The Herald Bulletin

January 6, 2013

Local Colts fans disappointed by loss, but still proud of team

By Dani Palmer
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Indianapolis Colts may have lost their playoff debut, but many of their fans were still proud they made it that far.

“We had a good year,” said Anderson resident Mark Drinkut. “With the young players we had, it was pretty amazing.”

Many Colts fans like Drinkut made their way out to bars like Buffalo Wild Wings’ and Scampy’s to watch the game Sunday.

There were definitely missed opportunities in the 24-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Drinkut said, but “going on the road to play is a tough task.”

Still, that doesn’t mean he’s a good loser.

Drinkut said he really wanted to see the team go on to Denver.

But he is proud of the Colts after many thought they’d only have a seven- to eight-win season, he said.

“(The Colts) had a comeback mentality,” he said. “That resurrected a lot of spirits.”

While the team dealt with a lot of skepticism, Drinkut said it’s hard to argue with quarterback Andrew Luck after he broke former QB Peyton Manning’s rookie record.

He said Luck seems to always be looking where to improve and tighten his game, and that he believes the team will be solid next year.

Dylan Matthews, of Anderson, was one of those who didn’t think the Colts would do as well as they did with so many new players.

“I honestly didn’t think they’d make it this far,” he said. “I’m really glad they did, but I wish they’d continued on.”

Matthews said he’s really looking forward to next year and Luck’s time with the Colts.

Mark and Jessica Funderburk, of Pendleton, always head to Buffalo Wild Wings to catch the games and weren’t completely disappointed.

“They could’ve played better,” Jessica Funderburk said. “I’ve seen him (Luck) play better. Baltimore wanted it more.”

She said the defensive line didn’t do a good job of keeping the players off Luck and needs some work. Her husband said the team needs to work on its running game.

He added that the team “squandered opportunities,” but that he’s still proud of them for a good year.

“The rookie receivers were great,” Mark Funderburk said of the season. “(Wide receiver Reggie) Wayne was great, but the rookies came through.”

While the Colts’ season is over, Mark said he plans to continue to watch Manning with the Denver Broncos. He said he can see the Broncos going on to the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

In three years, Jessica said she can see the Colts going back, too.

“Overall, we’re proud of our Colts,” she said.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.