Sep 09, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano reacts after a play against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Chicago defeats Indianapolis 41-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE
From the "Thank god and sunny Jesus" file, we get this happy news from Mike Chappell at the Indianapolis Star:
A few hundred tickets remain, but the Indianapolis Colt’s Sunday home opener against the Minnesota Vikings technically is a sellout and will be broadcast in the local market.
Like it or not, fair or unfair, Jim Irsay took a beating this Sunday. His "new era" opened with a 20 point loss to the Bears. Adding to that, both Robert Griffin III and Peyton Manning outplayed Andrew Luck. We can argue and squabble with each other all we want, but local fans in Indianapolis were affected by how well those two quarterbacks played in relation to how Luck performed, Manning especially. There was real fear that the home opener would not sell out.
That is went this far (seven days before the actual game) before finally reaching the "technically" status that allows it to get televised locally does not speak well for out fanbase.
Again, you can whine, scream, howl, yell, bitch, moan, cry all you want at me. You can do what our fanbase is famous for doing: Shooting the messenger in the gonads with a 12 gauge. Changes nothing (except maybe my reproductive capacity and my singing voice). We are labeled "fair-weather."
And if the Colts get blown out at home against the Vikings, it will affect ticket sales for the remainder of the season, and the "fair-weather" label will stick for a while.
This is a big game upcoming for Irsay, Luck, and the Colts fanbase. Many people are still angry at how Manning was sent packing. Yes, the anger is irrational and stupid, but this is a significant portion of the Indy fanbase, and Irsay cannot afford to ignore it. Irsay's decision to release Peyton Manning must be justified for these people, and if Luck is turning the ball over four times while Manning is carving up the Steelers defense, that does not place Irsay in good standing with these fans.
As I have said repeatedly, I agree with Irsay's decision to release Manning. Drafting Luck over Robert Griffin III was also the smart move. However, several people are still not convinced that these decisions were the right ones, and they need to see winning Colts football to be convinced.
Frustrating, I agree, but it's the reality of our collective fanbase.