I can't remember the last time I was so irritated watching a sporting event. There were the Indianapolis Colts, winners of all 14 of their games, lining up against a very mediocre NY Jets team. At home. With a chance at history. So, what happens? Rookie coach Jim Caldwell pulls Peyton Manning and several other starters in the 3rd quarter, and the game goes from a Colts lead to the first loss of the season.
I was damn glad not to be one who paid for a ticket to this game. I would have wanted a refund. Good for the fans who booed throughout the latter part of the game. They were ripped off. They paid full price, they should have gotten to see a full team, for the full game.
The coach is apparently thinking that he wants to spare his stars potential injury. There are a few flies in that ointment.
First, look no further than the team's recent history. When they've rested players like this in the past, they've been eliminated early in the playoffs. The one Super Bowl win came in the season the Colts were a Wild Card team, playing every playoff game without rest, scrapping continuously. Why would anyone deviate from their own model for success?
As an Ohio State fan, I get the value of continuous play. Year after year, OSU rolls to a good record and a bowl game awaits. Because the Big Ten doesn't have a playoff, the Buckeyes have a month-long layoff. They come to the bowl game out of synch, rusty, and generally lose. Well, that's the same lesson as the Colts' playoff history.
I just hate the cowardice. Go for the brass ring! Try for perfection! How often does that opportunity come along?
If nothing else, Colts fans hopefully learned this: Never buy a ticket for the last home game. Exhibition season is at the front end of the season, but Colts management is unaware.