The Indianapolis Colts entered Sunday's game with an unreal 14-0 record. Even the biggest Colts hater was drawn in to see if they could finish the season perfect. I'm a Patriots fan yet I was compelled by this Colts team. Could they pull of the perfect season and win the Super Bowl?
I've followed them most of the season and they seemed destined to pull off this miraculous feat…lucky break here, good call there, great comeback here, amazing defensive stand there. Entering Sunday, this team was 5 wins away from perfection. It seemed that the only obstacles left were the average Jets, the heinous Bills, and 3 playoff teams. But there was one other barrier that stood in their way---their organization!
Despite leading only 15-10 in the 3rd quarter, the Colts inexplicably benched Peyton Manning and the gang. Within seconds, the momentum shifted, and the Colts were annihilated the rest of the way. It was an embarrassment, and the home crowd rightfully booed the Colts backups as they fumbled and bumbled onto the field (what an awful and unfair way for back up QB, Curtis Painter to get his first NFL action.)
As an objective fan, I was absolutely pissed off…was this a joke? Sure, it was fun seeing the Colts lose (I am a Pats fan, after all), but watching them lose like this was an embarrassment to the players and fans. It ruined the integrity of the league and the sport. It's a great lesson to teach--if a game doesn't matter, don't try. It also changed the entire playoff picture as the Jets were basically gift wrapped a victory while all the other teams fighting for a playoff spot actually had to earn one.
The Colts organization responded to the outcries after the game. They benched their starters because of fear of injury. They benched their starters because the goal was a Super Bowl, not a perfect season.
But there's a few things I don't understand. If they were really afraid of injury, why did the starters play at all? And if they clinched home field advantage 2 weeks before against Denver, why did the starters play the entire game last week versus Jacksonville? I actually spoke to the Colts organization and they stated that Peyton Manning will be placed in a self contained bubble until the playoffs begin. He cannot leave his home, he cannot practice, he can't even tape any commercials. What the hell is the guy gonna do? He's started 191 straight games, and suddenly, out of nowhere, he's an injury risk. It makes no sense.
As far as goals are concerned, can't a team/player have multiple goals, and can't those goals change throughout the season? Every pitcher in baseball wants to win the game, but if he has a chance to pitch a perfect game, can't he go for that too?
And for those that say people only remember champions, let me ask you this: who won the Super Bowl in 1968, 69, 70, 71? Any idea? If you're a hardcore sports nut, maybe you know, but everyone else is shrugging their shoulders right now.
Now who was the undefeated team who won the Super Bowl in 1972? Every fan with general sports knowledge knows the answer to this: the Miami Dolphins! Why? Because they went undefeated that year. If the Colts win the Super Bowl, they'll just be another team on the list. Sure, they'll have their place in history, but how many people will remember them in 20 years? If they finish perfect, and win the Super Bowl, they would've been remembered and revered forever. Why would the Colts not want this?
Lucky for us, I have a good friend who works for the Colts organization. I passed on several questions that were sent to me about sports, relationships, and life. The Colts organization respectfully agreed to answer these questions. I call this section:
"What Would the Colts Do?"
"Yesterday, I was eating the best hamburger I've ever had. But I was saving that middle bite, the perfect bite, for last. As I was about to sink my teeth into it, my stomach rumbled. I immediately threw out the perfect bite in fear I might get a tummy ache. My friend said I was a pussybag. But I was going to an all you can eat buffet the next week so I wanted to be ready for that. What do you think?" -Finkle, Framingham, MA
Colt Organization: Smart decision. You could've got a stomach ache, and then not be ready for that buffet. Some idiots would argue that you could've done both (eat that last delicious bite of perfection, and still be ready for the buffet) but I don't think so. You have to play it safe.
"This is kind've personal, but a few nights ago, my fiance and I were having amazing sex. It was incredible. The best session we've ever had. It was going wonderfully, but I suddenly stopped in the middle because I wanted to be prepared for our honeymoon in a couple of weeks. Good call?" -T-Bone, Columbus, Ohio
Colts Organization: Another great decision. You could've pulled a muscle or sprained your back. You've got to be healthy for that honeymoon.
"If Kobe has 98 points, we are winning, and have the ball with 5 seconds left, should I have him on the floor to attempt that record breaking 3?" -Phil J., Los Angeles, CA
Colts Organization: Absolutely not. Nobody remembers groundbreaking records like that. And maybe he gets hurt in that last play. All that matters it that he's healthy and ready for the playoffs.
"Did you know that Ted Williams played in both games of a double header at the end of the season so he could hit over .400. What an idiot, right? He could've got hurt and ruined his career..." -BIF, Glastonbury, CT
Colts Organization: Another brilliant thought. Nobody remembers that Ted Williams was the last player to hit .400. They only remember who won the World Series that year. I don't recall the team, but I'm sure you guys do.
"On Sunday night, my 4 best friends who I see once a year were in town. We were drinking, telling stories, and having a great time. It was perfect. Unfortunately, I could only hang from 8pm--830pm because I had a big work meeting a few days later, and I didn't want to start off the week tired. My friends said I was a c-bag (cunt-bag) for not spending more time with them. Did I make the right decision?" -Chris, SF
Colt Organization: Absolutely. You needed to be well rested for that meeting. Doing well in your job is the main goal. Who cares what your friends think? You'll see them next year.
"I'm in high school, and my main goal was to get into the state college. I finally got accepted last week and was so proud. Amazingly, I also got into Harvard University with a full scholarship. All I have to do is complete a few interviews, and fill out a few applications over the next month, and I am officially in. But Harvard was never my goal; the state college was. So what do I do?" -Feldy, Hampstead, NH
Colts Organization: Of course you should go to Harvard. You can have more than one goal. And what's an extra month of hard work for an experience and memory of a lifetime? Have some balls! Don't be a pussy like us. I've enclosed a signed Curtis Painter jersey to inspire you further.
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