INDIANAPOLIS—Just imagine for a second this bizarre circumstance that could very well happen Sunday afternoon.
Baltimore fans cheering for someone where the helmet with the horseshoe, the white jersey with the blue numeral, and the white pants with the blue pinstripes down the sides.
Matt Stover may very well make it happen.
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"I've got some friends still on that team, good guys there, good organization, and I had 13 good years there," said the Colts kicker, who was an original member of the franchise that was renamed when it moved from Cleveland after the 1995 season.
He'll make his first appearance back there Sunday when his current team faces the Ravens for the sixth consecutive season either in the regular season or the playoffs. Three of those meetings have been in Baltimore, where the sting of the Colts sudden departure from the city is still resonated through the heavy boos and taunting the Colts receive in every appearance.
"It will be strange to be on the other sidelines," said Stover when asked about returning.
Yet fans cheering for Stover wouldn't be a surprise, because for over a decade he serves as one of the ambassadors for the city's entrance back into the National Football League. From 1996-2008, Stover connecting on 84.7 percent of his field goals while missing just one extra point in 403 attempts in becoming the Ravens' all time leading scorer with 1,464 points.
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After the 2008 season, Baltimore decided to go in another direction, releasing him in March in favor of second-year kicker Steve Hauschka. That has turned out to backfire for the Ravens, since Hauschka hit 9-of-13 field goals and had an extra point blocked Monday against Cleveland, which was cause for his release on Wednesday. Veteran Billy Cundiff was signed to replace him in the interim.
While Stover didn't want to talk about what has transpired with the kickers this season in Baltimore, he did express that he felt no ill will towards Ravens head coach John Harbaugh or management.
"John and I had a good relationship. We kicked ourselves into the AFC Championship last year and it was a blessing to work him and (Ravens Special Teams Coach)Jerry Rosburg," said Stover.
At the same time the kicker spent his time with the media Wednesday making it clear that his past will mean nothing when the teams kick off Sunday, and that his interests will be squarely with the Colts once they hit the M & I Bank Stadium turf.
:"I'm excited to be here. The Indianapolis Colts are a great organization, and they've accepted me as one of their own and its been just great, a great time," said Stover of playing in Indianapolis.
So far the kicker has showed his gratitude in performance, hitting six field goal attempts while not missing an extra point in 13 tries while filling in for the injured Adam Vinatieri.
"He's certainly been excellent," said head coach Jim Caldwell of Stover. "But he's also a veteran who understands how to get prepared, the example that he sets in terms of his preparation is invaluable, and he's very settled he's a guy you don't have to be very concerned about."
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While hes found a temporary residence in Indianapolis, Baltimore still remains home since his wife and children still have a home in the area.
"They go to school there It's a great community there for us," said Stover of the Baltimore area. "It will be fun, what a great opportunity go back to the fans that I've come to know and love. Good people there and I had a great experience there.
"But I'm here with Indianapolis. I'm here a Colt and I'm here to win that game."