When one of my favorite players leaves for greener pastures (or is put out to pasture), I like to take a minute and look back on some of my favorite memories watching them as a Colt.
For Dallas Clark, the montage in my head goes something like this: Dallas Clark. So many catches. So many drops. With a highlight reel of unbelievable grabs, mixed in with unthinkable fumbles. And set to the tune of Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot.
Misses aside, Dallas Clark helped the Colts win many games during his nine seasons with the team. He also helped redefine his position. Yes, Dallas Clark was one of the original tight ends to be used as a deadly offensive weapon. Before Vernon Davis, Jimmy Graham, and Rob Gronkowski, there was Dallas Clark. He was strong. He was fast. He demanded coverage. And he was one of Peyton Manning’s favorite targets.
Like Peyton, Colts fans knew what Dallas Clark was capable of. And we expected a lot from him every week. But at times, we didn’t know what to expect.
There were games when ball after ball would come his way. And ball after ball would hit the ground. And just when we needed it most, out of nowhere, and out of the air…Dallas Clark would reach out and reel in the most uncatchable pass thrown his way. With one hand. And run it in for a touchdown.
Dallas Clark returned to Indianapolis on Wednesday and officially retired a Colt. Back in blue. And wearing the horseshoe. For life.
He leaves his mark on the Colts and the NFL.
“When you have 52 men in the locker room giving everything that they have for one goal, special things happen.”
– Dallas Clark
Dallas Clark taught us many things. He taught us about toughness. He taught us about fooling a defender. He taught us about the versatility of a tight end. He taught us about being a teammate. And most of all, he taught us never to give up.
That when someone proves their worth, we shouldn’t continue to doubt them. They shouldn’t have to prove themselves…over…and over…and over. But Dallas Clark did, willingly.
Clark said throughout his career, his main goal was to make his mom (who he lost in high school) proud. In the process, he made all of us proud.
As Jim Irsay said, “Welcome home, Dallas. Welcome home.”