Any time the Colts play on Sunday Night Football, it's a big game. But the Colts hosting the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium has all the makings of a major sports weekend in Indianapolis.
And it all kicked off with a live broadcast of ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike show at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday morning.
Broadcast locally on Emmis Communications' WFNI AM - 1070 the Fan, the home of Mike & Mike for the past eight years, programming director Greg Rakestraw said it was like an early Christmas gift when they found out the show was coming five months ago.
"We were giving away VIP tickets during the week," Rakestraw said. "For those that didn't win, I said, 'Hey listen, you may not have a chance to meet Mike and Mike, but your seat is going to be really good. And admission is free. So, come on down. It's going to be a tremendous experience.'"
And it was.
An estimated 300 fans packed the lobby of Lucas Oil Stadium from 6:00 to 10:00 AM to watch Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic interview guests from around the sports world, as well as Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan, who said seeing the popular sports talk personalities is a unique experience for listeners.
"People forget that these shows are part of their lives. They're like friends. And when your friends come to town and you get to see them, it's great."
And Smulyan said there's not a better host city than Indianapolis.
"We're the best in the world. We really are. I have been involved in this issue for a long time and every time I have a friend come here, they talk about how welcoming this town is."
Lucas Oil Stadium made an ideal set for the show, which also airs live on television on ESPN2.
ESPN's Mike and Mike show was broadcasted live from Lucas Oil Stadium Friday morning.
"It worked so well. Because this place was so well built in terms of Lucas Oil Stadium, the backdrop is perfect on television. When you see the shot, you see the goalposts and the Colts logo framed perfectly behind the guys," said Rakestraw.
Along with appearances by the cheerleaders and Blue, the Colts presented custom jerseys to Greenberg and Golic. And they raffled off nine sets of tickets to the big game.
It was a great way to showcase the city, the stadium, and build up to Sunday night's matchup. Though most would say this is one game that needs no buildup. Colts fans have been preparing for this one for months. Now counting the hours, when the lights come on, they'll be ready to shine.
"Nothing unites a community like a winning sports team," Smulyan said. "You could see people who would never talk to one another and when the Colts are on a run or the Pacers are on a run, it makes all the difference in the world."
After starting the season 0-2 and winning three games in a row, you could say the Colts are on a run.
And with the world watching, Sunday's game will be their greatest test yet.