Behind the scenes with the Colts Blue Zone


INDIANAPOLIS – Colts game days kick off with the Colts Blue Zone on CBS4Indy. It takes a team of people to put together the 30-minute show that airs on game days, hosted by Chris Widlic and Chris Hagan.

“What the Colts are doing last week, what’s coming up this week, what the health of the team is, who’s playing well, who’s not playing well,” said Chris Widlic of the content featured in the show. “We also like to mix in a couple of features.. For example, Philip Rivers trash talking. I think that’s a fun, interesting piece of information that a lot of folks maybe don’t know, so we heard from his teammates, we heard from Philip Rivers.”

The Blue Zone airs at 11:30 a.m. on game day Sundays,  starting an already packed day well before kickoff.

“A gameday for the Colts is about a 12 or 13-hour day, but it flies by because there’s so much excitement leading up to and then after the game,” said Chris Hagan. “That’s what a Blue Zone Sunday is all about.”

The behind-the-scenes of putting together the show starts a week out. 

“You can’t just say, ‘Oh, they play the Bengals,’ or ‘Oh, they play the Ravens,’ and that’s it, you always have to stay on top of it. Sometimes the injury can happen during the week, something big can happen to a player,” Hagan said. “Every day there are players talking, coaches talking, and it’s really nice to see it develop.” 

Game day means crews arrive early to Lucas Oil Stadium. Photographers set up gear, like cameras and lights, and lots of it.

At the same time, back at the TV station, producer Phil Nardiello keeps all of the elements together, Widlic, Hagan, and Colts insiders Mike Chappell and Stephen Holder

COVID-19 precautions are in place at the stadium too. 

“We’re up on this third level, so COVID has changed everything. Normally we’re on the field for the pregame show, and now we’ve got to come in with masks, we’ve got to answer a health question, we get our temperatures taken,” said Widlic. “COVID has changed just about everything that we’ve done, especially on game day for the Blue Zone and covering the football game as well.”

All of those elements combine for the final product that ends up on live TV. And when the Colts travel to away games, so does the Blue Zone, hosting the show from the home team’s stadium.

The Emmy Award winning show airs live on game day Sundays at 11:30 a.m. on CBS4Indy

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