Monday, December 28, 2009

So, this team is perfect. We stepped out on that field that way tonight and if it's all the same to you, Coach Boone, that's how we wanna leave it.

I don't want to whip the non-football fans, but I felt compelled to weigh in on an interesting situation.

Contrary to ESPN's Jeffri Chadiha, I don't think the Colts did the right thing in benching their players in the second half in what would become their first loss of the season.

I know the ultimate goal each season is the Super Bowl, but I would have played for the win. After all, YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! Not just because it's good to win the game or any game, but because they still had a good chance to go undefeated. Every year someone wins the Super Bowl, but only once has a team gone undefeated while doing so, the '72 Dolphins.

Sure, there are risks involved with having your players in football games and I know they've locked up the #1 seed, so there's no way to improve their playoff standing. But, there are also risks involved after a team has made the playoffs when trying to improve seeding.

Can a #6 seed win the Superbowl? The Steelers did it in 2006.

Yet, nobody says it's only important to make it to the playoffs while they are able to shoot for hosting a game or getting a bye. They take a risk in pursuit of a goal.

I may be in the minority, but I think a 19-0 perfect season is a significant enough goal. After all, THAT has never been done.



At 29 December, 2009 13:41, Blogger Oilcan said...

The Colts should Remember the Titans.

The Colts should have played to win because that is what champions do . . . they win. Americans love a winner and despise a loser. If the Colts are champions in their heart then they, by their very nature, hate losing. It is detrimental to the heart and psyche of a champion to tolerate losing. It is a cancer that is more damaging to the mind of winning team than a half of rest is beneficial to the bodies of that team. This is the primary reason the Colts made a mistake, but there are others:

2. A perfect season, now 19-0, is a greater goal and more memorable than just a mere Super Bowl appearance or even victory. No team has accomplished the 19-0 perfect Super Bowl champion season. One team has finished a shorter perfect season and won the Super Bowl. And one team has had a perfect 16-0 season but then lost in the Super Bowl. So, it was an entirely worthy goal worth the risk to achieve it, and the Colts should have gone for it.

3. It's clear the Colts players wanted to go for it where the coaching did not, and I believe there is resentment lurking between the players and coaches which is further detrimental to the health of the team and hurts their Super Bowl effort.

4. What about the fans? I know the fans wanted to go for it, especially those that bought tickets to the game to see their Colts win. It was a rip off to loyal Colts fans to cheat them out of the Colts best effort - best product - on the field. The Colts are obligated to their faithful fans to make every effort to win every game.

5. The extra rest a team gets by resting players is overrated. When you have a perfect machine operating a peak efficiency, it is a mistake to shut it down and think it will just start back up later without problems. The best thing to do is keep the machine rolling and firing on all cylinders. They are already going to get a week's rest in the wild card round, plus a week's rest between the conference championship game and the Super Bowl. Two weeks is arguably already too long for a machine that is used to running every week, so giving them even more time just further threatens their sharpness and efficiency. We see this all the time in college bowl games when teams have a month off and then come out and play rusty, dull, sloppy ball. Keep the team sharp and WIN.

6. Be consistent - if you are worried about injury and not concerned with winning, then just play only the lowest string players. Why play your best players for just one half - that neither accomplishes best effort to win nor eliminates risk of injury. This was a wishy-washy have-it-both-ways moderate decision lacking leadership and judgment. Don't play any first stringers and protect them, or play them hard and go for the win. Don't mix it up and get your champions into a half hearted effort to win which introduces a little cancer in the hearts and minds of tolerance and acceptance of losing, plus still exposes them to risk. And don't communicate this half hearted effort to the team because they may play half hearted, which actually increases their potential for getting injured. And don't mix some of your A-teamers with your B-teamers for a half, that really fouls up the A-team machine but having them play at a lower level with sub-par players, and this even further increases possibility of injury. Just play your bottom feeders, and have them where the throw back uniforms at that so that they even look like a different team than your perfect championship-seeking first team. There are plenty of examples of top seed teams resting too long on their backs and then getting upset prematurely by a peaking wild card team that has been playing under pressure on the edge at their peak for several weeks.

The risk of damaging your Super Bowl effort by resting players for a half far outweighs the risk that one or some of them may get hurt while playing to win.

At 29 December, 2009 14:01, Blogger Oilcan said...

And may I further add, at the risk of further beating down football haters, that football is a game of momentum, within a series of games as well as within a game. It was a terrible mistake to surrender a tremendous 14-game winning momentum to impose a half of rest, and this based on fear of injury. It is not good to make decisions and operate based on fear, and really, if you are willing to risk a Super Bowl Championship with the possibility that Manning gets injured for 30-minutes, is another 30-min that much more. Come on.

Also, a perfect season, 16-0, would to me further provide insurance of achievement in the very possible event that you DO NOT win the Super Bowl even if no one gets injured, because you will still reserve your place in history as the third team to have a perfect regular season. The Dolpins, the Patriots, and now NOT the Colts. Too bad.

Even further, look what has happened to the Saints after suffering their first lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Then, turn around and lose at home to the lowely Buccaneers. I realize they weren't trying to rest, but how fragile is the NFL psyche?!

At 29 December, 2009 15:22, Blogger GUNNY said...

Much good slooge, Oilcan.

Might I add the mindset that can creep in among the players. Do they now play to not get hurt as opposed to execute and win? Are they more afraid of injury than they are of losing?

Do they approach game 16 in a way that they don't put forth the right amount of effort?

Is it possible that your team will go a full 4 weeks without playing a game where the objective is to win the game?!

