Jeff Saturday retires from the Colts
Jeff Saturday started his career as a Colt, and on Thursday he ended it "back in blue."
"You could not ask for a more classy organization," Saturday said at a news conference at the Colts complex. "You couldn't ask for a man and an owner who gave more to my wife and I for the endeavors we do in the community. And he was always there, no matter on the field, off the field, and that's rare in this business that he is as interactive as he is with his players," speaking about Colts owner Jim Irsay.
"This organization is what I hope all NFL teams strive to be," Saturday said.
Saturday also thanked his fans.
"Fans in Indianapolis are the greatest ever, all right?" he said, smiling. "I've had my share of going to other places. I've played on the road a number of times, and I'll tell you, there's not a better group of people to support a football team than Colts fans. Every time I walked out on that field, I knew it was a blessing to be in front of you. You supported us, you challenged us when we didn't show up the way we should have, but I've very appreciative of all the support you've given us."
After one brief season with the Green Bay Packers, the former Colts center is retiring from the NFL where his career started, here with the Colts.
Saturday spent 13 seasons with the Colts, where he had great success. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, three All-Pro teams and, of course, helped the team win its Super Bowl championship in 2006.
More than that, Saturday and his wife Karen were actively involved in this community, including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and they made roots here. Which is why, even though he played for Green Bay, they kept their home in Carmel, and why there is speculation he'll continue to have some kind of role with the Colts.
Saturday choked up a little as he thanked his wife Karen for her support throughout his NFL career. He called her "probably the most selfless person I've ever been around. I appreciate you letting me live my dream, because you did...and I can't look at her because I'm gonna lose it!"
Karen Saturday wiped away a few tears as her husband spoke. The couple's three children sat next to her on the stage.
"All the tickets, all the organization, all the things that she does for our family as I'm preparing to play this game, she made my life what it is. She's so fantastic in the community, she's so fantastic to her friends and the people she loves, she's the most loyal person I've ever met. It's just been an incredible marriage. I've been around long enough to know they don't come very often, a wife this great. She's my bride; we have so much fun. We've got a lot to look forward to. She's my true companion. It's very special to have her in my life and to be able to go through this experience," he said.
Saturday also talked about how important his children are to him.
"This is my perspective in life. When I come home every day, this is what I get. Win or lose, playing bad, playing good, whatever the press is saying about me, they keep it real with their Dad. They make me the man that I am and they keep me so happy to come home, and part of the reason why I'm really excited about retiring is being able to spend more time with them. I love them and they're a blast to be around," he said.
"I'm officially retired! It's a done deal," he said, holding up his hands at the end of the news conference.