This simply reeks of cowardice. I get it. I understand. Bill Polian doesn't want anyone piling on about the situation the Colts are in, because he is understandably frustrated with himself and the direction the team is headed. He doesn't want to have to sit through the entirely reasonable and well-founded questions and comments or irrational irate rantings Colts fans will generate tonight, and I wouldn't either.
Just one problem.
Bill Polian is being paid. He is being paid well. When you are a professional accepting a salary to perform a job, you must accept everything that comes with performing that job. He is the president of a team, the Indianapolis Colts, that aren't playing very well right now. The Colts aren't being coached very well right now. They're not doing much of anything well right now.
We as fans understand that winning is not a right. We understand that the team we support and funnel millions of dollars into is struggling, and may or may not get better any time soon. A lot of fans are upset and want answers. A lot of fans are upset and want to know what the team plans to do to correct the problem or just know that the team at least acknowledges there is a problem.
When you field a football team with enough talent to win the American Football Conference in January 2010, you deserve at least some credit. When you field a football team that doesn't win a game through the first five weeks of the 2011 season, you deserve at least some criticism.
No one is making you do the Bill Polian Show, Bill. No one is making you run the Indianapolis Colts. You took the job. This is what comes with that job.
We as fans continue to support our team because we love them and want to see them do well. We are financially and emotionally invested in the Indianapolis Colts. I personally am highly emotionally invested in the Indianapolis Colts. I hate to see them lose. It affects me deeply to see them lose. I can accept losses. I can accept 0-5, as much as I may dislike it.
What I can't accept, and what no one should be asked to accept, is the perceived lack of accountability that permeates the management of this team. Backing out of an appearance on the Bill Polian Show tonight is an almost inconsequential gesture, or would be, were it not an unfortunate highlight of the underlying threads that seem to run through the front office.
To an outside observer such as myself, it simply appears that the management would like to be accountable only in victory, never defeat. This, to me, is the definition of ego mania and cowardice. If you were in charge when the team lifted a Lombardi and hung a banner, that is your accomplishment. If you were in charge when the team appeared woefully under-prepared, out-matched, disheveled; that too is your accomplishment.
There is nothing personal in any of this. Quite the opposite, this is a cold, sterile, logical look at a professional performing their duties, satisfactorily or unsatisfactorily. As a figurehead of a sports team, answering to the fans who support your business is part of the job. If you do not want to be held accountable by the fans, this isn't the job for you.
The Indianapolis Colts losing football games will never break my allegiance to the team. The Indianapolis Colts refusing to acknowledge that those who support it would like to know why they should continue to support it is enough to disgust even the staunchest supporter.
If you don't want to accept responsibility for the performance of the team in good and bad times, fine. Let someone else do it.