Only in the mind of the modern sports fan can a team that is still vital and only two years removed from a championship need to change gears. That’s the problem with the flood of instant, nationwide sports coverage. We’re all so inundated with the Yankees, Patriots, North Carolinas, Dukes or anyone from a Bowl Championship Series conference that fans everywhere expect a dynasty. Why be happy with one championship if you have the talent to win several?
Fail to do so and you’re labeled a "choker." Ask Dungy and Peyton Manning about that.
A ridiculous headline on the Deadspin, one of the most popular of the litany of sports blogs, asked the question Sunday, "Is Peyton Manning still a choker?"
The author, Dashiell Bennett, put the loss to the Charges squarely on Manning, who he said was "merely good" against San Diego (25-of-42, 310 yards, TD). No matter that Manning didn’t even get the ball in overtime.
"He won the big one once," the post read, "and has promptly gone back to losing them. So has anything really changed?"
A minor point here: If you had to win the big one more than once to shed the choker label, wouldn’t it be called the "big many?"
Let's first of all applaud Sam for a great article. Second, he should make a habit of not ever quoting Dashiell Bennett at Deadspin. I like Deadspin. I think AJ has done a great job since taking over for Will. But Dashiell Bennett is a complete schmuck, and the next competent comment he makes about football will be his first. As far as Deadspin commenters go, if raving stupidity had a Mecca, it's the Deadspin comments section.
Third, as we have long said, people can oftentimes be very stubbornly stupid. Certain people simply can't let go of the always false myth that "Peyton Manning can't win." And like all hacks who subscribe to this nonsense, whenever Peyton and the Colts prove them wrong, they move the goal posts. Now, in order for Peyton to prove he isn't a "choker" again, he has to win another Super Bowl.
I look at sports fans, and football fans in particular, in two factions: Those that have brains (like us), and those that are clueless idiots (like Deadspin commentators). Guess which faction the Manning haters fall into. If you actually believe Peyton Manning is a choker in the playoffs, you need to seek professional help. You are so completely separated from reality that is almost makes me want to cry for you. You're like those Nazis in Hitler's bunker in April 1945, still clinging to the desperate hope that Der Fuhrer will save the Fatherland despite the fact that Russian soldiers are drinking schnapps and dancing on your roof.
Yes, I just compared Manning Haters to Nazis. Both are dumb, fanatical, and spew nothing but hate. They also like lederhosen and have only one testicle.
And for all you Colts fans out there, you really need to stop listening to the Colin Cowherds, Jason Whitlocks, and Bob Kravitzs of this world. All three think Peyton is a playoff choker, which means all three are frantically stupid. You simply cannot let yourself get worked up when these jokers spew their hate. If you want a good defense against it, make fun of them. I mean, Colin Cowherd is a skinny bitch who steals content from bloggers, Jason Whitlock is a fat bastard who thinks Jeff George was a great QB, and Bob Kravitz is the laughing stock of Indy local media. At what point did the opinions of these silly schmucks become relevant? Seriously, if three MVPs, a Super Bowl ring, and a Super Bowl MVP are not enough to convince certain people that Peyton Manning is one of the best QBs ever, then nothing will ever appease them. Nothing!
Thus, they simply must be ignored and, if possible, made fun of.
And for any Colts fans screaming that "change" is needed, sorry but you need to be ignored too. No offense, but if you are mad about six seasons of 12 wins, a Super Bowl, a new stadium, three NFL MVPs for your QB, and an 7-6 playoff record since Tony Dungy arrived (0-2 prior) then you are never going to be satisfied and you need to get off the bandwagon. Being frustrated about losing to the Chargers for the second year is natural, and expected. But you have to let that go, dust yourself off, and move forward. I had a blogger friend ask me the other night if the Colts had a down year in 2008. The answer is yes, but look at the facts: 12 wins, no division title, a playoff birth, and a MVP award for our QB.
That's a "down" year for Indy.
Give that year to 30 other NFL teams and they'd throw a parade. The only exceptions are New England and Pittsburgh (both considered our rivals, not our betters). Again, as Sam states, only the modern sports fan would be pissed at a team like the Colts right now. I love sports, but there are a lot of modern sports fans who are very, very stupid. They are wrapped up in their own little reality where only multiple Super Bowls will make them feel complete. We call these people losers.
So please, gain some friggin' perspective. I do not want our fanbase to develop into the most fickle in pro sports, but I see us headed down that road. I see us headed down the road of the "modern sports fan." We have people actually mad about the direction this franchise is going in. I have no understanding for the mindset of such people, and the best reason I can come to for how they think is to just say they are idiots who lack perspective. There is simply no other rational way to explain their line of thinking. None.
Sorry if this comes off as harsh, but I'm sick of the BS. I'm sick of the whining. I am proud of how this team fought in 2008 despite the tremendous obstacles, and if others out there are mad or disappointed that this team didn't win another Super Bowl in 2008, they need to step back and chill for a bit. If they can't do that, they need to stop rooting for an NFL team. This is life as an NFL fan folks, and the Colts are as good as it gets. If you cannot be satisfied by what they have accomplished, here's the door. By all means, let it hit you on the way out, because you need a good smack upside the head.
For the majority of you who are sane and rational, Go Colts!