BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 11: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on from the sidelines during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Normally Sunday afternoons after a loss are reserved for bemoaning what has happened to our proud franchise, but after the announcement that the Pacers signed David West and are on the verge of acquiring O.J. Mayo from Memphis, the pain is quite a bit duller.
The Colts lost again, blah blah blah. The Pacers signed David West!!!!!!!!! and if the O.J. Mayo trade finally goes through we have a good chance to become a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference! The excitement is palpable and for the first time in the decade it's not due to the Colts.
For the Colts, the signing of David West should be a wake-up call and an ominous sign for the management.
Because just like I led with Pacers news on a Sunday, Colts fans will turn their attention to an up-and-coming Pacers team and start heading back over to Conseco Field House. If they have any doubts they should ask the Simons because it happened to them in reverse.
See Indiana has passionate fans but we have a habit of jumping on the bandwagon and after a decade of despair the Pacers are saddling up.
For that past decade the Colts were the beneficiary of the Pacers struggles and capitalized on diminishing support for basketball by putting together on of the greatest 10 year runs professional football has seen.
Now, the fields have reserved. The Colts in in the midst of an abysmal season while the Pacers could be the talk of the town.
Will the Colts popularity struggle? It depends. Unlike the Pacers the Colts have a few built in factors to cushion their fall.
For one, football is the most popular sport in America and has a much more loyal following than basketball. Secondly, unlike the Pacers, the Colts have the first pick in the draft and conveniently the decade's most hyped prospect since Peyton Manning will be available. Because of Luck, the talk and hype won't die down any time soon.
Still, the Colts should be careful. They've done just about everything right for most of the decade to make themselves one of the most respected and professional teams in football and were rewarded as hosts of this year's Super Bowl.
One bad year will be easily forgiven but if they don't right the ship and don't make significant changes this offseason, one season could turn into two and then three and pretty soon the franchise is spirals out of control. As we all know you can't rest on your laurels forever, even if you have Peyton Manning.
Nobody expects or wants to turn away from the Colts but history has shown if the Colts don't continually show signs they are serious about always improving, people might. A strong draft and major offseason changes will help make sure that doesn't happen.
Go Colts and Pacers.