Reggie Wayne is everything Indianapolis Colts fans love. He’s loyal, engaging and a hard worker with a winning attitude. After the deplorable 2-14 season, he had the opportunity to leave and chose instead to stay. After his knee injury last year, he had the opportunity to step away and chose instead to stay on the sidelines, help the young guys and fight his way back again.
In the offseason, the local press agreed he’d never looked better, that the injury might have been a blessing in disguise, giving his aging body some much-needed extra rest and recovery time. But still, whispers started a couple of months ago as the scales began to tip. There were tears during the national anthem, a messed up elbow, a torn triceps requiring yet another offseason surgery and a groin injury, all of which are nagging signs of an aging body breaking down. Before the Dec. 14 matchup with the Houston Texans, fans were warned in hushed tones that it might be Wayne’s last regular season home game. This weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals might truly be it.
But Wayne is just 33 catches and 236 yards shy of besting Marvin Harrison‘s franchise numbers and reaching seventh on the overall NFL career list (Harrison, 14,580 yards; Wayne, 14,345 yards). These franchise records are important to Wayne, as they should be, and under normal circumstances he’d already hold them. And he’s said, if he had to choose today, he’d choose to come back. That’s one more shot at the records and one more shot at another ring. He doesn’t have to be “the guy” in order to make a major contribution.
If there’s one thing the people of Indianapolis know how to do, it’s chant the name Reggie. Fans have had a Reggie to chant for since the Indiana Pacers drafted Reggie Miller in 1987. From 2001 to 2005, there were two Reggies to chant for. If I had my way, Reggie Wayne wouldn’t be allowed to leave until a new “Reggie of Indianapolis” was found to accept the title.
So if you happen to be in Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, let the “Reg-gie” chants ring over Indy’s shiny new CBS affiliate. Then add: One more year. One more year.