Retire Them

This is an open letter to Jim Irsay. I’m mailing a copy to the Colts complex this morning.

Mr. Irsay,

It’s been a hard week for all of us. I know you’ve been slammed by lots of people, and I’m sure that hurts. There’s no doubt in my mind that you love Peyton and Indianapolis and that you did what you felt had to be done. It was a difficult decision, and you took a clear, definite path. I for one am thankful for that, even if it’s not the path I would have wanted.

I’m writing you today because of something you mentioned in the press conference. You alluded to the fact that no one would ever wear 18 in Indianapolis again.

That’s as it should be, of course.

The numbers 18 and 88 have been important to Colts fans for more than a decade now, and they hold special meaning to me. A few years ago, my younger brother chose them to be name of our website. They’ve become a part of my personal identity now. I had hoped to use them forever as a way of paying homage to the exploits of Peyton and Marvin.

After the events of this week, however, I feel that it’s time to hang them up forever. I know you’ll hoist 18 to the rafters one day, but I hope you retire 88 as well. Retire them both together. That’s as it should be, I think. Keep those numbers sacred so no one ever forgets how those men played or what they did for the Colts and for city of Indianapolis.

People have talked about building a statue to Peyton in front of the Luke. When it comes time, consider having him in his throwing motion. Put another one 20 yards away of Marvin making his one handed catch.

I’m not going to use 18to88 any more. When people think of 18 and 88 they should only think of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. No one else should trade on those numbers. They belong solely to history now, and to all Colts fans.

I’m retiring them.

I hope the Colts follow suit.

Thanks for everything, Mr. Irsay.


Nate Dunlevy

Season Ticket Holder since 1997

Formerly of and @18to88