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Malott’s Believe It or Not Pre-Training Camp Edition

A Football Blog with Changes Afoot

NFL: JUN 14 Indianapolis Colts Minicamp Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

*I am a human being and this is a LIVE blog, meaning I’m free to correct myself when I err. Thank you to kindhearted people in the comments just trying to make sure the truth is spoken. I try to do the same.

First of all, congratulations are in order. My best friend and your former editor (man that’s a fresh wound!) Brett Mock and his wife Monica had their baby girl yesterday. Cheers, and lots of love rain down upon the Mocks right now and forever. Let’s talk about football.

The Colts have had an incredibly quiet offseason really only having lost Isaiah Rodgers Sr. to gambling and Daniel Scott to a torn ACL. Other than that, the Colts appear to be putting their head down and doing the work. With a new head coach and quarterbacks, the offense is going to have its moments. This defensive secondary starts training camp down two bodies and is a complete liability but we won’t talk about that until we make the opposing QB look like a god for a game in the regular season.

The very title of this blog is based on an English project one of my classmates wrote about me in high school over 20 years ago. Let the record show that I helped write the project and when it became popular, I profited off of it when said classmate decided to print and sell copies of Malott’s Believe It or Not to the tune of a few hundred bucks. This used to be a blog about sports gambling as it refers to NFL football, fantasy football, and daily fantasy sports. That changes today. One of the things I firmly believe in yet fail to live up to every single day is that you should do what you say you are going to do. I’ve been doing a lot of that, I think, over the last few years. One of the things I promised that I would do is that if I ever got a paid coaching job, I would stop writing about gambling so I don’t lose that job on some dumb shit like, I don’t know, man, gambling on your own team or something. For most of you, maybe this is the first time you’ll hear my story so let’s start with — Hey, my name is Jared and I played organized football first at age 8 and stopped playing organized football after I was 38 years old ~ just a couple of years ago.

I’d argue that outside of my wife and this staff AKA people, football is my longest-running active relationship in that while I did not just retire from an illustrious NFL career, no, I would argue that I have been to and watched more football than most adults, I did spend a few years training to be a football coach with Soldiers to Sidelines, I am back in school at Purdue studying Analytics, and as of yesterday, I became an actual paid high school football coach for the first time and I need to thank Kyle Padgett and Chris Chang, both head coaches here in Indiana that helped me find this job. There’s no time to rest on our laurels and be like “Holy shit we made it.” Baby this job pays $500 and I had to agree to run a study table for an hour three times a week just to get reimbursed for gas. I didn’t get into coaching for the money or the titles. That said, this is the job posting on the IFCA (Indiana Football Coaching Association) website for proof for my haters: Also please apply or share this with someone that can pass a background check and wants to coach with me here in Indianapolis!

The mission is simple. For the next 4 and a half months, we’ll be teaching, practicing, and playing 8-man football. Think half-line with WRs and pass plays, the gist of the rules is 5 men on the line of scrimmage on offense. I actually like this better than 7-on-7 because it forces the defense to pick a scheme and guess more which is like actual football as opposed to no line play and every play is a pass in 7-on-7, which excludes linemen altogether and favors the defense. While the school grows in population and as a natural byproduct of growth, more football players will enter the program. The goal for the next year is to convert to an 11-man football team. If you know of or have a child attending IPS and want to almost guarantee they go to college (because of the nature of the school’s already clearly marked affiliation with Purdue, for example), please let me know — I have a QR code for you to get more information. Bring that studious baller my way!

We asked the kids “Why do you go here as opposed to regular IPS schools?” They told us that “The teachers won’t let you fail here. If you’re having a bad day they will surround you and lift you up.” The students get to get to pick their schedule and coursework within reason. At other IPS schools, they have no freedom to choose their schedule or coursework. Kwasi told me that at regular IPS schools, freshmen can’t take art, for example. The kids get out at 1:45 pm on Wednesdays! I can’t speak to the validity of claims made to me by people I just met, more than 90% of whom do not have a driver’s license. Take what I say here with a grain of salt and we’ll all get along a lot better in the end. I do not mean to speak ill of other IPS schools as I barely knew ye. This football program is brand new and small, so the team only meets 3 days per week (Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays after school, which is better if you have an active child) and we are focusing on being athletes and teaching valid positional fundamentals that are good no matter what kind of football we are playing! The best part of this first opportunity is that we get to pivot to 11-man and should everything go right, I will be the Offensive Coordinator in the spring of 2024 telling the HC what I see from the booth in the fall of 2024!

My first head coach is Kwasi Clark. He is an IPS art teacher and an experienced coach, and an ambassador of sports. He’s a huge Colts fan! We get along swimmingly, have the same sort of mentality on a lot of things, and both see the opportunity for what it is. This is a period of great growth and transformation for a lot of people led by myself and this man! This is the exact kind of entry-level coaching job that I anticipated. For those of you that know of Indianapolis, this will all take place inside the old Broad Ripple High School. The school is called Purdue Polytechnic High School Broad Ripple (North) and is absolutely a feeder high school for Purdue here in the inner city of Indianapolis. The mascot is the Lynx and the colors are Black and dull Gold. For those of you clutching your pearls, I have lived in Marion County for over 15 years. If you’re scared, go to church. The long and short of it is that while there are facilities and I have much to be thankful for, this ain’t about me. It’s about these kids and parents that are going to take a chance on this program.

I’d argue the stands and booth need to be upgraded mostly because we are going to fill every seat and the current stands won’t even hold 1,000 people on both sides if they tried real hard and had a coach that wrote for the second-largest Colts website outside of itself and the community thought “wow it’s really cool that this local sports journalist is actually a high school football coach here in Indianapolis at a brand new program being built inside the old Broad Ripple High School (I voted in this school for years, for example). The field looks to have super short grass on it and I’d like to see a little longer blade of grass out there for the safety of our players. The weight room is antiquated and a lot of the work that needs to be done requires specialists to fix leaks, fix the AC, take out all this dangerous, ancient equipment, and update this weight room and associated facilities. They are flush with donated pads and equipment. We need coaches! We need volunteers! Money! Large amounts of construction and demolition and removal. Change is afoot. Good thing I have “embrace change” literally tattooed on my forearm, huh?

I’ll tell you the first thing I told these kids. “We have to control what we can control. Please focus on getting 8 hours of sleep, drink water because it’s hot outside, and before you get all excited about what you’re going to do with that football, fall in love with this weight room. If you just come out to play football, you will look back one day in regret that you didn’t just work your heart out in the weight room when you had the chance. This work is free. Be intentional with your work and be present in the moment. While you’re here we need you focused on this team.”

Also, here’s the latest episode of my podcast called The Coltist. We record that every week during the season and about every other week during the offseason. Mateo and I talk about both the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Now that I have this job, you will most certainly hear me talk about the PPHS Lynx! My lone senior is going to college for broadcast journalism!

One of the thoughts I had yesterday was that you should always chase your dreams. I can’t describe the feelings I had yesterday accurately because it’s been so long since I actually did something I wanted to do instead of doing what I had to do because money is the main mission. I’d rather be broke and happy than have money and be unhappy. My only fear is that after all this time, we have still yet to do anything to stop school shootings as a country and now I’ve put myself in a situation where while it is not volatile or violent, there will be a lot of growth and change, things people are not very well prepared for nor typically react well to. Here’s my latest podcast episode. Have a great rest of your summer! Go Lynx! I mean Colts!