INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Dungy was a successful man about town in Indianapolis when he was the head coach of the Colts from 2002-08.
Dungy is on hand with NBC Sports this week to cover Super Bowl XLVI. A Super Bowl participant twice (XIII and XLI), Dungy loves the compact nature of the city. He did not have that experience on the two past occasions.
"It (Indianapolis) brings a closeness and uniqueness," said Dungy. "Both the ones I played in (XIII, XLI) were in Miami, and we stayed in Fort Lauderdale, the Bears stayed in Miami. We never saw any of their fans. We never saw any of their players. There were things going on that were 25 miles away. Here, everything is right downtown. It's together. The Giants are going to be out at places with the Patriots. Fans are going to be places with the opposition's fans. Everything happening is so close. You can get to it very conveniently.
"I think the players and coaches are going to love it. They're going to enjoy it. It's a great atmosphere to play. There have been Final Fours here and other events that have been outstanding. I think it's going to be great."
Indianapolis fought to get the Super Bowl last year, but did not win the bid process. Dungy was a part of that and truly credits the fighting spirit and dedication to land this year's game.
"The moment has been fantastic," said Dungy. "I had the privilege to be part of the bid committee and the host committee trying to get this game. I can tell you I never was as disappointed in anything in football than when we lost the bid for last year's game (in Dallas). I knew how hard these guys had worked. They're going two years to put this bid together. We had the new stadium all set to go, and you go in there and we came in second. Everybody was so down. (They) put it back together, go another year, make another bid and get the game, it was just really, really exciting. I know when the fans start to get in here Thursday and Friday, they're going to have a great time here. To see the city put its best foot forward, it's pretty thrilling to me."