As many of you likely know, I am a big Bob Lamey fan. I freely and proudly divulge that he is a family friend. I send the guy Christmas gifts (usually NY Yankees stuff because he is a baseball nut), and he is a frequent visitor at my family's home in Northside Indy.
Sure, like everyone else I know in the Colts organization, Bob gets red-faced and mad at me whenever I write anything critical of the team. Bob is fiercely loyal to the blue shoe, and he's as much of a Colts homer as any Colts fan who goes out there with blue paint on their bare chest and cheers for the defense on Sundays.
So, when I heard Bob made some rather critical off-air comments about Peyton Manning during his four interception game against the Cowboys, I shrugged because that's typical Bob. When I heard that those comments were played on a local Indianapolis ESPN radio 1070 the Fan hosted by John Michael Vincent (aka, JMV), that's when it became news.
Because the clip isn't available anywhere, I don't have exact quotes for you. The gist of Bob's rant was nothing more than froth-mouthed frustration. He said the NFL had 'figured Manning out' and the Colts bench him in favor of Curtis Painter for the the rest of this season. He also said the Colts would finish last in the AFC South, and should spend time in this year's NFL Draft looking for a replacement to Peyton. Again, these comments were made off-air, not during a broadcast. The reason people know about them is because, like all off-air conversations on mic, they were recorded. Often, these conversations are never played.
Unfortunately for Bob, these got played a few days later on 1070 The Fan.
As I said earlier, Bob is a Colts homer. His comments about Peyton were shared, at the time, by just about everyone who loves the blue shoe. Because Peyton is the engine that makes this team go, he is also the lightening rod when things go south. And regardless of whatever excuses people want to make, this has been, arguably, the most frustrating season Colts fans have had to cheer through since 2001 when the team went 6-10.
So, for me, I don't blame Bob for making his comments. Should he still have said them? No. He's an employee of the Colts, and taking shots at THE most important person in the franchise (who is, I might add, a free agent next year) is a very dumb move. But, as I said, Bob is an emotional guy who lives and dies with every Colts game. Since he has been doing this for a billion years, and since his calls on the radio are some of the greatest moments in Colts history (Touchdown! Stokley! That's the record breaker! *** Intercepted! Marlin Jackson! WE'RE GOIN' TO THE SUPER BOWL!') Bob deserves a pass from us fans.
But, as I already admitted, I'm biased.
In typical Bob fashion, he did the right thing after word of his off-air frustration reached the ears of #18:
Off-air comments by Colts play-by-play radio voice Bob Lamey critical of quarterback Peyton Manning were inadvertently played on local radio Monday. Lamey, who made the remarks during Manning's four-interception game against Dallas, on Tuesday approached Manning in the locker room to apologize. He appeared to accept. Lamey declined comment. The Colts plan no disciplinary action. . . .
I've contacted 1070 The Fan to see if I can get some kind of transcript of Lamey's rant. I doubt I'll hear back from them simply because one has to imagine the Colts are none to happy with JMV making this story so widely known, and the LAST thing they might want is some schmuck like me posting it on the Internet. Also, I'm not very popular with some of the people at 1070 The Fan because I have this annoying habit of taking what they say and (GASP!) transcribing it word-for-word and (EEK!) posting it on my blog.
However, current 1070 program director David Wood has always been nice to me when I've called to talk about something. So, at least I have one friend there.
The positive out of all this is that it seems employees for the Colts are just as frustrated with this season as we fans are. They all aren't working with their 'heads in the sand.' Obviously, I do not think Bob Lamey truly feels the Colts should bench Peyton Manning. Peyton is making do with the garbage Bill Polian and the personnel department has been giving him over the past four years. Without Peyton, this mess of a team maybe wins three games. Maybe.
The message we should take out of this silliness is that everyone, from players to media to fans, are all upset with the 2010 season thus far. As the pressure builds, especially considering these next four games are pretty much playoff games, the key is to see how certain people respond.