To my beloved Colts Team and organization:
I know that this is will be one of many messages that you are receiving about yesterday's game, but please take the time to read this one.
I was born and raised in Indy and have been here since we gained the team from Baltimore.
I enjoyed having Season Tickets for a number of years up to the 2006 season, but had to sell them for my Military training that would take me away from the entire season and most of the playoffs. (I was able to go to the AFC Championship that year though!)
I braved the away games in New England in previous playoff runs, and was pummeled by snowballs because I was the only Colts Fan proudly wearing my Marvin Harrison
"Away" jersey in the midst of countless arrogant patriots’ fans. This only made me more grateful that our fan base has SO much more class than other teams in the country!
While I was deployed to Iraq I got up at 3 in the morning numerous times to make sure that I was able to watch the game and cheer on my team! You can see my posts in the "Stampede Blue" forum (look up 1LT David E Bryant)
I made it home to see the Colts play Detroit last year and my eyes teared up during the playing of the National Anthem. This was not because I am a Combat Veteran, or that it was my first time inside Lucas Oil, but because it was the first time that I realized that I truly was home! Going to see my Colts play in person was at the top of my list of things to do when I came home from the War. I had made it! It was my "Kiss the Ground when you get Home" moment that I will forever remember and cherish. Being in that moment ranked as high as when I was dismissed from Stout Field to see my pregnant wife and step sons while being filmed by the "Channel 13 News."
I sent my wife (Amy Bryant) to all 3 Women’s clinics (101, 102 and 201) this year so that she would learn how the game is played and learn more as to why I am so passionate about this team!
I also have degrees from Indiana University in Sports Marketing and Business, (in which I was a class mate and friend of Kasey Irsay, Mr. Irsay's daughter) and studied the Colts vehemently through college.
So with all of that considered I believe that I am a tried and true bleeding Blue fan of our Colts team.
I was at the game yesterday as a birthday present from my wife (New Years day I will be 31) and before the game tailgating with the same friends for the last 10 years, you could see that the atmosphere was that of the playoffs already! We expected that going for the ultimate goal of joining the infamous 72 Dolphins
was in our grasp, and since our Colts played the entire game last week in Jacksonville (a so called "meaningless game") that our course was to go on for our place in history! Perhaps that is why this hurts as much as it does, and is so confusing to so many.
I never thought I would quote a patriots player, but now ESPN analyst Teddy Bruschi said it best after the game; "We lost in the Super Bowl because the Giants
beat us that day. We didn’t need rest; we weren't burnt out or injured because we decided to put on the brakes. We lost because the Giants beat us."
That to me put the idea of "resting" players on the shelf. What other evidence do we need that taking our foot off the gas is a bad idea? (2005 lost in the Divisional round, and 2007 lost in the Divisional round) You cannot play tentatively in this sport, or you will suffer consequences. Mainly injuries will occur. I say that because as a warrior in life as an Infantry Officer, and also a Warrior athlete (High School & Collegiate All American Rugby player) you have to maintain your edge. If you go in any less than all out, you are only setting yourself up for failure.
There is a difference between losing and getting beaten. When you are beaten, you can leave the field knowing that you gave it your best shot. When you lose you didn't leave it all on the field, and you have regrets. You can NEVER put away regret. You will always have that "what if" in the back of your mind that can never be erased. That is why quitting was the wrong answer.
The sad fact is that no matter how you look at it, EVERY year there is a Super Bowl winner. Only once was there a truly perfect season. Everyone that follows football knows that.
If our goal was to win the Super Bowl, then why is that? Win the Superbowl so that we can be the team that won a game on the day?
With looking at teams that can get into playoffs simply by winning their division, and have lesser records than other teams in the same conference, then does that say that the best teams are competing for the Championship? Are we not playing for a Championship to be "put down in the history book" with every other team that has done it EVERY year; why not go after what only ONE team has EVER done? That is true history. The Indianapolis Colts
would stand alone as the ONLY team to EVER go 19 and 0.
Quoting the great Mr. Reggie Wayne
on Bob Kravitz INDYSTAR post on December 28 entitled "By pulling Manning, Colts forsake chance at perfection";
"Who wouldn't?" Reggie Wayne said. "I mean . . . who wouldn't? Doesn't everybody want to be a part of history? Not a season goes by that you don't hear about the '72 Dolphins."
"I guess there's a bigger picture," Wayne said. "We all wanted to play, but the big dog (Caldwell) made a decision and we have to roll with that decision. We came out after halftime and felt like we were starting to roll and could score some points, but the manager took us off the mound."
That embodies the mindset of what is happening behind closed doors in the Colts' locker room. Unfortunately this will do more to our teams "Warrior Ethos" than will be let out. I am surprised that Mr. Wayne said this. Granted it was not a shot at the team, because thank God we have a massively classy organization to include all of our players, but this did show some emotion that it does matter...
And that shows proof of regret...
Once you put poison in the river you cannot wash it out.
We may win the Super Bowl this year, and I truly hope that we do! I will be there in Miami cheering on our team, but it will be bittersweet knowing what could have been... This is especially true since we would be eclipsing the perfect end to the perfect season in the house of the team that had set the bar back in the 72 season! Only this time it would have been set higher with 19 wins.
That would be the Colts place in history that would never be forgotten. Instead, we are trading it in for a Superbowl Championship that is not guaranteed in any way shape or form.
Look at our history of having a first round bye locked up and easing off the gas... How did that turn out for us? Not good if I recall correctly.
As Herm Edwards put it, "You play to win the game!"
Thanks for the memories, but please strive for the best. Leave it all on the field. That is what this team was all about!
I just wish that the decision to pull back the reins was never made... Warriors never quit when they are ahead... We cannot live without giving our all, because that would open us up for living with regrets, and no one can truly be pleased with that. Not in the any sport or event.
God Bless and here is to the best of Competition and Success, but please do not forget that there are many more that support this team and don't have much going for them. This was a beacon of hope and faith for them, something to look forward to much like it was for me when I was fighting for our country! Don't tarnish that by not giving everything we can in the future.
Please let me know your comments on the matter, I would greatly appreciate it!
Your loyal Colts fan,
1LT David E Bryant
XO, HHC, IN
2986 Hearthside Drive
Greenwood In 46143
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.