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The Five Stages of First Loss Grief

The Colts came in to this game 14-0. Perfect. Now, they are 14-1. The Jets didn't beat the Colts that won those first 14 games though. They beat one featuring Curtis Painter. I'm no Painter fan at all as most of you would know. The 2008 Notre Dame-Purdue game would be why. However, we are all grieving. This sucks, plain and simple. I feel like I was kicked in the groin right now. Hey, if you need some help, medical people made a list of stages to deal with losses. Those losses are more serious than a somewhat meaningless football game, but the same principles apply.

1) Denial

"Hey look, Manning is still holding his helmet! Don't worry he will be coming back."
"14-0 is not the same as 12-2 or anything similar. Caldwell knows what an undefeated season would mean. He won't rest them."

This occured once Curtis Painter started to warm up on the sideline. All across Indianapolis, hearts stopped for a little bit. People looked for anything to give them hope that Manning was going to come back in to the game. The game went to a commercial, and Colts fans went to stage 2.

2) Anger

"What the f*ck is this sh*t? Boo!"
"Well, there goes the magic from this season!"
"Caldwell is a joke!"
"Polian just cost us the Super Bowl!"

This will probably be the longest stage. More anger was created when Painter made a costly fumble that ended up being the difference. That was a God awful play by Painter, and 19-0 went out the window as fast as the ball went out of his hands. Some people got angry at Caldwell. Other people got angry at the people who were angry at Caldwell. I do not think people are mad at Painter. People shouldn't have expected any different from him. He's not a good QB at all, and no rookie is going to play well when a stadium of nearly 70,000 fans are freaking out. All of the anger is directed at Caldwell. This may be the longest stage. It could also come back harder than ever if the San Diego Chargers give this team a playoff loss.

3) Bargaining

"Please put back in Manning now!"
"It's not out of reach yet as long as Manning and Wayne come back in the game!"
"I'll do anything! Just put Manning back in!"

This one won't last very wrong. When Thomas Jones made it 29-15, this game and the historic stretch was over. Bargaining became futile. Not even God or Brandon Stokley could help you. People won't put this into comments, but they are thinking about it.

4) Depression

"This blows."
"I can't believe it's over."
"This sucks ass."
"I feel like I got kicked in the groin."

This is what I am currently in. It's unbelievable. This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. 14-0 was unbelievable. All of the players look like they are going through this as well. Manning looked like he was about to cry, and Painter looked beat up about it too. I feel bad for Painter and Manning and the whole organization. There was nothing they can do. I'm worried that the locker room may have been destroyed by this. These players look like their dog just died. I can't believe I am still watching this game...

5) Acceptance

"It's all about the Super Bowl."
"I'd rather be 18-1 with a Super Bowl than 18-1 without one."
"16-0 regular seasons mean nothing without a ring."
"Well, I don't have to worry about losing in the playoffs and losing the undefeated season."
"Better the Jets than the Chargers."
"I still like to laugh at the 07 Pats, and I didn't want to lose that."

This is the final stage. Some people may be in it right now. It may be until the 1st playoff game for others. It feels a long way away from me right now. I know I will get there, but I don't know if it will be soon. ESPN and the MSM will be awful tonight and tomorrow and the next week. I don't even want to think about it if they don't win the Super Bowl. I don't know if I will ever fully accept throwing away a chance for 19-0. Even if they win the Super Bowl, the question will come up. "Would this have happened if they were 19-0." I just hope that we are in a position to where we can ponder that thought.

I disagree strongly with this decision. Teams are 7-7 when they rest their starters and they are 3-11 against the spread. Against the spread doesn't mean anything in the standings, but it shows that the team probably underperformed. History is not on the Colts' side right now. If you didn't like hearing about Rivers and the Chargers now, it will be awful now. I'm trying to see the good in this, and I can't find it. Hell, if Peyton goes down the number one draft pick will belong to the Colts. I don't know if this team could beat the Rams without Manning. I'll leave you with one final quote. I think this sucks. If you think 19-0 was meaningless, you are so wrong. 19-0 is something that may never be done. You don't throw away a chance for that. And now that idiot Rex Ryan gets in the playoffs over a more deserving team like the Broncos or Ravens. Only the Jets benefit. If the Colts lose in the playoffs, there will be a terrible uproar.

I will leave you with one quote by the smartest man ever.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result."
-Albert Einstein