By Kelsi Peace, Features Editor
This Sunday afternoon, it’s safe to say that Jeff McDuff can be found in front of a TV, proudly wearing an Indianapolis Colts’ home jersey, hoping Peyton Manning keeps it together and cheering his team on to victory in Super Bowl XLI. But Jeff is conflicted.
Like many ACU students, he is also cheering for former ACU football player Danieal Manning of the Chicago Bears.
A True Blue Fan
After his parents moved to Indianapolis, Jeff, junior accounting major from Indianapolis, said he became an avid Colts fan.
“My whole family’s adopted the Colts as their team,” Jeff said. “You can live in a state and like the team, but it’s different to live in the city that the team is from.”
And like the team he does.
Jeff owns home and away Colts jerseys, a blue Santa hat with the Colts’ horseshoe that was last year’s Christmas gift and other baseball caps. He supports his team on the streets with a “#1 Colts Fan” bumper sticker and the occasional antenna decoration on his truck.
Colts paraphernalia, such as jerseys, posters and a ticket stub, can be found on one wall of Jeff’s room. But there lies the conflict: the opposite wall displays a custom-made Danieal Manning jersey, a player who just happens to play for the Colts’ Super Bowl competition.
“So it’s a Manning room, if you want to think about it that way,” Jeff joked.
Jeff’s mom had the jersey custom made for him because of Danieal Manning’s ACU connection, and Jeff asked him to sign it at the ACU vs. WTAMU game in October.
Despite his love for the Colts, Jeff said he admires Danieal Manning for his accomplishments and hopes the game will go well for him.
“This is hard to say for me,” Jeff said, “But I want him to intercept Payton Manning at least two times.”
At the end of the day, Jeff is still a Colts fan.
“I want the Colts to win no matter what because they are the home team, and I’ve been cheering for them a long time,” Jeff said. “For nine months it’s what I follow. I want [Danieal] Manning to do well, but I want the Colts to win.”
Highs and Lows
Even Jeff said he couldn’t predict Sunday’s outcome, but he did say the Bears’ offense against the Colts’ defense should prove interesting.
“I’m still getting used to the Colts being in the Super Bowl,” Jeff said. “I’ve been riding a high for a while.”
It was a high earned after some anxious watching.
“During the AFC Championship game, the first half I was having ulcers because they were doing so bad,” he said. “I was having huge problems.”
In the end, the Colts turned around – along with Jeff’s mood.
Austin Basye, junior physics major from Canyon and Jeff’s roommate, watched the game with Jeff and said the outcome made Jeff ecstatic.
“There was lots of jumping and screaming,” Austin said. “He walked into Sing Song practice, and the whole room went nuts.”
Austin said he and Jeff’s other roommates debated which Super Bowl outcome will make life with Jeff more unbearable.
“It’s just a toss up,” Austin said, joking. “I think we’d all rather he was unbearable with a smile on his face.”
Jeff is well aware that he is a dedicated fan.
“I’m originally from Texas so you have to love football,” Jeff said, laughing. “You know, you have God, then you have your family, then you have football.”
He doesn’t wind up screaming and yelling during every game, though.
“Sometimes I can just sit back and be like, ‘oh man, you guys,’ and stay calm,” he said. “Sometimes I can just get into it. That’s how I think the Super Bowl’s going to be for me because, you know, it is the Super Bowl. I wonder if anybody will be able to cope with that.”
He’ll find out who can cope on Sunday when he goes to watch the Super Bowl with fellow church members and his fiancee, Abby Moore, senior biochemistry major from Canton.
“I’ve got a lot of stuff to wear; I’ve got to get prepared,” Jeff joked.
He said in addition to the Colts’ home jersey and a hat, he plans to wear some of the Colts pins his mother, who is also a dedicated Colts fan, sent him from a promotion the Indianapolis Star released.
His mom faithfully collected vouchers from the newspaper, eventually presenting Jeff with a collection of about 25 pins.
“She went to CVS or Walgreen’s and bought one every single day,” Jeff said.
Jeff’s enthusiasm is catching. Abby, who used to cheer for the Denver Broncos, eventually became a Colts fan, and Jeff said usually his friends support the Colts.
But playing the Bears in the Super Bowl adds a different twist, and Jeff said most are behind the Bears this time.
Until the Colts moved to Indianapolis in the ’80s, the Bears were the city’s closest team, and many Indianapolis citizens are still fans, Jeff said.
“Before Indianapolis had the Colts, they had the Bears,” Jeff said. “And that’s the problem right now with everybody in Indianapolis; they’re being kind of confused.”
Jeff, however, is not confused. Despite the fact that he will cheer for the Bears under any other circumstance, he said he always picks the Colts first.
His parents’ house in Indianapolis is near some Colts players, and Jeff’s best friend lives in the same neighborhood as the Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy.
While he does not personally know Dungy, Jeff said he would like to attend the Bible studies Dungy holds in his own home, and Jeff added that he hopes to ask Dungy to speak in Chapel sometime.
“He knows that football comes after God, family, then his job,” Jeff said. “He has his priorities set.”
Tarik Glenn, Colts No. 78 offensive tackle, sent his kids to the Vacation Bible School Jeff worked at this summer, and Jeff said Glenn’s children were a good addition.
“That’s what I like about the Colts,” Jeff said. “They’re easy to like, but they also have great character. You don’t hear them brag much.”
And if his team loses?
“I would say [I’d] wear my Danieal Manning jersey, but that thing doesn’t come off the wall,” Jeff said. “Now that it’s signed, it just stays there and you look at it with awe.”
So whether the Colts win or lose, Jeff will be watching on Sunday, probably getting another ulcer and cheering on both Mannings.