Former Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian Headed for Buffalo Bills' Wall of Fame: Fan Reaction

For a generation of Indianapolis Colts fans, Bill Polian will always be remembered as the architect of the first golden era of the NFL in our Circle City, and even the debacle of the lost 2011 season probably can’t change that perception. Before he ever came west, though, Polian made his name as the general manager of the Buffalo Bills teams that won three straight AFC championships in the early 1990s. Back then, I often found myself rooting for the Bills in the playoffs, partly because they toiled in the same division as the lowly Colts, but mostly because they maintained a likable underdog persona year after year. I guess that three straight Super Bowl losses can dull the edge of public perception, and those “failures” were also enough to cost Polian his Buffalo gig in February of 1993. Time apparently heals, though, as the Bills announced on May 14 that Polian will as the newest member of the team’s “Wall of Fame.” It may be a bit early yet, but this news made me ponder Polian’s ultimate place in Colts’ history.

If you just consider that Polian was in charge when the Colts drafted Manning in 1998, it’s tempting to elevate the President to “Ring of Honor” status without a second thought. Rumors have always persisted, though, the whispers around town were that Polian and that Irsay pulled rank to get Manning in Blue and White. Who knows? Had Polian been a little more seasoned in his relationship with Irsay at the time, maybe Leaf would have landed in Indy, flamed out and taken the franchise with him. Without Manning, after all, there is a decent chance that the Colts would have at some point in the last 15 years.

As it stands, we have to give Polian at least some of the credit for selecting Manning and keeping him happy for more than a decade. In his early drafting days with the Colts, Polian delivered a nice to complement Manning’s talents. The list of picks before their Super Bowl runs reads like a roll call of Colts stars during the 2000s: Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders. In the last several years, the Colts have pretty much whiffed on their first-rounders, which many attribute to the growing responsibilities of Polian’s son, team general manager Chris Polian.

So, there is a mixed bag for Bill Polian in terms of his Indianapolis legacy. Many saw him as something of a tyrant, and many others think that he was largely a puppet for Irsay. My take is that Polian could get pretty defensive at times and was very hard-headed when it came to admitting a mistake, which may be why the Colts were caught flat-footed in terms of quarterback depth when Manning went down last year. Still, Polian was in charge when Indianapolis became a bona fide NFL city, and he managed to keep the wheels on and rolling when a lot of big egos were involved. To me, that should earn him the benefit of the doubt and some mantel space in the Colts’ trophy room.

Adam Hughes was raised, and still lives, in rural Indiana. He has been a Colts fans since the team arrived in Indianapolis on a snowy morning in 1984. The Blue and White eventually replaced the Chicago Bears as his #1 team, and Super Bowl XLI was a dream come true.

Indianapolis Colts Select Andrew Luck First Overall: Fan Reaction

The Indianapolis Colts have their new quarterback of the future. Andrew Luck has now officially been chosen with the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. The draft began and shortly thereafter the pick was in. Luck was the man all along and now fans know with all certainty that he is their quarterback.

In many ways this night represented a changing of the guard. Seeing Luck hold up the number 12 Colt jersey and put on the Indianapolis hat proved that the new era has officially begun. As a fan, I couldn’t be more excited. Hearing Luck speak about the opportunity shows that this kid was the perfect person for the job. Luck seems to understand the team and the situation he is coming in to. Indianapolis had the worst record in the NFL in 2011 but just became significantly better with the addition of their new franchise quarterback.

I personally think Luck will not have growing pains the way many others do. He has a decent offensive line with new additions to it, two very good receivers, and running backs that showed promise last season. Adding a quarterback of Luck’s talent will provide a major boost towards the rebuilding project. This team just got much better last night with the selection of Andrew Luck. I can’t remember being more excited about a draft choice in a long time.

I’ve said all along that I think this kid is going to be a very good quarterback and has the potential to be one of the best in the game. Luck brings excitement back to a fan base that lost a lot of hope just weeks ago. I think he’ll reinvigorate everyone into believing in the future and buying into the team moving forward. This kid brings excitement and a sense of newness along with him. With nine picks remaining, I only hope that Ryan Grigson and the team can surround him with the weapons necessary to allow him to succeed.

Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He runs a blog about the team at . Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.

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Indianapolis Colts Confirm Andrew Luck as Number One Pick: Fan Reaction

With the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts select quarterback Andrew Luck, Stanford University. These are the words Roger Goodell will announce when the NFL draft begins on Thursday April 26. While the selection of Luck has been suspected for a long time, the team made it official when general manager Ryan Grigson on April 24.

I’m glad that the announcement was finally made by the Colts‘ organization. Fans have speculated and assumed that Luck would be the pick for most of the offseason. News outlets then began reporting that Luck would be the pick and he was informed of the news last week.

It’s nice for once to not enter the draft with the suspicion of what player may fall and what player may be selected when my favorite team is on the clock. There is still plenty of suspense throughout the draft for Colt fans with nine very important picks remaining. This pick, the first overall, was too important for the franchise to have any doubt. They need a quarterback to become the new face of the franchise and they need to begin selling their quarterback to the fan base as soon as possible. I think announcing Luck as the pick was the right move as well.

It will remain to be seen whether the team made the right selection. I’ve been a big fan of Andrew Luck ever since the hype began during the 2010 season. I think there is no doubt that the team made the right pick though. Luck has all the tools to be the next franchise quarterback in Indianapolis. Fans can only hope that he develops into the player many have made him up to be. The team and the city should embrace Andrew Luck and realize how lucky they are to have such a great player joining the team. I know I’m excited that the official announcement was made and can’t wait to see Andrew Luck play for the Colts.

Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He also runs the blog that covers the team. Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.