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Not A Lot Of Love For Patriots In Indy

By Matt Geagan, CBS Boston
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Fans walk past a giant Super Bowl sign in Indianapolis. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Fans walk past a giant Super Bowl sign in Indianapolis. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS (CBS) – The people of Indianapolis have been absolutely fantastic during Super Bowl week, showing phenomenal hospitality and treating everyone visiting their town with the utmost courtesy.

But if you’re a member of the Boston media and ask who they want to win the Super Bowl, their mood changes a bit.

“I want the G-Men,” said Chris, a Colts season ticket holder for the past 12 years. “I have a natural hatred towards Tom Brady.”

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Chris still has memories of the Patriots standing in the Colts way. He was there when Peyton Manning threw three interceptions to Ty Law in the 2003/04 AFC Championship at Gillette Stadium, one of five trips he has made to see the rivalry on the other side.

Chris summed up those trips to New England with one word, “rough.”

Now he hopes the New York Pass-Rush and a possibly-hobbled Rob Gronkowski will keep the Patriots from winning their fourth Super Bowl championship in the last 11-years.

“They have the 32nd ranked defense,” he said of the Patriots. “And the Giants should be able to guard Gronkowski with a linebacker, maybe a safety; something they couldn’t do last time.”

Then there is Scott from Columbia City, who drove two hours with his son Eli and his friend Cameron to soak in all the Super Bowl excitement. He played hooky from work, with the boys skipping school for the day.

“I don’t care for the Patriots,” he said. “Or Bill Belichick. Or Tom Brady.”

And he isn’t the only one sharing the disdain for the one in a hoodie.

“Why [don’t I want the Patriots to win]? Two words: Bill Belichick,” said a Steelers fan now living in Indy.

He wouldn’t elaborate with his three kids around.

But not everyone shares the “hatred” towards the Patriots.

“Hate can be a poor word to use. If I do, it’s in a good-natured way,” said Michael, who moved to Indianapolis from New York 21 years ago. “But all those years, they were in the way.”

It appears that other NFL fans are also going against New England. Nicole and Zach from Castleton are Bears fans, transplants from Illinois, and say their dislike towards New England is simple.

“I’m not a Pats fan at all. It’s just a bias,” said Zach, as Nicole shook her head vigorously in agreement.

However, their friend Phil from Haughville in Indianapolis wouldn’t mind the Patriots winning. As long as it’s not a blowout in either direction.

“I want a good game, that’s all,” he said. “[The Patriots are] a good team, but the G-Men are hot. Like in 2007.”

He even took it a step further, praising public enemies #1 and #2 around these parts.

“Brady and Bill, I respect them.”

That is not a common opinion uttered by someone wearing a Colts sweatshirt. I hope we didn’t get Phil in any trouble for printing that.

But he isn’t the only one in Indy to feel that way.

“You have to give the Kraft family a lot of compliments. Building a long-term winner, that’s not easy,” said Michael, the once-New Yorker who has never been to a pro game, but said it’s on his bucket list.

Still, he is pulling for the Giants.

“I admire the Mannings,” he said. “From the father [Archie] down. You never hear of them getting in any trouble. They’re very business-like.”

So now he will root for Peyton’s brother Eli, as he goes for his second championship ring, both of which would come at the Patriots’ expense.

But in the end, Michael is just happy that Indianapolis can play host to the biggest sporting event of the year.

“This is a coming out party for the city. When I came here 21-years ago, it was a hole in the ground. It’s crazy to think they’re now hosting the Super Bowl,” he said, thanking Colts owner Jim Irsay and recently fired vice chairman Bill Polian for building a contending franchise and new stadium in Lucas Oil Stadium. “This is a basketball state. This is nothing short of a sports miracle.”

“Everyone is making this happen, all over,” said Vicki, one of the Super Bowl workers from Carmel, Indiana who has had a blast over the past week.

And to her, it doesn’t really matter who wins.

“The team with the most points,” she said with a laugh.

Tune in to Super Bowl XLVI between the Patriots and Giants on 98.5 The Sports Hub, the only place to hear the local call of the game. Pregame coverage begins Sunday, February 5 at noon.

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