Former Indianapolis Colts tight end, Dallas Clark, was recognized Wednesday morning during his retirement press conference. Clark was drafted in 2003 by Indianapolis, where he stayed for nine seasons. The veteran was released with a number of other fan favorites in March 2012. After spending a season with both the Buccaneers and Ravens, Clark returns home to retire as an Indianapolis Colt.
During Wednesday's press conference, Colts CEO Jim Irsay honored Clark and his time spent in Indianapolis. The Colts followed Irsay's speech by playing a video commemorating Clark's best moments. The video showcased many of Clark's abilities that allowed him to excel in Indianapolis. The video ended with the message "Thanks Dallas" displayed.
Following the celebratory video, Dallas took the stage to comment on his retirement and time spent in Indianapolis. Emotional from watching the video, the beloved tight end took a few moments to compose himself. He joked the Colts "should have shown the video after" he spoke. Once he was able to speak, Clark thanked a variety of people, beginning with Colts fans.
"This place, these fans mean so much to me," said Clark as he holds back his tears.
Clark went on to describe his memories of Colts fans who visited the team in Terre Haute, IN for training camp. He explained his admiration of those who took time out of their lives to cheer the Colts on in the hot summer sun.
After showing his admiration to Colts fans, he gave accolades to the Colts' team doctors, strength staff, equipment staff. Clark then went onto thanking his agent, Bill Pollian, the coaching staff and, finally, his teammates.
Getting emotional again, Clark explained his teammates in Indianapolis are "such a great group of men who helped shaped [him] into the man [he is] today". He made special mention about Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning and how their leadership allowed him to grow into an even better player.
Wrapping up his speech, Dallas went on to express his gratitude to his family. He explained one of his goals for his career was to play long enough for his oldest son to remember what it felt like to be in the Colts' locker room. Clark followed up with thanking his wife and two brothers for being there for him through everything.
Clark made the press conference all about showing his appreciation for his fans and everyone who helped him on his journey. Never once did he make the day about himself. It was apparent Clark was thankful for the opportunity to end his career with the team that made his dreams come true.
"I'm a Colt. I'm very lucky to say that," said Clark.
Once Clark was done speaking, Irsay came to the stage holding a Colts Dallas Clark jersey. Irsay said all that needed to be said: "Welcome home Dallas, welcome home!"
It is clear that Indianapolis is thankful for Clark's contributions to both the city and his team. Forever will Dallas Clark remain and be remembered as an Indianapolis Colt.