A Pittsburgh Steelers fan showed up Monday to watch an Indianapolis Colts training camp practice decked out in his James Harrison jersey and received plenty of attention in the process, according to Phil Wilson of the Indianapolis Star.
Zach Simmons, the guilty Steelers fan, was spotted by Colts safety Tom Zbikowski, who in turn alerted Colts first-year head coach Chuck Pagano about the situation. Why was this a big deal to both? Well, both Zbikowski and Pagano are formerly of the Baltimore Ravens for starters, so seeing a fan decked out in the black and gold Harrison jersey still must sting a little bit. Once alerted, Pagano approached Simmons with an Andrew Luck Colts jersey and an ultimatum, either change into the Luck jersey or be escorted out.
Simmons, who claims he wore his Harrison jersey to get the attention of new Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and running back Mewelde Moore, both former Steelers, obliged the request of Pagano if he could meet the former Steelers after practice. The deal was agreed to and Simmons swapped his attire.
Following practice Pagano was asked about the incident and said, “It’s kind of our motto. You’re either all the way in or all the way out.” In regard to making the deal, Pagano added, “It took some prying, it wasn’t easy. He wanted to see practice and Bruce and them afterward, so it was a good deal”
The Colts head coach indeed held up his end of the bargain and Simmons was allowed to meet both Arians and Moore after practice.
“For an ex-Raven, I was surprised, he was a real nice guy,” Simmons said, when asked about the incident.
I don\’t know about you, but no way would I have ditched my Harrison jersey to stay and watch a Colts practice. Did it really mean that much to Simmons to meet Arians and Moore? I guess so.
This whole story could easily be turned into a Pittsburgh DirectTV commercial. “Don\’t end up up at a Colts training camp practice where you trade your James Harrison jersey for an Andrew Luck jersey. Ditch cable and get DirectTV”
I bet Harrison will be disappointed in Simmons once he hears about this.
UPDATE: Shortly after posting this I received an email from Dan Simmons, the father of Zach:
Hi. I\’m Zack Simmons\’ dad. He did show up at Colts camp today wearing a Harrison jersey. He went along with the swap, but it was a one-time deal. He\’s still a #1 Steelers fan. He\’s got a Steelers tattoo with all the Super Bowl wins listed below it. We just happen to live in Anderson, In. where the Colts have camp.I\’m trying to get the jersey from him so it won\’t be sitting in his Steelers room! Dan Simmons