I understand fans anger, but let's be realistic. First of all, I am a season ticket holder. I paid good money to watch the games, and what happened yesterday does not bother me. I bought season tickets to watch the Colts win a Super Bowl(s) and we are on track to do that. It is refreshing to see a team that actually puts its players first, instead of franchise records and dreams. Does anybody here think that Caldwell hasn't thought about how neat it would be to go undefeated as a rookie coach in the NFL? Do you think that Polian knows that if his team goes undefeated and wins a Super Bowl that he would go down as the greatest GM ever? Does anybody think that Irsay has thought that if his team went undefeated how great he would look as an owner? All these guys have thought that and are aware of it. But they choose to do what is best for the players. How many stories have we read about players leaving the game with horrible injuries and concussions (Ted Johnson)? Here we have a group of guys that put their players welfare above their own personal ambitions. I know the players want to play and want to win and go undefeated. We would all be dissappointed in them if they didn't. But football is a brutal game and injuries can happen any time (Tom Brady). All it takes is one play, one fluke hit, and a season could be over.
I think it is great to see such passionate fans. Most of us are dreading the day that 18 retires. I know I am. But putting Manning and other players at risk in a meaningless game just isn't smart. We have bigger goals. What the Colts did yesterday was to avoid a feeding frenzy in Buffalo next week. The drama of putting a team in the worst possible environment (cold icy field, night game, team putting everything on the line to go undefeated against a team with nothing to lose) would be just what the big network executives would want for ratings to end the NFL season. Yes, NBC would have flexed this game for just that reason. Fortunately, the braintrust of our team saw this trainwreck about to happen and pulled the plug on it. If the game had been in a more weather friendly environment, maybe they would have done something different. Or not. Who knows.
The point I am trying to make is that we may not like what happened yesterday, we may not agree with it, and it may not work in the end. But it was the right call. It took more courage by these guys to make this call than it took to go ahead and risk players welfare to keep everybody happy. I myself have never played football, and I don't see how these guys take so much punishment week after week, and play as fearless as they do, just so we, as fans, can watch these games every Sunday.
After we won the Super Bowl, I had so much fun with it that I wanted another one. We now have that opportunity thanks to some guys that we are about to run out of town because they put the team and players welfare above their own personal ambitions.