November 16th, 2009 16:48 EST
A Thank You Note for Coach Bill and the Patriots
Dear Coach Bill (you don`t mind if I call you Bill, do you?) and the New England Patriots,
I am just writing this letter to express my gratitude to you. As a longtime Colts` fan, I haven`t always had the warmest feelings for you, to be honest. For several years, it seemed like every year we would be put out of the playoffs by the Patriots. I failed to recognize that this was motivating us towards the Super Bowl.
I also disliked your occasional boorish behavior, refusing to shake hands, shouting at reporters, and the like but I failed to see, until today, that you were doing a service to the league by making Coach Tony Dungy seem even more of a classy gentleman than he already was. Deep down, you did as much for making the Colts what they are today as anyone. For that, I thank you.
Again today (at least, it was today here in Tokyo, where I watched the game), you did the Colts a genuine service and I can`t let any good deed go unpunished, as it were.
You and your Patriots delivered some body blows to the Colts. You see, they were undefeated (still are, for that matter) but I, for one, was not convinced. Especially the last two weeks, the Colts have been scraping by against mediocre teams. What would happen against a serious title contender? You gave us the chance to find out and it was not pretty.
Your team exposed some serious weaknesses that need to be addressed. You showed clearly that we Colts (You seek journalistic impartiality? Seek elsewhere!) have virtually no running game and cannot beat a strong team with passing alone. You showed that Manning makes an errant throw from time to time and that a great team will take advantage. You exposed the weaknesses in our secondary and the dangers of a great quarterback (Tom Brady) and reciever (Randy Moss) when the defense can`t get pressure. You deflated any 8-0 egos and showed us just how far we have to go.
Your Patriots did all that for us and yet that was not enough! You went the extra mile and gave us a second chance to win the game. You allowed us to come back from a two touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter. You did wonders for our confidence, our resilience, and our determination.
Still, you had us beat, probably, until you went for it on fourth down, that fourth down, the fourth down that will live in NFL history. You could have punted but that wouldn`t have been very sporting. You put all your eggs in one basket and then bobbled the basket. Your team came up just short and we (as if I am a member of the Colts) got the ball on on your 29.
I know that many people have criticized the decision but I don`t. A) If you had made it, game over-Patriots win!, B)If you don`t, you just have to keep the Colts out of the end zone, and C)you failed on both counts. Still, it took courage and I hope if you are ever in the same situation against the Colts again, you will have the courage to do exactly the same thing. After wasting all your time outs, of course.
I don`t know if the Colts will go to the Super Bowl but if we do, we owe you a big "Thanks" for your help.
Sincerely, if disrespectfully yours,
Geoff Dean, exiled Colts fan in Tokyo, Japan
P.S. After the game, you seemed reluctant to shake hands with the Colts` players and coaches. Some people will criticize it as bad sportsmanship but I know it was H1N1, right?