- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) - Chris Mohammed, owner of Mojo Industries, a local screen printing shop, has come up with a lot of T-shirt ideas over the years.

But none have taken off quite like this one, even if its success may keep him out of the state capital, at least for a while.

“I’m not sure I’ll ever be allowed back Indianapolis again,” Mohammed told the Vincennes Sun-Commercial (http://bit.ly/Lhydaz ) with a grin.

For the last week, Mohammed has been sporting his latest T-shirt design, a bright orange creation advertising the fictitious team “Denverapolis Broncolts,” an homage to both the Colts and their once beloved quarterback Peyton Manning, who now plays for the Denver Broncos and is seeking his second Super Bowl title Sunday.

A combination of the Denver Broncos‘ logo, a horse’s head, and the Colt’s horseshoe adorns the front, and Peyton Manning’s name and number 18 is on the back.

Mohammed posted a photo of the T-shirt on his Facebook page, and it has now gone, as they say in the world of social media, viral.

“I’ve had orders come in from all over,” Mohammed said from his small downtown T-shirt shop at 1002 Main St. “Indianapolis, Colorado, Noblesville, Maryland, Florida, New York. I’ve had them for less than a week and I’ve had more than 150 orders.

“I’m making them and shipping them out as fast as I can.”

The T-shirt has been mentioned on CNN and ESPN as well as in The Indianapolis Star. It’s been shared thousands of times and is showing up in Twitter and Facebook feeds across the country. A post featuring a photo of the shirt on the Star’s Facebook page garnered more than 2,000 comments.

Two morning show hosts with the Indianapolis radio station Radio Now 100.9 even poked fun at the T-shirt, saying “that’s some real Peyton Manning pride, right there.” The hosts even took calls from listeners, some disgusted, some in love with Mohammed’s Colts-Broncos collaboration.

The shirt was also mentioned on the Smiley Morning Show on 99.5 WZPL in Indianapolis.

“The idea just came to us,” Mohammed said from his shop’s back office. “A lot of people around here still love Peyton Manning and are supporting him. A lot of people have loved the shirt and been excited about it but some others have found it disrespectful.

“For us, it’s just comedy. I had no idea it would blow up like it did, but we’re getting a kick out of it.”

Mohammed is selling the shirt for between $12 and $20 depending on how far away he has to send it, and orders continue to pour in as the kickoff for Super Bowl XLVIII approaches.

“I’d love to have one,” said Pat Hutchison, a self-proclaimed Peyton Manning fan. “I should definitely get one. Oh yeah, I’d wear it.”

Hutchison calls himself a “bandwagon Colts fan,” and as much as it might pain some Hoosiers to hear, he said he only became a Colts fan when they drafted Manning in 1998.

“That’s when I became a Colts fan,” he said. “I just can’t think of a classier individual. If it wasn’t for Peyton Manning, Indianapolis wouldn’t have its stadium, they wouldn’t have a Super Bowl title, heck, there might not even be a team there anymore.

“It’s not that I’ve totally jumped off the Colts bandwagon, but my loyalties lie with Peyton Manning. I’ll definitely be rooting for the Broncos this weekend. I want them to win. That would cement his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks to play the game.”

But some have remained fiercely loyal to the Colts even though, as much as they hate to admit it, they have a soft spot for Peyton Manning. But donning Mohammed’s “Broncolts” T-shirt, they say, is out of the question.

“Oh it’s awesome, very clever,” said long-time Colts fan Cheryl Luttenegger. “But I wouldn’t wear it. I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I’m going to shed my blue and white this Sunday for orange, but I can’t. I’ve been a Colts fan for far too long.

Peyton Manning is amazing, and I’ll be rooting for him this Sunday,” she said. “But if it comes down to Peyton vs. Indianapolis, I’ll go with the Colts every time.”

Randy Smith, another true-blue Colts fan, is of a similar belief. He appreciates the shirt, but he isn’t about to wear it.

“My primary loyalty is and will always be to the Colts,” he said. “I’m just that type of person, I always root for the home team.

“But I’m happy that Peyton is going to another Super Bowl. In fact, I’d like to see him win Sunday.”

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Information from: Vincennes Sun-Commercial, http://www.vincennes.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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