The Indianapolis Colts are a National Football League (NFL) team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the American Football Conference (AFC) South Division (notwithstanding that they are by no means a Southern team).
History and League Success
The Colts began play as an expansion team in 1953 located in Baltimore, Maryland, though technically they were awarded the "remains" of a prior franchise, the Dallas Texans (no relation to the future AFL team which became the Kansas City Chiefs), nor were they related to a prior Baltimore Colts franchise (which was a member of the All-America Football Conference, then when the league folded joined along with the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers, but only played a single season in the NFL before folding) except in name only.
They were one of three original NFL teams (along with the Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers to be moved to the AFC after the 1970 merger between the American Football League and the National Football league in order to equalize the number of teams between the conferences.
The team relocated to Indianapolis in 1983, after they were unable to secure a deal for a new stadium from the city and facing the real probability that a bill in the Maryland General Assembly would have allowed the city to seize the team by eminent domain; upon completion of negotiations between Indianapolis and the Colts a fleet of moving trucks (from Mayflower Transit, conveniently headquartered in Indianapolis) was dispatched and within 24 hours anything which could have been seized in an eminent domain suit was quickly loaded and shipped out (the move was so fast that the team marching band, not owned by the team, had to rush to reclaim its equipment).
The Colts have won two Super Bowls (Super Bowl V as the Baltimore Colts and Super Bowl XLI as the Indianapolis Colts), in addition to three NFL titles before the NFL-AFL merger (1958, 1959, and 1968). The 1958 game against the New York Giants was the first championship game to be decided in sudden-death overtime, and is widely considered "The Greatest Game Ever Played" (due in large part to its national broadcast to over 45 million viewers -- which would have been more except the game was blacked out in the New York City market, the largest media market) as well as the game which ultimately allowed football to supplant baseball as America's top spectator sport. Their loss in Super Bowl III to the New York Jets would be the first win for an AFL team in that game.
AFC South Rivals