May 16th, 2012
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Gary Brackett the author is a lot like Gary Brackett the football player. All in. Brackett signed copies of his book, “Winning: From Walk-On to Captain in Football and Life,” on Monday afternoon at Buffalo Wings and Rings in Richmond.
From there, Brackett went to an appearance at Eaton National Bank in Eaton, Ohio. “Everything that I went through, trials and tribulations, all the way up to reaching the pinnacle of a Super Bowl, just all of my emotions,” Brackett said. “I’m an emotional guy. I leave everything out on the football field. I did a lot of laying everything on the line — good, bad or indifferent — in the book.
“It’s really a teaching tool for some of these young athletes, give them an opportunity to know that they can do anything they put their mind to.”
Brackett signed, chatted and posed for photos Monday afternoon. He signed everything from copies of his book to Colts jerseys to footballs, and posed for several photos with area Colts fans. “It was awesome,” said Matt Logston, whose 21/2-year-old-son Elijah also had a jersey signed by Brackett. “Gary is an outstanding individual. He’s my favorite football player and I was glad to meet him.”
Brackett played for Rutgers University where he was a walk-on. He joined the Colts in 2003 and played nine seasons in Indianapolis. He helped the Colts reach the top of the NFL’s football mountain in 2007 when they won Super Bowl XLI. Brackett was Indianapolis’ leading tackler that game as the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17.
“It was a great feeling,” Brackett said of the Super Bowl experience. “That’s what you think of when you’re a kid. You’re playing in that biggest game.
“Having the opportunity to play in two, and have one win, it was an awesome opportunity, just everything we accomplished as a team.”
Brackett was also glad to have an opportunity to meet and greet fans Monday. “Just the whole state of Indiana has been supporting the Colts for my tenure,” he said. “I was there for nine years and it was a great run. Just to come back and show my appreciation by visiting a town like Richmond ... it’s a great opportunity.”
It was an opportunity seized by Richmond’s Pam Sabate. She was at Buffalo Wings and Rings for Brackett’s signature, not for herself, but as a gift for the Richmond High School football team and new head coach Matt Holeva. “(I got it) so they can put it up in their sports room,” Sabate said. “ ... I’m so excited (for the upcoming season). That’s why I want to spur them on with some confidence and some leadership.”
Leonard Ranieri, owner of Buffalo Wings and Rings, was eager to see Brackett appear in Richmond. The two have been friends for about a year, Ranieri said, as Brackett plans to open a Wings and Rings in Indianapolis.
“It’s neat to have a celebrity like Brackett. He’s very down to earth and he’s done a lot of things for Indianapolis,” Ranieri said. “He won’t think twice about coming to Richmond and not only helping me as a friend, but also for the Richmond community.”