77° Good Afternoon
77° Good Afternoon

Indianapolis a homecoming for Mathias Kiwanuka and other Giants

Mathias Kiwanuka addresses the media after arriving at

Mathias Kiwanuka addresses the media after arriving at his hotel with the Giants for Super Bowl XLVI. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara, 2012

Indianapolis always will have a special place in the Giants' hearts. It's where they won Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012, and Saturday will be their first return trip to Lucas Oil Fieldhouse since that victory.

But for several Giants, Indianapolis is more than just a city where a champion was crowned. It's home.

And even though this is only a preseason game, excitement has been building for the trip.

"The ticket list is growing," Indianapolis product Mathias Kiwanuka said. "I think we're in the 30s at this point. It's a unique opportunity to play close to home. It was an expense, but it's only a couple times that I get the opportunity to play there. I'm just happy and proud that people want to come out and support me. "

Kiwanuka and tight end Adrien Robinson are from Indianapolis. Safety Stevie Brown grew up in Columbus, Indiana, about 35 minutes away. He also played for the Colts as a rookie in 2010.

"Everybody that's going to be there has a No. 27 jersey," Brown said. "My grandparents will be there, my dad will be there, my brother will be there, my best friend, his whole family, his girlfriend, a lot of my good friends from school, one of my favorite teachers from school, her family will be there. So it's going to be a big crowd. It's always special when you get to go home."

Backup quarterback Curtis Painter is from Vincennes, Indiana, and played collegiately at nearby Purdue. He too was a Colt, from 2009-11. He'll be getting second-team reps on Saturday night.

"I'll have quite a few family and friends, it will be nice to see," Painter said.

Unlike Brown, Painter isn't expecting an entire section of fans wearing his No. 17 jersey.

"Maybe my nephews," he said.

Other Giants with roots in Indiana include James Brewer, Steve Weatherford and Adrien Robinson. Then there is the Notre Dame contingent that includes Bennett Jackson and Dan Fox.

Kiwanuka may be a nine-year veteran, but he's looking forward to this preseason game. It may be his last chance to play in his hometown. The Giants aren't scheduled to play a regular-season game in Indianapolis again until 2018.

"It's a big deal for me," he said. "That's where I grew up. I spent 18 years of my life there. Lots of family, lots of friends there, so you want to take advantage of the situation for them to come and to see you play and perform. I've been gifted to have been able to do this for a long time and I'm appreciative when people still want to come out and support me."

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