Many of you have made FanPosts, FanShots, and comments about Adam Schein's recent article for FOX Sports claiming the 11-0 Colts are THE story for the NFL in 2009. I have to admit that it is indeed refreshing to read a positive story about our 11-0 football team. Strangely, there aren't many of them, and with the coma-inducing froth bubbling up from the keyboards of writers like Jason "Colts struggle against 3-4 defenses, even though the facts show that they don't" Cole, the perception around here has been that the media clearly are annoyed, frustrated, or just plain baffled that a team like the Colts (sans Tony Dungy, Anthony Gonzalez, and Bob Sanders) is undefeated in December.
There is also the slightly incorrect notion that all I do around here is point out the "bad journalism" without highlighting the good stuff. I don't think this is accurate, but of course I'm biased.
The fact is that not very many positive pieces have been written about the Colts. If there have, I haven't seen them and the stories haven't been linked here by any of your loyal readers.
Take a moment to sit back and think about this for just a moment: For the first time in NFL history, two teams are undefeated in December. Step back and take that in. REALLY take that in. We've had 89 years of the National Football League, and in all those years we have never, EVER had two 11-0 football teams. It is absolutely amazing.
You'd think that such a feat would warrant a story or three.
Yet, if you comb the newspapers, big media website, pseudo-blogs, and actual blog-type blogs there is very little, if anything, written about this. 89 years of football. First time, EVER! Yet, barely a mention anywhere. Even SBNation.com, which prides itself in placing independent, updated stories on its frontpage, has failed to make strong mention of this amazing feat in NFL history.
The major stories of 2009, based on what I've read and who I've talked to, are:
- The Saints (not the Colts) being undefeated
- Brett Favre playing like an MVP at 40
- The supposed career resurrection of Vince Young
Very little, if anything,has been written about Indy setting an NFL record for consecutive fourth quarter comeback wins. Much of what we are hearing from big media about the Colts is that they are "lucky" to be undefeated, even though their wins have come against quality opponents and their schedule is one of the toughest in football. Yet, despite the amazing wins, the injuries, the fact that Peyton Manning is playing better than anyone else in football while also breaking in two (essentially) rookie wide receivers, the focus of attention is elsewhere.
Maybe this lack of focus (aka, the press and blogs failing, once again, to get the story right and instead focusing more on celebrity stories in a pathetic attempt to attract attention to their normally crappy content) is what prompted Schein to write his supposedly "Sally Sunshine" article hearting the Colts. I know some Colts fans still hold a grudge against Schein from 2006, when he picked against the Colts in every. single. playoff. game... only to see his predictions blow up in his face with the Colts winning Super Bowl 41. However, since then, Schein seems to have seen the error of his ways.
I mean, it's hard not to like the guy when he writes good stuff like this:
We interrupt this party to pay tribute to the 2009 AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts.
That's right, folks. Division champs at 11-0 before the calendar flips to December. It's the single-best story in the NFL this year, bar none.
Pick an angle, any angle.
The Colts have won 20 straight regular-season games going back to last season, one away from the Patriots' record of 21. Caldwell said it means something to him and goes out of his way to credit Tony Dungy for getting everything started. And it should mean something to Caldwell and all Colts fans. This is supposed to be the era of competitive balance and parity. Look at the consecutive years of winning double-digit games. This is flat out amazing. Think of all the close shaves this year, from Miami's controlling the clock the entire game, to both Houston contests, to the incredible win over the Patriots, to the Baltimore game. Think about how many times you thought the other team was better.
For us Colts fans, the frustration we often have towards big media stems from years of being told by them that great teams are not "built on paper." There were these things they referred to as "intangibles" that other teams supposedly had, but the Colts (despite all their talent on paper) didn't. Now that the Colts seem to have these intangibles, I guess we all expected big media to start fawning all over us. However, instead they have decided to change their minds and promote teams that are supposedly better "on paper."
Everyone, save Schein.
So, while Jason Cole clearly is stealing money from Yahoo! Sports with his total lack of football IQ, and while we supposedly "independent" minded blogs continue to lap up the goo people spoon feed us about players like Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, and the wholesome goodness that is the Saints being undefeated, a guy like Adam Schein (who works for Sirius-XM Radio and FOX Sports, both big media outlets) is one of the few who actually "gets it."
Also, to Yahoo! Sports' Mike Silver, who seems to clearly read this blog, I know it is common for you cynical, disconnected sports writers to say that we Colts fans think you "hate our team" because you won't write anything positive about us. Thanks again for over-simplifying things Mike, and for once again treating us like children angry at our parents for not giving us more ice cream after dinner. Mike, we're not pissed at you because we think you hate our team.
We're pissed at you because you are doing a sh*tty job writing about the NFL this year.
When you illogically belittle a team that has won 20 straight regular season games, it doesn't make you seem like you are a "Colts hater." It makes you look like a schmuck (again, my favorite, and often over-used phrase when describing bad journalists). We Colts fans don't dislike people who "hate" our team. Patriots fans hate our team, and we get along just fine with them. We dislike people who are paid very well to do a very simple job and yet seem to consistently screw it up (aka, people like you). Please Mike, take a note from Adam Schein. His recent piece is what we call "getting the story right."