Game 14 - played to win
Game 15 - pulled 2nd half
Game 16 - similar expected
Bye win Wild Card round
Divisional Game for reals

Talk about a momentum killer!

Add that to a potential mindset of fragile players and you could have issues.

3. you mentioned in the first post, the lurking resentment really resonates with me. You see that? That's what we don't want.

At 29 December, 2009 16:35, Anonymous Lance said...

Another reason why college football is better.

At 29 December, 2009 17:22, Blogger Rev. said...

If I were the Indy coach, I would've told the team: "We will be perfect in every aspect of the game. You drop a pass, you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile. You fumble the football, and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts and then you will run a mile. Perfection. Let's go to work."

The coach made a grave mistake in pulling the starters. In the long run, it may have completely derailed their momentum and cost them a title. Oilcan hit the nail on the head!

At 30 December, 2009 10:10, Blogger Oilcan said...

And another thing . . .

7. Loss of intimidation. Allowing your perfect team to lose bolsters the confidence of soon to be faced playoff challengers. They can say, "Hey, this other spare team beat "the perfect" team on its home field, so can we. They are vulnderable. We can beat them too." Preferable would be to maintain the initimidation to challengers daring to come to your house and attempting to do what has not been done - the challenger should be questioning their confidence and capability, not the champions.

At 30 December, 2009 18:28, Blogger Jade said...

Did you see Peyton fuming under his helmet? I could not understand why the Colt coach pulled him out. They could have still won that game. The coach's action was so irrational.

Do you think the Colt coach was pulling a "Pete Rose" of football? Someone should investigate ... you never know!

Still reeling from the Giants loss .... :o(

At 30 December, 2009 18:30, Blogger Jade said...

Lance wrote:
Another reason why college football is better.

Lance, here's College football for you:
Leach fired short of Tech's bowl game

At 30 December, 2009 20:24, Blogger Jade said...

BTW Gunny, you may want to remove the picture referencing the Patriots ... they may have had a "perfect" season that one year ... but it's not really perfect if they still failed to clinch the Super Bowl that same year ... that was classic! The best Superbowl I've seen....


At 30 December, 2009 20:26, Blogger GUNNY said...

Lance is just saying that because he went to Oklahoma. Had he gone to Baylor, he might be singing a different tune.

That Leach firing is VERY interesting. I, for one, think there's got to be more there than meets the eye. A guy with concussion symptoms being put in a dark room sounds like something a doctor would prescribe.

I don't get it, but for them to pull the trigger so fast, there's got to be more at stake. Incidentally, this will have a HUGE impact on their recruiting class. I'm willing to wager some of Rev's money money that some of their top recruits find another place to play, in spite of the (non-binding) oral commitments.

At 30 December, 2009 20:36, Blogger GUNNY said...


You gotta read the yellow band on the picture: "FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY - To be published only in the event of a win."

Needless to say, you'll see that cover here, but in no newstands!

Don't get me wrong. You know how I feel about the Giants, but I LOVED seeing the Patriots' 18-1 instead of 19-0.

At 30 December, 2009 20:41, Blogger Jade said...

Gunny wrote:
You gotta read the yellow band on the picture: "FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY - To be published only in the event of a win."

OK, I admit, I didn't read that careful. I guess it's just a knee-jerk reaction when I see the Patriots. Hahaha.... :ob That Super Bowl had me on edge the whole game! It was the BEST!

Gunny wrote:
That Leach firing is VERY interesting.

So that firing came to you as a big surprise, uh? And just the eve of the bowls too.... very strange.

At 31 December, 2009 09:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Colts' 2nd and 3rd stringers should play the entire game against Buffalo, and I hope the Bills win. 14-2 is better for the Colts at this point than 15-1. Can you imagine going on to win the Buffalo game and the Super Bowl with only 1 loss? It would haunt them forever -- "We could've been perfect!"

Something seems amiss at Tech. Campus politics or some such? High profile parent in the mix? Not sure, but something doesn't seem right.

At 31 December, 2009 15:12, Blogger Matt said...

The decision-makers don't care about 19-0, they care about return on investment. While a Super Bowl has been shown to bring in substantially more money to a club than any other finish, it hasn't been shown that a 19-0 Super Bowl brings in more money than a 18-1 Super Bowl or even a 13-7 Super Bowl. If you think you have a shot at the Super Bowl, you do what you can to maximize your chances of winning it.

That being said, momentum is arguably the most important factor in who wins in the playoffs. The Colts started 13-0 in 2005, lost 2 of their last 3 games, and lost their first playoff game to the sixth-seeded Steelers (in the best football game in history). Last year, the Titans were the best team. They started 10-0, lost 3 of their last 6 games, and made a first-round exit to a hot Baltimore team.

At the beginning of this season, Philip Rivers said about the Chargers' tendency toward slow starts, "I can't explain it, but wins in November and December are more important than wins in September and October."

I think the Colts shot themselves in the foot.

The injury risk is real, though. Last year, the Steeler played their starters in week 17 (even though they had clinched), and Roethlisberger got a concussion. Because they had the bye, he had two weeks to recover and didn't miss playing time, but it could have killed them.

At 31 December, 2009 19:00, Anonymous Lance said...

Glad I could steer the conversation to the superior football league.

Poor pirate.

Roll Tide.

At 01 January, 2010 12:54, Blogger Jade said...

Here's more on the Leach story:
Leach Denies He Mistreated Player

It seems it gets as nasty in college football....

At 13 January, 2010 23:09, Blogger GUNNY said...

Pete Carroll leaving USC has really started a shuffling of the collegiate coaching deck.

I'm curious to see where Leach winds up.


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