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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 08, 2017 6:47 am

Judge overshadowed by Colts Vinatieri

Niki Kelly | The Journal Gazette

There was an awkward moment Monday when Gov. Eric Holcomb came to the House floor to honor Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri.

The surprise Sagamore of the Wabash and resolution by the Indiana House was met with cheering, autograph-seeking and picture-taking as the chamber was near giddy about Vinatieri's presence.

Off to the side sat respected Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker, who has served 18 years on the bench and is retiring in March.

The other four members of the court also were there - waiting as the Vinatieri event went on. A number of lawmakers praised the kicker for being clutch, giving back to the community and being a good family man.

Holcomb and Vinatieri spoke during the event, which lasted more than 20 minutes.

Then it was Rucker's turn to be honored with a resolution and Holcomb and his security slipped out the back door.

Press Secretary Stephanie Wilson said Holcomb meant no disrespect to Rucker and it was just an unfortunate circumstance.

The governor was unaware of the Rucker resolution until he saw the jurist on the floor. Holcomb then planned to stay but the Vinatieri resolution went longer than expected and Holcomb had another meeting to be at.

Wilson promised that Rucker's life and career will be celebrated by the executive branch closer to his retirement.