Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had a special treat for his team today before practice, letting a man who has worked behind the scenes for the team for many years address the players.
"Fellas, before we go out to practice today," said Manning. "I want us all to remember that many people helped get us here to the Super Bowl. And I don't think we should forget them. So I'd like to have one of those people speak to you today."
Manning then called a man forward and put his arm around him.
"Many of you probably recognize the man here beside me," said the quarterback. "He's not just the kindly black man we pass in the halls or see in the locker room. He does an important job for the Colts. What's your job, Jim? It is Jim, right?"
"Yes, it's Jim. And I'm the head coach," said Caldwell.
"Ha! Good one!" Manning said, slapping Caldwell's back. "Who else here knew that this guy was so funny? Well, Jim, the floor is yours. You have the players' attention."
Caldwell stepped forward, cleared his throat and quietly and nervously spoke.
"This is very exciting for me," he said. "I've thought about this opportunity for a long time."
He then launched into a list of areas he wanted the team to work on in practice and even started writing a play idea on the locker room whiteboard.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Manning eventually interrupted, cutting the man off. "Let's stay in our lane, buddy. Back to the mail room or wherever it is you work."
After Caldwell left, Manning apologized to his team.
"Sorry that got a little awkward," he said. "But I just wanted to remind you that we're playing for all of the employees in this organization. Even the ones with seemingly pointless, menial jobs. And I think that guy showed how important we are to him. Drawing up a play. Hilarious!"
Several Colts players say that if they are fortunate enough to take a big lead in the Super Bowl, they may even run the man's play.
"How often has a team run a play drawn up by a janitor in the Super Bowl?" said center Jeff Saturday. "It would be a cool story."