The Indianapolis Colts were founded in 1953 as the Baltimore Colts. The Colts relocated to Indianapolis in 1984. The Baltimore Colts were first owned by Carroll Rosenbloom until 1972 when Robert Irsay traded his Los Angeles Rams to the Colts’ owner. Irsay moved the club to Indiana in 1984 and his son, Jim, inherited the team in 1998 after his father’s death.
The Colts have won three NFL Championships (1958, 1959 and 1968) and two Super Bowls. In Super Bowl V (1970), they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 16-13, and in Super Bowl XLI (2006), they were victorious over the Chicago Bears by a score of 29-17. The team holds a half-dozen Conference Championships and a dozen Division titles. Conference crowns include NFL Western (1956, 1959, 1964, 1968) and AFC (1970, 2006) and Division titles were won in the NFL Coastal (1968), AFC East (1970, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1987, 1999) and AFC South (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007).
The Colts have a total of over 10 players and coaches inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Baltimore Hall of Fame players include receiver Raymond Berry (1955-1967), tight end John Mackey (1963-1971 Colts and 1972 San Diego Chargers), quarterback Johnny Unitas (1955 Pittsburgh Steelers; 1956-1972 Colts and 1973 San Diego Chargers) and running back Eric Dickerson (1983-1987 Los Angeles Rams; 1987-1991 Indianapolis Colts; 1992 Los Angeles Raiders and 1993 Atlanta Falcons). Coaches Weeb Ewbank (1954-1962 Colts; 1963-1973 New York Jets) and Don Shula (1953-1969 Colts and 1970-1995 Miami Dolphins) are also Hall of Fame members.
Receiver Berry was known for his exacting routes and strong work ethic. As a NFL player, he caught 631 passes for 9,275-yards and 68 touchdowns, while Mackey caught 331 throws for 5,236-yards and 38 touchdowns. Quarterback Unitas, whose nickname was “The Golden Arm,” threw 290 touchdowns for 40,239-yards and a rating of 78.2. He was a 10-time Pro Bowl and nine-time All-Pro selection. At running back, Dickerson accumulated 13,259-yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and scoring 96 touchdowns.
Ewbank led the Colts to two NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959, but he is best remembered for guiding the New York Jets to the AFL’s first Super Bowl victory in 1969 against the Baltimore Colts. Shula’s final record as a coach was 328-156-6, giving him a .678 winning percentage.
Colt nicknames include the Horseshoes and Indy. The team mascot is an anthropomorphic blue horse wearing a team jersey decorated with a horseshoe. The Colts will move into a new home in 2008, occupying Lucas Oil Stadium. The team played in two other stadiums, Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland (1953-1983) and the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana (1984-2207). From 1984-1993, the venue was known as the Hoosier Dome.
Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996-2001, is the team’s present head coach. Dungy, who took over the team in 2002, guided the Colts to a 2006 Super Bowl XLI victory in 2006, beating the Chicago Bears 29-17. His career record is an impressive 136-74-0.