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Austin Collie's 'Statement' Regarding Concussion Sniffs Of Polian Meddling

If you haven't read Phill Wilson's recent article about the 'statement' from Austin Collie regarding the hit he took against the Eagles which gave him a concussion, I suggest you do so. I kind of gets to the heart of all the silliness Colts management engages in when it comes to media.

Here's Collie's statement [emphasis mine]:

"I certainly have appreciated all of the thoughts and prayers received over the past couple of weeks.  Every day I feel like I am improving, and it was great to get back on the field in some capacity on Wednesday.  The doctors and training staff here have been tremendous, I can’t say that enough.  I understand everyone’s concern, but I prefer not to discuss the specifics of the play in Philadelphia, and I hope that can be respected.  It was a football play, and that’s part of football.  Now, I want to focus my efforts on continuing the gradual process of getting back on the field and helping our team as we approach a very crucial part of our season."

And here's Phil's response:

Why should that be respected? I don’t understand why he won’t talk about the play. Is this the team or him? I mean, we spend our lives chasing these guys around to talk about the plays they made and didn’t make. Why is this so different?

It's at this point that the 'dirty blogger' in the room steps forward and does what everyone else is often afraid to do because, should they speak the obvious, it will piss off the red-headed dude who bullies local Indianapolis media with impunity.

Collie's statement sounds nothing like Austin Collie, as Wilson says in his article. It does, however, reek of Bill Polian.

Look, I know people sometimes get pissy when I make it a point to take on the six time NFL Executive Of The Year who insults fans on his radio show and calls out players after a playoff loss. But, part of what we do around here is talk about the stuff that many other people in Indianapolis media are sometimes afraid to utter. And, sometimes, when you want to get to the heart of a matter, you have to be willing to go toe-to-toe with some people.

In this article, Phil Wilson is pretty clearly channeling some frustration when he asks if this statement is from Collie or the team. By 'team,' I'm fairly certain Phil means 'Bill Polian,' because no statement issued by a player or team of this nature sees the light of day unless Big Bill signs off on it.

And on this particular issue I will side with Phil because, quite frankly, there is no reason in the world for Austin Collie not to talk about this injury unless something is going on behind the scenes that, perhaps, shouldn't be going on behind the scenes. Players talk about injuries all the time. Details aren't required. Just generic 'How do you feel?' questions with generic 'I'm fine' answers are needed. With this injury, it seems the Colts don't want Collie to talk about anything.

That is unacceptable.

At the end of the article, Phil makes it clear why asking these questions, and getting answers to them, are important:

Don’t ask? OK, we won’t ask. Fans will ask us, and what do we tell them? Respect the fact we can’t ask?

Valid points.

I hope everyone understands that It's Phil's job to ask these questions. It's also Collie's and the Colts' jobs to answer them honestly. I'm not going to fault Austin here because, from my vantage, he is not the type of person who would just shut someone out without reason. It seems to me that the team is ordering him not to talk. Again, my opinion (likely shared by just about everyone who covers the team). Not letting Austin talk provides a disservice to the fans who pay taxes on a stadium that the Colts play in, essentially, for free.

Again, the same fans Polian is all but dismissive of whenever they dare to question his decisions or the way the Colts handle business.

And before the same set of mindless yahoos storm in here and complain that all I do is bash Polian, I'll state once again that I have written many articles praising the man's genius as a general manager. However, Bill's title is 'President,' which means that he is obligated by his job title to not treat the fans and media like yesterday's trash. Bill consistently fails at this very critical element of his job. He's pretty blatant in his contempt for fans and for the media in general. For people like me, who straddle the line between both, that is something I will not simply let go without me commenting on it.

Being great at one part of your job does not make you exempt from the other parts.

Just my opinion. Hope you understand where I'm coming from. Phil is totally justified in seemingly being frustrated with how this team deals with media and fans. I share that frustration.

Tip to Selador