Disappointment manifests itself different ways in people. Some show the devastation etched in every line of their face. Some rage and storm around and let it wholly consume them. Some laugh it off and act like they aren’t bothered by it.
Darius Leonard just smiles.
It would be foolish to mistake that smile for lightheartedness. Beneath that smile is a cold fury that burns through him, and it isn’t all that hard to see. Leonard says all the right things. When asked if his Pro Bowl snub motivates him, he answers pretty simply that he’s been overlooked all his life. If you don’t pay attention, you might get the impression that he doesn’t care all that much.
It’s a disappointment. We are focused on the next game. 1-0. Platitudes that you hear from every member of this Colts team. But if you look closely…
I get a different feeling from watching him talk. You know that scene in films where someone is about to get double crossed, and they just don’t know it? Where a partner or trusted character is playing the part, saying the right words, but they’re just about to turn villain? That’s the look in Darius Leonard’s eye as he says the right things and smiles.
Eric Ebron told the media earlier in the day that Leonard’s goal for Sunday is to have 40 tackles. What a ridiculous notion, right? 40 tackles in a game is not even possible. The media tells Darius so while they’re talking to him.
That’s when you see the true Maniac show through. The smile melts away and his true face is revealed. The look says it all, and what it says is that this is not a man who takes lightly being discounted.
His response was crystal clear.
“Impossible? There’s nothing impossible. We play a lot of snaps, just gotta get on every play.”
Does the Pro Bowl really matter that much? We can argue that fact from every angle. There are clearly flaws in the way it is done. Guys who deserve to be in don’t make it and others who are less qualified get in.
All that really matters is that Darius Leonard cares about it. Cares about it enough to be truly angry about being overlooked. When the dust settles on this season, Colts fans may be glad for this snub, because it may have just pushed the Maniac to a new level, and opposing offenses should be very afraid of what that looks like.