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Watch out! The Colts have turned into thugs!

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Folks, the Indianapolis Star is truly pathetic. You need only look at the "news" the last few days to see this paper is more interested in story narrative than reporting actual news. As I'm sure you are aware, and posted here by ppr314, Dominic Rhodes was arrested and charged for driving drunk. Bad move by Dom, and one that will cost him. Fine. I accept that.

A few hours later, the Star reports that (gasp!) Dallas Clark was kicked out of a high school girls basketball game for (for the love of God no!) yelling at the refs.

I see this and I'm thinking, Um, ok. BFD! Who cares if Dallas Clark gets booted from a high school game in Iowa! Is it THAT slow of a news day? In the sports world, no it wasn't, what with the Pacers starting the second half of their season, NASCAR in full swing, and the NFL Combine coming to town. There's tons to talk about. But the Star had other ideas.

After Dom's DUI and Dallas's quick exit to the high school parking lot, it seemed like the Colts were doing their best impersonation of the Pacers during the off-season. Granted, Dom's DUI was a serious charge, but it's not like he fired a gun at someone outside a strip club at 4am, or beat the crap out of a bar owner, or jumped into the stands and started fighting fans.

Yet, despite these facts, the Star continues to roll with this "story" that the Colts are apparently no different than the "thuggish" Pacers. Bob Kravitz, in his usual dimwitted manner, decided to chime in on this theme the Star is running with:

Eight hours earlier, we were sitting in the media room at the Colts practice facility, talking about exactly this issue, saying how the fans and media have completely bought into this Pacers and Colts as sinners-and-saints duality.

"At some point,'' Mike Chappell, The Star's Colts beat writer, said plainly, "that's going to blow up in people's faces.''
Ka-boom!

At 3:02 a.m. Tuesday morning, there was Dominic Rhodes, fresh off his MVP-worthy Super Bowl performance and a visit to Disney World, getting pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

What did Colts coach Tony Dungy say a couple of weeks ago about having a team of players you'd love your son to emulate?

This is how Kravitz starts his article, with commentary so petty and short-sighted it would make Mike Lupica happy. I'll first dispell this silly and out-of-touch rumor that the Colts are viewed as "saints" by Indianapolis fans. The Colts won the Super Bowl, and did so with class and distinction. They did not hoot and holler, they didn't dance on the opposing team's logo or insult the other team's coach after the game. Whenever they would score a touchdown, there was little extraneous celebration or showboating. During media day, they handled themselves with class and dignity on the biggest stage in professional sports. They are coached by a man many believe is the classiest person in sports. They handled themselves well on the field and won a championship for the city of Indianapolis. No one is calling them "saints." They are indeed led by a classy group of people: Dungy, Manning, Harrison, Freeney, McFarland, Vinatieri, Addai, and owner Jim Irsay. These men are the face of the Colts. These are fine, upstanding men who carry themselves well in the public spotlight. These men have earned the right to have people admire how they handle themselves. But they are not "saints."
Bob Kravitz: dumbass

Meanwhile, in Pacer land, their starting PG and court "general" was busted for assaulting a bar owner last month, along with two other Pacers. Stephen Jackson, the team's second leading scorer the last two years before he was traded to Golden State, was arrested for firing his gun at a group of men outside a strip club at 4am during Pacers training camp. And, of course, we are only two-plus years removed from the greatest sports brawl in American history, which featured the current franchise player for the Pacers (Jermaine O'Neal), Jackson, and Tinsley attacking fans in the stands. Marquis Daniels, known for his shady past in Dallas, has picked up where he left off here in Indy. He was involved in the shooting with Jackson earlier in the season and was present when Tinsley attacked the bar owner this month.

Somehow, that rap sheet doesn't quite match-up with Dominic Rhodes getting his DUI and Dallas Clark getting kicked out of high school gym. Unlike the Colts, the Pacers have a very long and very consistent recent history of bringing in guys who act like jerks off the court. And then, on the court, they stink up the place.

So, instead of reporting actual news, the Star is instead fishing for a catchy narrative. The theme of the narrative: See! See! The Colts are immature punks just like the Pacers are! See! See, we told you!

Why is the Star going with this silly and pathetic narrative?

Ultimately, the bigger point is this: If you think all the Colts are God-fearing boys-next-door types who wouldn't think to jaywalk when nobody was watching, you're misguided.

If you think all the Pacers are lawless, gun-toting bandits intent on shooting up the Westside of Indianapolis, you're misguided.

One thing I know: This column will be well-read by every member of the Pacers organization. I can promise you, the moment the Rhodes story hit the wires, Pacers management and players were saying, "OK, let's see how the TV stations and the newspaper cover it when it involves the sainted Colts.''

Huh? Because the friggin' Pacers are mad about a supposed double standard, you run with this crap? If the Pacers are tired of people complaining about their off-the-court behavior, then they should stop getting in bar fights, shooting guns at people, or throwing haymakers at fans! And this kind of garbage is typical from the Star, a paper known for its animosity towards the Colts.
Desperate Pacers fans hope no one gets arrested for the rest of the season.

It's known in many circles that Bob Kravitz did not walk down from the press box to the Colts locker room after the Super Bowl to congratulate the Colts, owner Jim Irsay, and GM Bill Polian. Such an act is tradition among the media. It's also just simple gratuity and plain decency. To expect this from Bob Kravitz, a man that seemed almost disappointed that the Colts beat the Chiefs in the Wildcard Round, was too much, I guess. He's made his feelings known about Bill Polian many times. Yet, despite these feelings, you'd expect a friggin' professional to take the high road, swallow his pride, and act like a gentlemen. Sadly, Kravitz acted like the petty punk we all know him to be, and continues to act this way with articles like this.

No one in their right mind is saying the Colts have a monopoly on class, as Kravitz seems to suggest. Guys like Rhodes, Mike Doss, Nick Harper, and DeDe Dorsey have all had run-ins with the law. It happens. But here is where Kravitz and the Star simply lose touch with reality:

All of the Pacers' issues have involved big-name players, starters, whose names get more play because they're part of a smaller roster.
No Bob, the size of the friggin' roster has nothing to do with it. The Cincinnati Bengals are known as the problem children of the NFL. Their own QB, Carson Palmer, has acknowledged this and demanded change. Last I checked, their roster had as many as the Colts (53 active). The difference between them and the Colts is you are not seeing the same, consistent demerits. Guys like Odell Thurman, Chad Johnson, and Deltha O'Neal all have well documented run-ins with either the law or problems within the team (Johnson got in a fight with his own coach during a playoff game). In one year, 2006, nine Bengals players had run-ins with the law that resulted in arrests.

Nine.

In one season, 2006-2007, the Pacers have had six of their players have run-ins with the law. These are players with prior records and a long history of problems. Stephen Jackson was always known as a problem child. Tinsley is a joke both on and off the court. Ron Artest was a mental case.

You do not see these same kinds of problems consistently with the Colts, and that is the difference. Bottom line here, the Star doesn't like the Colts and they are, once again, fishing for a narrative. It's silly. It's petty. It's typical Gannett "reporting." Yes, I know I've ragged on the Star before, and I plan to continue doing so until I start seeing some actual journalism come from this rag. Or, if another news outlet springs up and starts covering the Colts with some actual objectivity. Until then, I will bash and berate the Star whenever I see them fishing for a narrative rather than doing their job, which is to report news.