INDIANAPOLIS – John Bamforth learned his lesson in 2005.
He’s not afraid to admit that he left the Colts/Steelers AFC Divisional Playoff game early.
When word broke that the Colts were marching for a potential game tying field goal, Bamforth was nowhere to be found inside of the RCA Dome.
Instead, he was left to peer through the windows of a downtown bar to catch a glimpse of the Colts last-ditch comeback bid.
Flash forward to 2014 and here was Bamforth, and his family, stuck in New York at the John F. Kennedy International Airport with the Colts about to kickoff another playoff campaign in less than 24 hours.
Mother nature had cancelled the Bamforth’s flight back to the Indiana state capitol.
In order to witness one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, Bamforth knew the only option was to make the trek across five states and 740 miles of roads to get to Lucas Oil Stadium.
With John and his wife, Sue, manning the wheel, the Bamforth family began the 13-hour journey to experience a memory they will forever share with their teenage children.
“I’m a big experience sort of guy,” Bamforth says looking back on the wild weekend.
“I’ve been to a bunch of sporting experiences so it was one of those things where when you’ve been through each of the games, you look forward to the playoffs. So when you realize that you might not be there, it’s a bit irritating. That’s when I looked at my wife and said, ‘We’ve got to go, right?”
The Bamforth family arrived to Indianapolis about two hours before the Colts played their first home playoff game since the 2010 season.
Any doubt that the trip home was not worth it was squelched thanks to “Mr. Luck working his magic” Bamforth said.
As a former rugby player during his days growing up in England, Bamforth called Luck’s “Superman” touchdown against Kansas City “rugbylike”.
When the Bamforth’s exited Lucas Oil Stadium into the Indianapolis night, the family was happy to be home and also thrilled to have witnessed something special.
Sharing that moment with his entire family is something John places right up there with attending Super Bowls XLI and XLIV.
“I remember growing up my fondest memories with my dad was going to rugby games with him,” Bamforth says.
“Just the adventure of jumping in a car and driving all the way to be there is just something that we will never forget.”