Colts Owner Jim Irsay often talks with reverence about the Colts teams of the early 2000s, and for good reason. They offered fans in central Indiana a team that was recognizable the world over - a team of talent, personality and class.
Few players epitomized those qualities more than Dallas Clark.
Sure, he's racked up more than 420 receptions and 46 touchdowns (more than any tight end in Colts history). But what I will remember most about Dallas Clark's career will not be those highlight one-handed grabs. It will be the man whom I worked with week in and week out in the locker room. A guy who no matter what, would look you in the eye and no matter how good or bad the game (or the question asked) he would take the time to respond with a genuine answer.
One moment which will always stick out to me is Dallas' final day as a Colt. It was after the 2011 season when we all knew what lay ahead. Coming off a 2-14 campaign the Colts had to get younger and cheaper and that meant a lot of people had to go. Among them was Dallas Clark.
I was in Omaha, Nebraska covering the Purdue Boilermakers in the NCAA tournament. I checked my email to see a letter from Dallas. He sought out the Colts PR staff to get my email address (Dallas also emailed other area media members). In the note Clark showed true class, thanking us for the nine seasons he spent here.
First off, in the business of sports, things like this never happen. But Dallas wasn't like most guys in the business of sports. He was the rare mix of talent, personality and class. Those qualities endeared him to the Colts fans and us to the "unbiased" media.
I know the decision to retire was a difficult one for Dallas, but I’m happy to see he’s going out the right way - the Colts way.
Watch WTHR's coverage of Dallas Clark on Wednesday as he officially announces his retirement as a Colt.