“It’s so much fun here right now. I’ve never seen Indianapolis like this,” said Baker, who has been with the Dolphins since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2009. “It’s actually pretty impressive. I was down in Miami for the Super Bowl (XLIV) and honestly Indiana has really stepped up. They’re doing a fabulous job.”
Baker got into town early and was down at the NFL Experience last Saturday night helping out with the Play 60 clinic running around the makeshift fields with all of the kids. He and his wife then flew back to Miami for a couple of days so that he could attend the Chili Cook Off and then flew back in time for the bowling event.
According to Baker, some of the kids had some strong bowling skills and in order to keep up with them he had the people at the bowling alley raise the bumpers so his shots wouldn’t end up in the gutter. The laughter in his voice conveyed how much fun he was having.
“The bowling event was really cool and the Indianapolis Colts donated a bunch of bags to them and they got bowling balls. It was pretty impressive actually,” Baker said. “I turned the bowling into a game of “Horse,” where called shots like having to bounce it twice off the bumper and it was nice to help some of the kids that were struggling. It brought their scores up and put smiles on their faces so it was really cool. We were high-fiving each other and it was just a lot of fun for everybody.”
Baker grew up not even 10 minutes from downtown Indianapolis and in Indiana his whole life before coming to Miami. He played his college football at Purdue University.
The Indianapolis he is used to seeing has been dramatically altered for the Super Bowl and he truly believes the city will come out a winner and make a strong case for hosting future Super Bowls.
“It’s been extremely enjoyable and everybody’s just having a great time,” Baker said. “The city’s making a lot of money and all the people coming into town are having a great time especially the people in town are having a fabulous time. It actually does look like Bourbon Street because everything is blocked off and you can’t find a parking spot anywhere. It’s just packed and you can see from the aerial view there are tents everywhere, just so many miles of tents.
“We were getting escorted to an event and we were in tents and I forgot we were on the streets. It felt like we were inside because these tents are extremely nice. I was like, ‘What street are we on?’ It’s cool being here and people come up to me and ask me where I’m from and I tell them I was born and raised here. It’s a pretty good conversation starter actually.”