On a recent gameday, Aaron and Cynthia Hacherl were already dressed in their Colts colors hours before the game. Aaron had his T.Y. Hilton jersey on first thing in the morning and Cynthia was wearing her Shaquille Leonard pullover. The Hacherls have been Colts season ticket holders for most of their adult lives. The enclosed porch on the back of their Carmel home is a gallery of sports memorabilia, with Colts banners, featured prominently. The Hacherls are quintessential Colts fans, remaining positive even when their team struggles.
“Colts fans rarely boo,” Cynthia said in an endorsement of her fellow fans. “They cheer. They cheer loudly on third down, just really trying to support our team. I feel like they’re just friendly and nice to all the fans sitting around us. We have a great time when we go to the games.”
The Hacherls maintain that positivity even when the headlines about their Colts seem gloomy. When Jim Irsey unceremoniously dismissed head coach Frank Reich and replaced him with former Colt Jeff Saturday, the Hacherls kept an open mind.
“Initially, I thought, oh man what is he doing?” Aaron said, raising his eyebrows. “But, I’ll tell you what, the thing I like about Jim Irsay, he’s a man of action. Things weren’t going well for us and he changed it up.”
“I felt like we needed to do something,” Cynthia said firmly. “It was such a disappointing start to the season.”
So the Hacherls quickly embraced the move from Reich to Saturday. When Saturday quickly reinstalled superstar Matt Ryan as starting quarterback, the Hacherl’s endorsed that move too.
“The guy’s a future hall of fame quarterback,” Aaron said. “I think we now have a chance to reboot here in the second half of the season and I’m optimistic for next year.”
The Hacherls hope tonight will be an easier test for their team, following a narrow loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. They are keenly aware that the other team from Pennsylvania, the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers, are indeed struggling. Let’s go Colts!