Pats fan shown Hoosier hospitality

May 25, 2008
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annagrantNew Hampshire teen-ager Anna Grant, treated like a villain in the RCA Dome four months ago, is being treated like a queen today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Grant, 14, made news when she was awarded first place in her age division in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition sponsored by the National Football League. When she was introduced to the crowd—wearing a New England Patriots jersey—with dozen of other kids during the first round of the playoffs at the RCA Dome, she was loudly booed by the capacity crowd and mocked by the Colts’ mascot.

Colts’ officials quickly distanced themselves from the booing, and local fans said they were booing the jersey, not Grant. The 14-year-old took the harassment in stride, saying she understood the Colts and Patriots are rivals, and that sparked the booing. Still, the event got national press coverage.

This week, IMS boss Tony George and WTHR-TV Channel 13 moved to make amends with Grant and her family, bringing them in for a free weekend at the famed Brickyard to watch the 92nd Indianapolis 500. Grant, ever gracious, said she was grateful. She and her family attended the parade Saturday along with other pre-race activities, then were treated to the race on Sunday along with some special hospitality events, all paid for by the Speedway and WTHR.

“We wanted to show this really is a hospitable community,” said WTHR spokesman Jeff Dutton. “We wanted to show her what Hoosier hospitality is all about.”
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  • Good idea to apologize. One Blue Crew member called her a
  • Yes, fantastic idea. The Blue Crew is usually a class act, relatively speaking. There's no call to call any kid names just because he/she prefers another team. Indy is usually (sometimes) above that kind of rancor.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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