The former NBA legend and current TNT analyst was in the Patriots' locker room immediately after the game. Barkley was a guest of owner Robert Kraft, per Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com:
Charles Barkley was a guest of owner Robert Kraft for tonight's game. In locker room, he told players he planned to attend AFC title game.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 12, 2014
Of course, with Barkley's loquacious and generally comedic nature, you get the feeling that he was just having a little fun with the Pats rather than acting as some sort of spiteful Colts fan. Plus, it's not like what he said is an earth-shattering statement. Any team would be much worse off without one of the greatest quarterbacks in history and a legendary head coach.
For the time being, the Patriots can bask in all of their success and enjoy the presence of one of the most beloved basketball players of his era.
"Sir Charles" added that the media takes for granted all of New England's success, per Brendan Fitzgerald of Fox 25 in Boston:
Barkley made his way around the locker room, talking with cornerback Aqib Talib, per Reiss:
Photo: Charles Barkley and Aqib Talib in the Patriots locker room. pic.twitter.com/IyxDpzJzBL— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 12, 2014
He also posed for a picture with running back Stevan Ridley, per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald:
Charles Barkley and Stevan Ridley! pic.twitter.com/eUMo0In8CM— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) January 12, 2014
Barkley made sure to track down Dont'a Hightower. An Auburn alum, the "Round Mound of Rebound" wanted to make sure the former Alabama linebacker remembered how the most recent Iron Bowl finished, per Reiss and Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel:
Photo: Charles Barkley interrupts post-game interview with Dont'a Hightower. Asks him about Auburn football. pic.twitter.com/j8TYNertII— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 12, 2014
Charles Barkley (in NE lockerroom) to Alabama alum Donta Hightower, "all I know is the Tide ain't (expletive) rolling."— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) January 12, 2014
It's safe to say that Sir Charles knows how to make his presence felt.