Luke Links: The annoyance with another Colts blog edition

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I hope everyone enjoyed last night's little podcast, which (truth be told) was little more than a glorified test of Blog Talk Radio's features. I hadn't touched the site in over two years and needed a little test drive before I start making higher quality podcasts. And a special thank you to Indy Lori for the kind words about my radio voice. I must admit, i come in a distant second to JasonB, who has the best radio voice of anyone at SB Nation. Listen to his podcasts (which are the best of any SB Nation podcasts, period) and you'll know I'm speaking the truth.

Now, onto the good stuff (and today, it will truly gooooooood):

  • Second year DE Marcus Howard expects to make more of an impact in 2009. In limited play, Howard was impressive last year. Seeing as Indy only has five DEs on the roster, that indicates to me that Caldwell and Polian are very confident Howard and Curtis Johnson can step in should Dwight or Robert get hurt.
  • Speaking of Dwight Freeney, he has a rather impressive workout routine, which is a combination of martial arts and weight training. Note to self: Never get in a fight with Dwight Freeney.
  • Stayign with defense, lefpsydhas a FanPost up talking about a nice article on new starting LBer Philip Wheeler.
  • So, it seems 18 to 88 didn't like our bashing of the Indianapolis Star and their horrid coverage of the Colts. Apparently, it is "classless" on our part to demand the Star (a major metropolitan newspaper) provide the same coverage of the Colts (12-4 last year, best QB in football) that the Green Bay Press-Gazette (smaller city, smaller paper) provides to the Green Bay Packers (6-10 last year, no Brett Favre). At 18 to 88, such demands are "classless" and "unfair." Part of the reason 18 to 88 thinks this is because to them "off-season chatter" is not enjoyable. This is, of course, regrettable seeing as 18 to 88 is a (supposed) dedicated Colts blog and almost 75% of a team's calendar year is spent in the off-season. Maybe that's why almost half of 18 to 88's content has nothing to do with the Colts. No offense, but no one really cares what 18 to 88 thinks about racing, soccer, or the completely irrelevant Cincinnati Reds. They either need to re-brand the site as a general Indiana sports site, or stop wasting our time with content we don't care about. Love those dudes to death, but if they have this kind of negative attitude towards off-season coverage of the Colts, it sends a clear message to readers that for eight of the twelve months in a year people should ignore 18 to 88. 
  • It's now been 20 days since the Star wrote an article on the Colts. The Green Bay Press-Gazette (Gannett-owned, just like the Star) posted a Packers article two days ago. They also did a live-chat with one of their writers recently; a weekly occurrence during the off-season. Yep, the Star pretty much still sucks.
  • Another Austin Collie article from out west. He's a popular guy out there, it seems.
  • Yahoo and National Football Post thinks Bob Sanders is the key impact player for the Colts in 2009. I agree, he is one of many key players, but not the key. Sadly, writer Matt Bowen doesn't know what he's talking about when he elaborates:
    I’m picking Sanders for the Colts because when he isn’t on the field, their defense suffers.

    ...

    If he plays an entire season, the Colts will compete for the division title.

    Um, Bob Sanders hardly played at all last year, and the Colts still very much competed for their division. They would have won the division if Peyton Manning hadn't started the season playing on one leg. Matt Bowen would know this if Matt Bowen actually watched Colts football games. He'd know that Melvin Bullitt more than filled in for Bob last year. 
  • Nice chat with DT Eric Foster, the Colts most under-rated player (and possibly the toughest). The kid was a rookie last season playing all his games as the starting nose tackle while weighing only 270 pounds. Tough, tough player out of Rutgers.
  • FOOTBALL IS BACK... in Canada. The CFL opened their season yesterday. The Saskatchewan Rough Riders (and their best running back, Kenton Keith) open their season tomorrow. Another CFL-Colts connection involves the CFL's champions last year: The Calgary Stampeders. The head coach of the Stampeders, John Hufnagel, used to be Indy's QB coach back in 2001. He was replaced by Jim Caldwell in 2002.

Now, before I close up the Luke Links for this week, let me state that I love 18 to 88 and I enjoy reading their stuff. My annoyance with their latest post and their choice of content stems from my desire (as a loyal 18 to 88 reader) to read more of their opinions about some of the very subjects they seem to loath covering; chief among those subjects is the Colts in the off-season. Supposed "hand-wringing" over the roster, analysis of players, opinions on this and that while games are not getting played... that is what NFL blogging is. One of the major reasons people reads blogs at all is because they are willing to talk about this kind of stuff while newspapers (like the Star) take two month vacations and sit on their hands.

If 18 to 88 truly dislikes off-season blogging, then what the hell are they doing covering the Colts? As stated earlier, 75% of a Colts blogger's job is writing about the off-season.

So, I'm not ranting here because I hate those guys, think they suck, or feel we Colts fans should ignore the site. Far from it. My annoyance is with their assumption that when supposedly "nothing" is happening, nothing should be covered.

Um, no. There is no real "off-season" in football anymore.

If fans aren't talking about the draft or free agency during the off-season, they're talking about who will win what job and how well they'll do at that job. They're talking scheme changes, coaching changes, and player changes. They're talking rookies, free agents, and veterans.

That is Colts blogging.

If that doesn't appeal to 18 to 88, then they really should blog about something else (general Indiana or Midwest sports, maybe). If not, their site title and description are misleading, and (as an avid 18 to 88 reader) it annoys me that one of the only reasons I'd ever go to 18 to 88 (analysis of the Colts during the off-season) is something the writers there say they don't like doing. I hope they change their mind and start re-focusing more on the central subject of their blog. They've lost their way a little bit, in this reader's opinion.

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