Over the weekend, Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz finally jumped into the mosh pit that is the Colts ticket story. Personally, I think this issue warranted a full column from Bob (because it's kind of a big deal), but I'll settle for it being a note in a clear "I'm going on vacation soon so here's all the stuff I want to write before I go" type of article.
Even though the Indianapolis Colts season ticket renewal numbers are reasonably good by NFL standards, it still shocks me the waiting list is gone and they're still out selling a few thousand tickets.
We are a fair-weather city.
We're not a football town or a basketball town; we're a winners town. More specifically, a Peyton Manning town. You win, people show. You lose, people go to the movies instead.
Now, in typical Bob fashion, in the very next sentence after calling the city of Indianapolis "fair-weather," he tries to hop right back on the fence (and I think he mashed his nuts on the rail in the process):
That doesn't make us a lousy sports city, but it does define Indy for what it is.
Dammit, Bob! You almost had it! You almost had a real, truthful, honest moment right there. Instead, you insult the intelligence of just about every sports fan out there while back-peddling faster than a presidential candidate at a primary debate.
Look, I know how some of you readers feel about this. You know how I feel. I think that we can all agree that "fair-weather" cities really aren't good sports cities. Would you describe Los Angeles (the city that lost two NFL teams in the span of two years) as a "great" sports town? How about Miami?
No, neither are.
Eddie White (PR rep for the Pacers and former Dolphins employee) will tell you. Miami fans suck. LA fans too. People show up to the Staples Center for Lakers games sometime around halftime, and the only reason they're there is because it's a venue to be seen, like a trendy nightclub or a celebrity-owned restaurant. Phil Jackson used to complain about it all the time when coached there.
Like LA and Miami, we're fair-weather too. Unlike Bob Kravitz, let's all just admit that being fair-weather sucks. It doesn't reflect well on our fanbase, our city, or the Colts franchise. It's lousy. It's depressing. It. Just. Plain. Blows. Chunks.
I keep harping on this story because, if we are ever going to change the perception that we are a fair-weather city, we need to acknowledge that we are kind of a crappy sports town.
For you friends of Bill W. out there, what's the first step in addressing an issue of denial? Admittance.
As Indianapolis Colts fans, we need to admit that we are, collectively, a fickle and fair-weather bunch.
The next step is to see if we are OK with being tagged as such. Fighting against the tag, or shouting that is "isn't true" only makes you look silly at this point. The label has stuck. It IS who we are. Admit it. Acknowledge it. Note that this is how the rest of the sports world views us no matter how much blue and white paint your personally bath yourself in on Sundays.
Once you've admitted the obvious, you then need to determine whether or not you are OK with the label sticking, or if you want to go out there and do something about it. For most of you readers, I get the sense that you don't consider yourselves fickle. I would agree. you aren't. The problem isn't you. The problem is everyone else. Unfortunately, "everyone else" isn't some small minority. 13% of the fanbase bailed after just one bad year.
That's a massive chunk.