It has been fun over the last two weeks getting guest prognosticators to talk about the Washington Redskins opponent. However, this week I don’t have an opposing fan — I don’t know any Indianapolis Colts fans and I don’t think I want to either. A bitter Baltimore Colts fan would have been good, but I think they are all over 40 and I don’t know any Baltimoreans who meet that description. I do know somebody who feels that Baltimore got shafted by Robert Irsay and that Indy fans are frontrunners undeserving a team with the pedigree as the Colts — my childhood friend David. He’s out in San Francisco now where he occasionally takes in a 49ers game in decrepit old Candlestick park and agrees with me that football was a lot more fun when we were kids.
The Irsays moved the Colts out of Baltimore in the middle of the night when we were kids. I remember seeing the footage of moving vans and Art Donvoan crying. What do you remember of that sad day in 1984 and is making Art Donovan cry one of the worst things to happen in the NFL since we can remember?
Mayflower moving vans. Poorly shot, shaking television news footage of Mayflower moving vans pulling out of a parking lot under the cover of a snowy night. That will always be the image to me — apropos footage for a crime scene or a burglary in process.
Baltimore didn’t deserve it.
True or false — you would have to have a substance abuse problem to move a
football team out of Baltimore?
False. I can think of one other thing. Knives and wives. The Dodgers could end up in Reno or Albuquerque simply out of spite. (Editor: Bob Irsay was an alcoholic, Jim Irsay was a pillpopper)
Can you name 3 NFL cities less deserving of an NFL team than Indianapolis? I don’t think I can — even Jacksonville has a better claim since they at least play outdoors on grass.
I’m still baffled that Phoenix and Tampa (which predates the 1984 move) have NFL teams. Phoenix’s population growth makes abundant sense, but still its Phoenix. Desert football. I’m not sure Tampa even needs much comment.
To be more responsive to your question, there is no way Indianapolis deserved a team. To think that two premier original NFL powerhouse cities lose (and then regain) their teams and Indianapolis gets a team is an outrage to all sense of sports and tradition proportionality.
I just don’t see this happening in Indianapolis:
This is where my slavish adherence to tradition collides with itself. If I had my way, Cleveland Municipal Stadium would have never been destroyed and the Super Bowl would be played on a rolling basis there, at Lambeau and at Soldier Field. There are many component parts to the hazy glow of NFL Films nostalgia, but one of them is the rabid loyalty of fans that die with their team. As much as Indianapolis didn’t deserve to receive a stolen football jewel, I like the fact that a team other than Green Bay can thrive and at times be fearsome in a small market. I also give them credit for not doing anything stupid with the helmet or numbers and staying strictly blue and white.
Peyton Manning comes off as really unlikable, but then he does something likable such as going on Saturday Night Live and doing fake United Way commercials which makes him seem kind of likable — does that actually make him really unlikable?
Cut that meat!!
Peyton Manning is the perfect player for the Techmo Bowl/Madden generation. Thanks to the relative sophistication of Madden’s video games, the world is now filled with people that think they are offensive geniuses. Manning is their leader and icon. He has taken the ultimate jock-stud position and made it at once bookish and goofy. That’s probably a good thing for human civilization. But the obsessive need to endorse every product points to a megalomania that I despise.
Now that we have insulted the Colts, their ownership, their “city” and their greatest player, how bad is the karma we have created for the Redskins? Your prediction, good sir –
Any time the Colts play the Redskins I’m reminded of a story about Mike Curtis. As the story goes, Curtis resented the fact that he was made eligible for the expansion draft in 1976 and was picked by the Seattle. He left Baltimore bitter and angry. (Seems believable.) He played in Seattle for one year than joined the Redskins. While finishing his career with the Redskins he had the opportunity to play the Colts in which he played at his most savage and vicious, which is saying something, and sent several Colts off the field. Apocryphal perhaps, but fits nicely in that hazy glow I mentioned before.
I fear Manning will dance on the secondary’s face. IND nee BAL 31 WAS 13
As much as I want to rationalize Bryan Orakpo, LaRon Landry and London Fletcher hitting Indy often and hard enough to remove the will to play, I think David is right that Manning will tear them apart.
Oh and the most critical prediction — the Redskins will wear gold pants.