Colts fans brace for epic showdown

INDIANAPOLIS -- Wendy Burbank stood out at a Colts rally Friday.

Surrounded by a sea of blue and white, Burbank wore a Patriots jacket, a Patriots shirt, a Patriots hat and earrings in the shape of Tom Brady jerseys.

"I think I'm the only one here," she said.

But Burbank, of Boxford, Mass., had her sister to keep her company. Marcia Reed had painted blue fingernails, a Colts handbag and sparkling blue earrings in the shape of horseshoes.

The sisters grew up in Massachusetts, but Reed later moved to Indianapolis and became a Colts fan. The women paid about $300 each for tickets to Sunday's much-hyped game between Indianapolis and New England. They will go together -- even though they'll be cheering for different teams.

Reed said it's been difficult this week being one of the only Colts fans in the family.

"I've probably gotten 20 e-mails this week explaining why they'll lose," she said.

But Burbank was the odd one out once she arrived in Indianapolis. Colts fans have noticed her Patriots gear, she said.

"They're nice, but they all make a comment," she said.

Burbank and Reed were among a few hundred fans who filed through a downtown building Friday to register for prizes, get posters and other freebies and cheer on the Colts.

It's the start of what Mayor Bart Peterson has declared "Go Blue Weekend." Peterson is encouraging residents to wear Colts apparel, fly Colts flags and banners and hold Colts parties to watch the game.

"The players and coaches always tell us that they can see and feel the support of our community everywhere they go, and now is the time to turn it up a notch," Peterson said. "Plus with the entire football nation watching Indianapolis this weekend, we will show the rest of the country that we have the best team, best fans and best city in America."

Connie Pope, who came to the rally Friday wearing a Colts jersey, planned to watch the game with friends.

"No Patriots fans allowed," she said.

Meanwhile, Dave and Sally McMahan said they'll watch the game alone from easy chairs in their Indianapolis home.

"We get so intense it'd be unfair to bring anyone else in," Sally McMahan said. "I get pretty excited."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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