The Indianapolis Colts will induct wide receiver Marvin Harrison into the team's prestigious Ring of Honor on Sunday, November 27 at halftime of the Colts meeting against the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Harrison will be the eighth member elected to the elite group.
"Being inducted into the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor means a lot to me," said Harrison. "The reality is, I'm at a loss for words. When Mr. Irsay called me and said 'You're being inducted into the Ring of Honor,' I thought he was extending an invitation to me to be there for someone else. As the conversation went on it occurred to me that he was talking about me. As a player that was drafted in 1996, I saw others going up into the ring. But now to be one of those players placed in the stadium for a lifetime, words can't describe how I'm feeling. I've never had anything retired jersey or number-wise on any level. But to be recognized by the Colts is the highest honor for me and my family. I'm truly honored to be placed in the Ring of Honor and to be a lifetime member of the Indianapolis Colts."
"Marvin Harrison is a very special football player, one of the elite players this sport ever has seen," said Colts Owner & CEO Jim Irsay. "We truly were blessed to witness his greatness on the field, the leadership he provided and the magic moments we will never forget. His excellence was on display for the duration of his career, and that is rare with most athletes. Part of what made him successful was his ethic and drive. He wanted to be the best, and he left nothing in reserve in his preparation and his approach to the game. His contributions can be measured in the receptions, yards and touchdowns he made, but it is impossible to calculate the other ways he influenced opposing defenses and helped his teammates be better because of the threat he posed. You always needed to know where Marvin was on the field if you were facing him. If you were like the rest of us, you always were on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what he might do that you would remember for a lifetime. He is one of the greats of all-time in league and Colts history, and it is an honor to place him in our Ring of Honor. What a tremendous professional."
Harrison is regarded as one of the finest receivers not only in Colts history, but the National Football League. While leading the team in receiving for a club-record nine seasons, he also leads the franchise with numerous career receiving records including, receptions (1,102), receiving yards (14,580), touchdowns (128) and 100-plus yard games (59). Harrison's reception total ranks third in NFL history while his receiving yardage total is sixth-best and his 128 touchdowns rank fifth in league annals.
"He's one of the all-time greats," said Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell. "He's just a tremendous, tremendous player. I marvel at his ability to do so many things so well, and make them look so easy. (He's) a guy that was blessed with speed, quickness and could blow the top off a coverage in a minute. He was a big-play guy consistently throughout his career. He practiced extremely hard, and he practiced as hard as he played. His saying was always, 'You pay me to practice, I play the games for free.' (He) was a guy that was a lot of fun to be around. The harmony between he and Peyton (Manning), it was frightening how well those guys communicated with one another without saying a word in most cases. Oftentimes, it took a nod and a wink, and those guys would maybe adjust something and come up with a huge play. When you have greatness in your midst, it jumps out at you right away. He's a special individual.
Harrison compiled club records with 143 receptions (NFL single-season record) and 1,722 yards in 2002. He totaled the Colts' top three receiving yardage seasons (1,722 in 2002; 1,663 in 1999; 1,524 in 2001) and the top two reception seasons (143 in 2002; 115 in 1999) in 13 years, all with Indianapolis. Harrison leads the organization with 190 consecutive games with a catch while topping the charts with 16 10-plus reception games and 15 receiving-touchdown seasons, which he set on two occasions (2001 and 2004). From 1999-2002, he became the first NFL player with 100 or more receptions in four consecutive seasons. Harrison is also the only player to record eight-straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
Harrison concluded his career with eight Pro Bowl selections (1999-2006) and was a member of the Colts Super Bowl XLI Championship team.
"When I was rookie, he was in his third year," said Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. "I leaned on Marvin Harrison early. When you lean on a guy and he comes through for you, you keep leaning on him. When I threw my first pass at the preseason game in Seattle (1998), it was a four-yard pass and he ran 48 yards for a touchdown. I said to myself, 'All you have to do in the NFL is just throw four-yard passes to Marvin Harrison and he runs for a touchdown.' That's essentially what he did for the time we played together. I'll always be indebted to him because he was always there and you could count on him. There was a special bond, a special connection. I always feel lucky to say I played with Marvin Harrison."
Along with Harrison, those enshrined in the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor include, Robert Irsay, Bill Brooks, Jim Harbaugh, Chris Hinton, Tony Dungy, Ted Marchibroda and the 12th Man.
For a full story on Marvin Harrison's Ring of Honor induction, be sure to log-on to Colts.com tomorrow. Fans can also read the story in Sunday's edition of Scout Magazine, which is distributed at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Carolina Panthers have returned over 400 tickets for Sunday's game, which will immediately be made available to fans. Those wishing to purchase tickets can visit the Lucas Oil Stadium ticket office, Ticketmaster ticket centers, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000 or log-on to www.ticketmaster.com