Dear residents of the great city of Indianapolis: The national media and other power parties in and around the sports world think you suck.
They don't care for you.
They don't like you.
They don't even think you are worth a good goddamn.
I wish the tone of this article were sarcasm, but it isn't. It would seem writers from places like New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and all other major metropolitan cities in North America simply don't think your town, and the great players who play for your teams, are important.
How else do you explain the events of the last week? I'll run them down for you. Like a list of M. Night Shyamalan's films the last ten years, it's pretty brutal:
- On Friday, Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was left off the NBA All-Star team. This despite him leading the association in triple-doubles (4) and averaging 14.2 points, 5.4 assists, and 7.2 rebounds a game. There was simply no logical reason to leave Stephenson off the roster, unless, if you believe Stephenson's teammate David West, the people who vote on the squad reserves (a.k.a., other NBA coaches) were being "pricks."
- On Saturday night, both Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison were snubbed from the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Harrison, in particular, was hosed because the media writers who vote on the honor opted instead to let in Bills wide receiver Andre Reed. A quick glance at Harrison's numbers compared to Reed's numbers makes this decision utterly astounding.
- Also on Saturday night, Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, who won the Deacon Jones Award for leading the NFL in sacks with 19.5, lost the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year award to Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Boom. Boom. Boom. Three shots straight to the gonads.
Now, obviously, not all of these snubs are equal in terms of their level of dickishness. I personally don't think Robert Mathis deserved DPotY, but him missing out on the award on the same night a majority of HoF voters snubbed Harrison for Reed is kind of like getting kicked in the nuts and then getting kicked again in the nuts! It's like a one-two combo punch, but to your ball sack. The second kick doesn't hurt as much, but instead prologues the throbbing agony of the first kick.
Side note: This insight is for any of you ladies out there who want to know what it's like to experience a shoe to the scrote. Oh, and if a creep is attacking you or giving you a hard time, two kicks are always better than one. End of public service announcement.
You could even use the voting of the 2013 NFL MVP award as an example of Indianapolis getting the shaft. Former Colts quarterback quarterback Peyton Manning was honored with the award after throwing an NFL record 55 touchdowns this season for the Denver Broncos. The selection was a no-brainer, and the thought was he'd get all 50 votes.
One person, Chicago media personality and former Bears quarterback Jim Miller, picked Tom Brady, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. Brady would have gotten another selection as well had Boston sportswriter and sometime NBC analyst Tom Curran not been talked out of voting for New England's quarterback. Curran went on Twitter Saturday night and explained that, despite his Dec. 26th article lobbying for Brady to get the MVP award, it was Brady himself that talked Curran into voting for Manning.
I voted for Peyton Manning for MVP. Strongly considered vote for Tom Brady but was talked out of it - or into Manning - by ... Tom Brady.— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) February 2, 2014
Personally, I don't think this makes Curran look any better. In fact, he comes off as someone who is significantly influenced by the team he is, I assume, supposed to objectively cover and analyze. But, that's just me.
I'll at least give Curran credit for making the obvious choice, but Jim Miller's vote was either a cheap attempt at attention or the man literally is the worst NFL analyst currently working. Obviously, Miller is entitled to his opinion, but part of being an analyst is you must seem somewhat informed. Voting for Tom Brady in a year where Peyton Manning broke Brady's own single-season touchdown record is pretty much indefensible.
Why not vote for Alex Rodriguez? It makes about as much sense as voting for Brady.
I mention the MVP voting not because I think Miller's selection was a slight at Indianapolis, because it wasn't. Manning doesn't play for the Colts anymore, and he could care less right now about what the city thinks of him. Miller's vote highlights something that is, quite possibly, the biggest slight of all the ones listed:
No one in the Indianapolis media market gets to vote on the NFL's MVP.
Not even Mike Chappell, who has covered the NFL and the Colts for decades and has a vote for the Hall of Fame inductees.
Jim friggin' Miller and Tom flippin' Curran get MVP votes, and Mike Chappell doesn't.
"Congratulations to Peyton for winning his fifth MVP award," said Miller, who posted an 11-2 record as the starting quarterback with the Chicago Bears in 2001. "I'm confident in my vote. As someone who played the position, I felt Brady was on par with what Adrian Peterson did last year."
That's some sh*t right there.
Now, you'll have to forgive me because I'm clearly a crazy, overly emotional fan who, most of the time, "doesn't get it" when it comes to understanding why uninformed people weld power within media. It's easy for me to take shots at Curran, who comes off as a ragging prick and seems to relish the perception that he's, essentially, a P.R. man for the Patriots. When I've met him privately, Tom is actually a nice guy. Same with Jim Miller. When I covered the Super Bowl in 2010, Miller was one of the best people I talked to. Smart. Informed. Genuinely friendly.
But, at the end of the day, I must say it bothers me that these two guys have votes and not one member of the Indianapolis media market does. To me, that's the biggest F*ck You in a week of several.
Congrats to Peyton,other AP award winners. But one thing I've lobbied in vain for--EVERY city with NFL team should have a vote. Indy doesn't— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) February 2, 2014
If Indy had vote in 2003, Manning and Tenn's Steve McNair would not have shared MVP award. It's just wrong.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) February 2, 2014
I've never lobbied for Indy Star to have a vote. Give it to Tom James, Mike Wells, somebody in Indy market. Anybody in Indy market— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) February 2, 2014
I'll lobby for it, and I'll do so as someone that many in local Indianapolis media don't even like!
I ruffle feathers. I annoy. I take shots. I do this because I don't respond well to pricks in media, and many working in Indianapolis are bitter, vindictive pricks.
Not all. Not someone like Chappell. Or 1070 the Fan's Conrad Brunner. Or ESPN Colts beat writer Mike Wells. Or a few others who are smart, friendly people I enjoy talking to. But, there are a lot pricks. And thus, I play the part of annoying, lives-in-mom's-basement blogger.
However, that doesn't mean the entire Indianapolis market should be shutout of voting for the NFL MVP. That's not two kicks to my crotch. That's like slapping my mother and insulting her famous cookie crumb crust apple pie to my face on Thanksgiving AT THE DINNER TABLE!
So, by all means Indianapolis sports fans, feel free to hate everyone else who writes about sports outside of Indianapolis. This includes me, I guess. I live half the year in New York City and the other half in Vancouver, BC. It's not like I haven't taken shots at local fans in Indy. But, despite my sometimes rough exterior and my continued annoyance with the silliness that many Indianapolis fans often display (like this sh*t), at the end of the day I'll always stand-up for Indy.
It's my ancestral home.
And boy did my old home get slapped at the dinner table this week.