INDIANAPOLIS – Colts fan Dave Gustafson recently simply was perusing the Internet out of curiosity.
Little did Gustafson know that once he stumbled upon NFL.com, he would find an opportunity he would take and remember for the rest of his life.
Each organization in the NFL had one fan chosen to create a team-oriented flag for the 2012 Kickoff Weekend in New York, and Gustafson was that person for the Colts.
"I just happened to be looking at NFL.com one day and I just noticed there was a fan flag contest, so I read through the contest rules and started thinking about what I liked to see in a flag," Gustafson said.
After deciding to take up the offer of making a flag, Gustafson said the next part of the process was deciding what he wanted to showcase on the flag.
"I thought about a blue and white flag with a horseshoe and to incorporate some of the elements that had to do with our community like Lucas Oil Stadium, the city skyline and the Lombardi Trophy to represent our Super Bowl win," Gustafson said.
"Also, I wanted the state of Indiana because I think the Colts do a really great job of reaching out to everybody in the state with the traveling events that they do."
Last week, Gustafson and his wife flew to New York City and took part in the Kickoff Weekend ceremonies.
He attended the NFL season opener between the Cowboys and Giants while getting to meet former Colts great Jeff Herrod, who was the team's representative to hold Gustafson's flag during the pre-game ceremonies.
The experience for Gustafson now will come full circle this weekend as his flag will be parachuted into Lucas Oil Stadium just prior to the opening kickoff between the Colts and Vikings.
It has been a whirlwind few weeks for Gustafson who became a Colts fan in the late 1980s after moving from Cleveland.
"The trip to New York was exciting enough, but to be able to participate in the Colts' home opener with the flag being unveiled is just icing on the cake," Gustafson said.