By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Colts linebacker Philip Wheeler was back in Anderson on Tuesday for the first time since training camp closed on Aug. 18.
And he said the team is looking forward to Sunday’s home opener against Cleveland, coming on the heels of a 34-7 loss in Houston.
“It’s always important to play at home and show our home fans what we can do,” Wheeler said. “We’ve gotta redeem ourselves from that loss first of all. We love playing in front of our home fans. They show us a lot of love so we gotta give it back.”
Wheeler was a guest on WNDE 1260 AM’s “Blue Review,” a weekly Colts recap show hosted by Jake Query and Derek Schultz at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
The show will broadcast live each Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. through Jan. 2. A rotating lineup of Colts players will join the show each week at 5 p.m., giving local fans a chance to meet some of the team’s stars in person.
“Anderson being the preseason home of the Colts, I think it makes sense to have a Colts show up here,” Query said. “And, obviously, this being an entertainment destination for Central Indiana that’s sports-related, I think the two go hand-in-hand. We know this is a big Colts area, that’s for sure.”
Query, an Indianapolis native, has been a popular radio personality in the Circle City for years. He and Schultz are a relatively new pairing, however, with their weekday afternoon show, “Query & Schultz,” debuting Aug. 15.
Hoosier Park has had a longstanding relationship with WNDE’s parent company, Clear Channel Communications, and hosted a weekly Colts program last year — featuring safety Melvin Bullitt and cornerback Jerraud Powers — at its downtown Indianapolis off-track betting facility.
With the Colts recently committing to continue holding training camp at Anderson University for the next five years, it made sense to move a show north to Madison County.
“This is a big hot-bed for Colts football,” Schultz said. “Nothing against Terre Haute, but I thought it was a great thing for (training camp) to come to Anderson. And then you expose Fishers and Noblesville, there’s so many Colts fans. It’s such a booming area.”
Wheeler knows all about the size and enthusiasm of the local fanbase after watching the crowds swell at Macholtz Stadium for the past two summers.
He was honored to be the show’s inaugural guest, and he said he and his teammates always have time for their fans.
“It’s always fun to meet the fans,” he said. “We love our fans because they show us the love.”
That interaction, between fans and players, will be at the heart of the show.
Fans who come through Hoosier Park’s racing entrance will find the show set up immediately to their left in the building’s Pegasus Lounge area. Callers are encouraged to ask questions while the show is on the air, and fans can talk to the hosts and players in person during breaks.
“We’re really excited about it,” Schultz said. “I love doing remote broadcasts here and interacting with listeners and people that tell you, hey, they really enjoyed the show. That means a lot. Especially having a Colts player to interact with the fans, it’s great. This is a great organization. And the players themselves, the names and the faces change, but their outreach to the fans, I think, remains the same.”
Query hopes the show will help draw patrons to Hoosier Park and give Colts fans a chance to see a different side of their favorite players.
“For Derek and I, we just do a dog-and-pony radio show,” he said. “You do get people that come up and listen to the show, and that’s flattering and I appreciate it very much. But the real stars of this deal, certainly, are the Colts.”