second row of an NFL game against a division rival in a matchup that has playoff implications. I’m going to say Mike was at a 4, with spurts of 5 during crucial moments. The drunk guy two rows behind us? Constant 5. The extended members of T.Y. Hilton’s family behind us to our right? Fours and fives.

At halftime, the woman turns around to Mike and says in all seriousness, “If you don’t stop screaming, I’m going to punch you in the throat.” We looked at each other like, “Is she serious? Surely she’s joking.” Mike said something to the fact that he’s just excited, it is a football game after all. Her husband joins in. “Do you have to be so loud? Could you maybe take a break during halftime? It’s ridiculous.”

We were stunned. My natural inclination is to avoid confrontation at any cost, and so I whispered in his ear, “Please don’t poke the bear.” To his credit, he let it go. He could’ve engaged her and her husband, and it could’ve gotten ugly fast. But he didn’t. Did he pipe down? Some. The fans sitting around us, however, were dumbfounded. They handled it in the best way possible: they got louder. Every down, every run, every penalty … they screamed. I wanted to hug each and every one of them.

The more I think about it, the angrier I get. I’ve been to many sporting events where you’re sitting by that guy. The one that doesn’t know when to stop. The one who uses profanity, the one who has to tell the ref he sucks for every call that goes the other way, the one who makes you cringe for every fan under the age of 12 within earshot. Mike’s never that guy. He doesn’t taunt other fans and he never swears. He just gets every penny’s worth of fun out of the exorbitant cost of his ticket to an NFL game. If he were that guy? I’d let him know, and it wouldn’t be with a stink eye. There are a lot of things I agree would be inappropriate and disrespectful for your fellow fans at an NFL game. Using your outside voice isn’t one of them. (And no, a closed roof doesn’t necessitate inside voices at Lucas Oil.) The 12th man doesn’t motivate the team by sitting quietly.

And so to the woman of Section 136, Row 1, Seat 6 sitting in front of us at Lucas Oil Stadium yesterday? We are not sorry. I’ve reviewed the NFL Fan Code of Conduct. There’s nothing in there about cheering for your team, but they have a little something to say about threatening other patrons with words and/or actions. Perhaps next time, instead of threatening violence in front of your family to a fan simply having a good time with the other 66,000 yelling, screaming, clapping fans, you watch the game from the peaceful atmosphere of your couch. Save those front row seats for the 12th man.

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Colts vs. Broncos: Of Sons and Swagger

Andrew Luck victorious after beating Denver Broncos

On one side of the field: Peyton Manning. The person who is single-handedly responsible for me even being here in the first place. The person who made me love him, and conversely, football. My favorite player of all time, and also the very same person that broke my heart three years ago.

On the other side of the field: the Indianapolis Colts. My team, badly in need of a win. Beaten up and humiliated, facing an undefeated team and the best defense in the NFL.

Next to me in the stands: Eli. My son, attending his first NFL game. Seeing Peyton Manning for the first, and most likely, the last time in Indianapolis. To say this game brought up all of the feelings would be an understatement. Where was my imaginary shrink when I needed him?

My Seat:

Row 2 in the end zone at Lucas Oil Stadium. We usually try to make it to one or two games a season. Instead of investing in season tickets, we tend to splurge on our seats. If I’m going to pay $9 for a beer, my seats should at least be good. Mike bought four tickets last month, gambling on the fact that Peyton Manning might break Brett Favre’s passing record here in Indy. He thought as the hype built up that he might make a pretty penny on the seats. It’s a fantastic idea, unless you forget about said extra tickets until a week before the game! We listed them a couple of places, but had no luck selling them. Last Friday we had someone interested in one ticket. That was good news for Eli, who found himself tagging along with us.

My Drink:

There’s only one drink for me in Lucas Oil Stadium, and that’s Sunlight Cream Ale from Indy’s own Sun King Brewing. Speaking of drinks, I have a fun little post up over on the Colts Roundup blog about game time beverages. You should check it out. You should not make,photograph and taste test all three drinks in one day. I’m here to tell you that won’t end well.

My Post-Game Analysis:

I’m a firm believer that we can beat any team, especially at home. That doesn’t mean I expect us to win, though. I certainly didn’t expect us to be up 17-7 at halftime and to see so many three and outs … for the other team. Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton was fired last week. Stepping up to the plate was Rob Chudzinski, who told the offense that all they were missing was swagger. Well, they found that swagger, lost the holding penalties and interceptions, and won the game.

I haven’t seen Peyton play in person in anything other than a Colts jersey. As strange as it continues to be seeing him in Broncos gear, it’s even stranger in person. For every season that goes by since he parted ways with Indy, it gets a little easier. It wasn’t until the 4th quarter when I realized a true transformation had taken place. Peyton was sacked, and without thinking twice I leapt up and cheered. Just like Robert Mathis, I still hate quarterbacks (that aren’t mine). And when my Colts play the Broncos, that means Manning. I will always love him. He will always be my favorite player. But he’s not my quarterback anymore.

Sure, seeing Peyton play in person again was meaningful. (How I would’ve loved to witness him break that record. Three yards shy, it wasn’t meant to happen here in Indy.) And yes, walking away with a win was fantastic and so fun. But the highlight of this game for me was sharing the experience with Eli. He hasn’t really been into football, and we haven’t forced it. While we’ve watched games on the couch, he’s been content to play with friends or keep himself occupied. Something changed this year, though, and he wants to watch with us. It’s not just the Colts, either – he wants to watch other games as well. We thought what better way to cement a love for the game than by bringing him to one?

Well, let’s just say it’s going to be hard to ever top Eli’s first NFL experience. For one, it’s not every game that you sit in the 2nd row, right by where the Colts players exit the tunnel. Elena made Eli a sign that said “This is my first Colts game.” Guess who ended up on the Jumbotron?

The Colts play like they’re on fire and pull off one of the most exciting wins you can see in person. As if that weren’t enough, the one and only Frank Gore gave Eli his game-worn glove as he walked off the field (you know, the same kid who also has Robert Mathis’ glove to go with it). As you can tell, it was a terrible experience and he never wants to go to another game.

He asked me this morning when we were going again. I laughed and told him I barely get to go to any games, so it might be awhile. But the kid is good luck, it seems, and nothing would make me happier than to have him grow up cheering for the Colts by my side at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Next week we have a bye, which means I have a recap bye, too! Next up is the Atlanta Falcons, with another favorite Colts alumni of the Six family: Jacob Tamme. Here’s hoping we keep that swagger through the end of the season.

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