Last week, BBS wrote about the lack of a Colts presence at the Scouting Combine, and I was out of town when he wrote it, so couldn't respond before it fell off the front page. I was the one who talked to BBS about this, and he only knew, as far as the Combine went, what I told him.
I'm going to go through some of your comments to try and answer some of the questions you had, in the hopes of clearing some things up:
I would rather our coaching staff and Polian were away in serious discussions with regards to our roster and cuts/resignings which may potentially occur, as they may have been doing.
Coaches and General Managers talked for 15 minutes, save the new Eagles GM, who talked for 30. I hardly think that taking 15 minutes out would make a difference in doing their job. It was a wide range of accessibility for teams, where some had both the Head Coach and GM talk (Vikings, Chiefs, Jets, 49ers to name a few), and others have nobody talk at all (Colts, Patriots, Buccaneers, Saints to name a few), and some just one. Do you believe the Colts now have some sort of advantage over those teams that "wasted" 30 minutes talking to the media?
I’m only speaking for myself here, but I think that Colts fans could not care less about our team’s presense at the combine considering the current uncertainty that the NFL currently faces.
But like most of the other posters here, I could give a rat’s butt about the Colts’ media availability at the combine.
You, reader of Stampede Blue, would have had a unique opportunity that we NEVER get, namely giving you the chance to ask your questions to Colts personnel. We had two different writers there to ask questions, along with other SB Nation folks we could have planted questions with. The Colts give blogs zero access (not just Stampede Blue), so to get this opportunity is extremely rare. Aside from Polian's radio show, Joe Colts Fan can't ask questions, and even then they choose who goes on the air. I literally could have asked him anything I wanted (within reason obviously), unfiltered.
And you don't care about that?
I mean, it’s not like certain members of the media have made a habit of taking their statements wildly out of context to constantly give them the most negative spin possible.
Do you really think Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell didn't speak to the media to avoid Stampede Blue? That's flattering, but clearly untrue. Polian himself has said he doesn't pay attention to what is written in the media, but is told by his staff if something is relevant to him. I doubt he has Stampede Blue in his bookmarks, but I know his PR staff comes here every day.
Really? The Colts have a terrible relationship with the media? The only place I hear that is here
Most of the players, Caldwell, and Irsay are generally accessible, candid, and friendly with the media. The "The Colts have a terrible relationship with the media in general." comment is damn near baseless.
I talked to several members of the Indianapolis and National media, who all share the same opinion as BBS, that the Colts have a bad relationship with the media. Totally different conversations, and not brought up by me. The rumor going around about why they didn't show up was they felt it would only be questions about Manning's contract, so they decided to not show up. "The Colts have a terrible relationship with the media in general" is very much the case, according to members of the media not named BBS. The Colts beat writers do a hell of great job, even when they get minimal information, when they get anything at all.
They also felt bad for us that the Colts blackball us, because they really like our site. They said it begins and ends with Polian, and don't expect anything different until he retires. They did think that Chris Polian is a little more open to new media, so there is a chance.
Jim Caldwell has been made available only one time since the Jets loss in the playoffs. That isn't accessible at all. Irsay is more accessible, mostly because he does tons of stuff in the community, and is a Twitter maniac. Terrible may be a bit harsh, but "mediocre" would be putting it very nicely, and "accessible" would not be correct, according to people I spoke with at the Combine.
Where does this notion the Colts have a strained relationship with the fans come from? On this side of the Fringe universe it’s not true. Maybe you guys should cross back over to reality.
This was said to me by one of our great beat writers: "This is not a Colts town, this is a Peyton Manning town. They [the front office] are in for a rude awakening once he leaves town, and the team potentially falls on hard times." We aren't the only ones who believe these things.
And how could this repair relations with fans? It not open to the public.
Again, we were there. We are fans. For better or worse, we are one of the voices of the fans. So even though it wasn't officially open to the public, it was open to us.
I didn't do this to call out specific posters, which is why I didn't link to them, or use their names. I wanted to show that others, not affiliated with Stampede Blue, actually agree with BBS on things re: Bill Polian. It's also extremely short-sited to blow this off like it didn't matter. We might get this opportunity again next year, and might get a chance at more coverage this year, all of which we want to use to bring you, the reader, closer to our favorite team. Whenever we get a chance like this, we want to take full advantage of it. Unfortunately, the Colts felt they didn't need to be there, for whatever reason.
It sucks for all of us.