November 30th, 2009 17:13 EST
A Colts' Fan's Nightmare Continues
As I have stated previously, over and over as a matter of fact, I am a Colts` fan, born and bred on the east side of "Naptown", now transplanted to Tokyo. Year after year, the Colts win and win. The playoffs have almost become a given. You might expect that I would be pleased and probably most Colts fans are, but I beg to differ.
You see, I remember when the Colts were 13-0. Many thought a perfect season might be a realistic possibility, based on the remaining schedule. Nobody bothered to tell the San Diego Chargers who ended the perfect season and exposed a weakness vis a vis the running game that ended our subsequent playoff run as well.
If you think about it, after the loss to the Chargers, the Colts were 13-1, which is nothing to sneeze at. The problem was the timing. If we had lost one early in the season and became 13-1 late in the year, everyone would have been overjoyed. But the Colts waited too late to lose. We (unbiased reporting?) face a similar risk this year.
Beyond that, the nature of our recent wins (like I actually played in the game and didn`t just sit on the sofa gorging on rice crackers) has been unnerving. Or inspiring. I`m not sure.
Mike Ditka, grumpy old coach turned gentleman pundit, made the case that the fact that the Colts have come back, week after week, will give them confidence and serve them well in the playoffs. They will gain poise by dealing with adversity. Makes sense to me.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports views the same results and draws the opposite conclusions. The Colts are walking on "a tightrope suspended between two skyscrapers." He points out, correctly, that with a few bad bounces or wise decisions by opposing coaches, the Colts could easily be 6-5 or even 5-6. Makes sense to me, too.
Which is it? Are the "Cardiac Colts" the darlings of destiny? Will they refuse to lose and continue to overcome every obstacle? Are they tremendously resilient or just danged lucky? Of course, I`d rather be lucky than good, goes the saying, but can that get one all the way to the Super Bowl?
Cole goes on to praise/blast Quarterback Peyton Manning by pointing out his and the Colts` successes. The team has the best record since 2000 (80-20). The second longest regular season winning streak in history (20 in a row). One Super Bowl title. 11-0, so far this season. And yet, says Cole, the Colts "haven`t done enough." Manning may be, according to Cole, "the greatest passer ever" and yet leaves many wondering if he "did enough" with what he had. Throw in Coach Jim Caldwell, a perfect record notwithstanding, who suffers from the Colts perennial affliction of being humble and nice.
How can people criticize the Colts, even as they seemingly refuse to lose? Not enough? What more could they want of Peyton? Coach Caldwell? The whole team? It`s ridiculous and unfair to demand more than perfection. And yet, I find myself leaning more in Cole`s direction than Ditka`s. Here`s hoping I`m dead wrong!