I love Peyton for his brilliance, his professionalism and his personality. Until this year's intentional walk away from perfection, I loved the Colts as well. However, the way they've turned their backs on history, the Football Gods should decree this the year for the Saints.
It has been said it is little more than bragging rights that the Colts walked away from when they threw the last 6 quarters of the regular season. To me though, it was much much more than that.
It’s FUCKING IMMORTALITY!!!!!!
I can’t see an athlete that wouldn’t kill for it. People knocked Michael Irvin for saying he’d trade his multiple SB wins and personal awards for one perfect season. I on the other hand think it’s one of the most honest things he’s ever said.
We're talking Perfection here. It’s a bigger thing than SB wins. I don’t even know today how many SB’s those Cowboys teams won, nor what years they won them… I do know if they went undefeated one year, we’d all know the year by heart though. That isn’t about bragging, that’s about being SPECIAL, being a cut above the cut above.
A team wins the Super Bowl every year. Going undefeated makes you 44’s more likely to be remembered forever. In a game where success is fleeting and careers are short, the Colts owed their players the opportunity to be remembered forever in the halls of history.
Greatness cannot be duplicated. Perfection would be remembered forever. And when things change along the way, the goals should change. I'm not saying the Colts should have started the season carrying the burden of claiming a team goal of an undefeated season. That would be hubris. However, come week 14 or 15 when you are undefeated, you should add "UNDEFEATED ALL TIME GREATEST SEASON EVER" to your list of goals.
They were 6 quarters short of being in the exact same spot they are now, but with the real chance of immortality.
Peyton will be remembered forever undoubtedly and most deservedly. Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney will not, despite being maybe the best bookend pass-rushers in the league. Nobody outside fantasy football owners will remember Joe Addai 10 years from now, and the same may be true of Dallas Clark. Bob Sanders may not be playing due to being injured yet again, but there was a time when he was among the best safeties in the league, and IR or not, he's a well known member of this team. Jeff Saturday is a HoF candidate at Center, and most certainly not a household name. And, like so many other role players and players NOT named Peyton on this team he will be forgotten by the masses soon enough, even if he name will be etched in the HoF someday. Hell, even Reggie Wayne’s name will fade over time… yet I know Garo Yepremian’s name. Why? Because that son of a bitch was the kicker for the last undefeated team in the NFL, the only undefeated team of the SB era.
There is a definite argument for resting your team entering the playoffs, but there is a difference between resting your team when you can and should, and making a decision when you owe a burden of responsibility to your team, your fans, your sense of history. Resting the Colts given the fact that the team they were playing was fighting for a playoff spot, and their own capacity to be a historic team was an incredibly selfish act.
Resting spoke of greed and short term net gains, something that it could be argued is a problem systematic of our society at whole and the reason for our current economic recession. This isn't meant to be a political piece, but it does bear mentioning giving our current cultural climate, where there is a definite "NOW" mentality that hinders a broader "forest for the trees" type perspective.
Going for an undefeated season would have been an act not of selfishness, but of respect to all those teams that had the chance but failed, all those players who gave every inch and effort of their careers for something fleeting and short and now use a cane to painfully cross a room. Those guys would never have sat. Today's supremely athletically conditioned players shouldn't either, given the unique opportunity presented them.
This Colt team DESERVES to lose!
The Colts are without a doubt in my mind the best team of the first decade of the 2000’s, and they could have capped that off with a perfect undefeated season. Instead, even if they win the SB, it will be just another year in the NFL, and no level of Super Bowl heroics from the Colts can change that.
I commend the Pats for playing everyone even though it cost them Wes Welker in the playoffs. Football is a violent game, and injuries occur. You'll notice that Welker blew his knee without contact though. That could have happened in practice just as easily. Injuries occur, and there's a whole string of crappy movies out these days (now in 3d!) proving that you can't avoid it if it is your time, it just happens.
I for one commend the Pats for being the one team that looked at greatness and tried to take it head-on, and coming a crazy-ass catch from attaining it. Even so, the Pats are a "bad guy" team due to their cutthroat style and head coach's acerbic nature. That is why this Colts team should have been the team to go for it, do it and make it happen. They are a team of ordinary and average players made extraordinary by a special unique player. They are a team devoid of the things that make rational casual fans dislike teams.
They are in truth, eminently likable.
And that's why the football gods should turn their backs on them come Sunday. For doing an unlikable thing-- intentionally not caring about the outcome of games that mattered tremendously in the broader scope of history.