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Colts fans irate when Fort Wayne TV affiliate airs Bears instead

Fort Wayne, Ind., residents hankering for their weekly dose of Curtis Painter ineffectiveness received an unwelcome surprise on Sunday.

That's because a local Fox affiliate decided to air the late game between the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders instead of the hometown Colts.

The TV station, humorously called Indiana's NewsCenter, was flooded with phone calls from irate fans within the market of the state's second-largest city. Station president and GM Jerry Giesler stood by the decision.

"The buck stops with me," Giesler said Sunday, according to The Journal Gazette. "We talked a lot about it internally. Of course, the year in, year out logical choice would be the Colts. Absolutely, no question. The reason we went with the Bears was to follow the compelling story, their (playoff) hopes alive, a new quarterback."

Since Fort Wayne is designated a secondary market for the Colts, Indiana's NewsCenter is only contractually obligated to air away games. The annual excellence of Peyton Manning had made televising the Colts a no-brainer for more than a decade.

"We're all Colts fans, at heart, at Indiana's NewsCenter," Giesler said.

And apparently Steve Irwin fans, too. Since Indiana's NewsCenter is only allowed to air one game, the natural lead-in for the Bears-Raiders broadcast was the 2002 film "Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course." Crikey forever, Indiana's NewsCenter.

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