Indianapolis celebrates Super Bowl Victory
INDIANAPOLIS – Happy fans hit the frigid streets of Indianapolis on Sunday night after the Colts beat the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl, celebrating the Indiana city’s first big-time professional sports crown in more than 30 years.
Hundreds of cheering fans descended on Monument Circle in the city center for a whoop-it-up despite temperatures that hovered near 0 Fahrenheit (-17.7C).
Some stores flung open their doors to begin selling T-shirts and other championship gear rushed into production as the hometown Colts bested the Bears 29-17.
About 200 miles to the northwest, it was as cold but getting considerably colder in Chicago, where Bears fans left bars, restaurants and private parties with the Monday blues setting in early.
“Things happen … at least they made it to the Super Bowl,” said Troy Williams, as he left a bar in an entertainment district on Chicago’s North Side.
“Maybe next year. It was sad,” said the 47-year-old businessman, who drove 30 miles from his home in Robbins, Illinois, to be with fellow fans during the game.
In Indianapolis, celebrants behind the wheel made victory laps around the monument erected to remember Union victory in the U.S. Civil War. The brave took to the streets on foot, pouring from downtown bars, only Colts jerseys between them and the frigid night air, to wave blue and white victory flags.
They danced. They romped. They blared car horns.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police reported a few incidents of celebratory gunfire in the moments after the victory, but no violence.
Employees at a factory in the city worked into the night printing Colts Super Bowl shirts.
For the first time since the Colts moved to the city from Baltimore in the dark of night in 1984, Indianapolis savored the league champion’s Vince Lombardi trophy.
For Indianapolis civic leaders, it was another benchmark in the city’s nearly 40-year campaign to reshape its sleepy “Naptown” image into that of an international sports capital. Success has come in basketball and in motor sports, due to the famed Indianapolis 500.
But the city last toasted a major pro sports league championship in 1973 with the Indiana Pacers of the old American Basketball Association.
In South Florida for the Super Bowl, Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and other officials promoted Indianapolis’ bid to host the Super Bowl in 2011. The NFL is set to announce its decision in May.
The city was scheduled to welcome the Colts home with a downtown parade on Monday afternoon.