A lap around the famed IMS oval and a kiss on the bricks are all part of the Colts rookies’ first experience at the Speedway.
“It was really cool,” Colts rookie linebacker Bobby Okereke said. “I mean obviously you hear about the Indy 500 so to really be on the track and driving around that was cool to feel the G Force and all that stuff, it was nice.”
The newest Indianapolis residents learning the IndyCar ropes from another rookie in Colton Herta and his Harding Steinbrenner team.
“It takes a whole team and I think that us as football players can appreciate that because it’s such a team sport,” HaleHentges, Colts rookie tight end, said.
And if you’re taking tips on achieving success in Indy, tough to find a better teacher than a three-time Indy 500 champ.
“I was explaining about today is going to be a very special day,” Helio Castroneves said. “They are going to see an amazing amount of speed. It’s great to see a bunch of guys who are eager, like me when I was young, as well ready to rock and roll. Wishing them luck for the season.”
And Helio has some experience with coaching up the Colts, delivering the pre-Super Bowl speech at the request of Tony Dungy back in 2007.
“I was a little bit concerned because the first kick it was actually the Bears and they scored a touchdown,” he recalled. “And I’m like ‘Great, I am never going to come back to Indianapolis, they are not going to allow m,’ but they ended up winning which was like, ‘Okay good to go.’ It was awesome.”
As these rookies look to make an impact of their own, they embrace learning the city’s strong sports heritage.
“It’s very important to know those things,” Colts rookie offensive lineman Javon Patterson explained. “You want to know the tradition. You want to know what you are riding around in, you want to know what the city is like, and basically that’s family. Since I have been here, Ii feel like this town is very family-oriented and learning the tradition of the Indy 500, the tradition of the Colts, it’s all good.”