Colts may choose starters' health over perfect year
Posted: Wednesday November 16, 2005 11:26AM; Updated: Wednesday November 16, 2005 11:29PM
Please, I beg you, don't make me listen to, or read, another thing about T.O. He's past tense, terminado. I just can't take anymore. No more moralizing, no more high school editorials. Please God, I'm full up.
"Isn't there some kind of hearing about him Friday?" the Flaming Redhead says. Thanks, Linda. You've given me something to look forward to, another whole round of it, Michael Irvin on ESPN with that serious face, telling us why T.O. should be able to name whatever terms he chooses, etc. I need something calm, something peaceful to distract me ... I've got it ... THE RANKINGS, YEAH!
Seven teams stand between Indy and
immortality. By now each member of the magnificent
seven has received an engraved invitation from former
players on the '72 Dolphins to visit their homes and
have dinner and stay over -- if a certain event takes
place. Following is a chronology of the Colts'
Nov. 20 -- A windy day in Cincinnati. Edgerrin James
runs for 140 yards. Colts 23, Bengals 17.
Nov. 28 -- The Steelers arrive with Tommy
Maddox at QB. Colts 13, Steelers 6.
Dec. 4 -- Tension is mounting as Tennessee arrives.
Everyone's looking ahead to the Jaguars. This one
almost tips the wagon. Repeat, almost. Colts 31,
Dec. 11 -- Jaguars on the road. This has got to be it.
Bob Griese has been on local TV all week, Jim Mandich,
Nick Buoniconti. For the love of God, stop them!
Colts have fire in their eyes. Indy 38, Jaguars 20.
Dec. 18 -- The Colts are 13-0. They have clinched
everything, including home field through 2010. Tony
Dungy appears on TV and says that it is more important
to have a healthy team, going into the playoffs, than
a record-breaker. Surely the man can't be serious.
Talk-show hosts are in an absolute frenzy. Fights
break out in studios. What, rest people? He's
kidding. It's a set-up. The '72 Dolphins issue a
collective statement about how inhuman it would be to
risk players' health and safety by, uh, letting them
play, when there's the whole post-season remaining.
Jim Sorgi is quoted as saying that he can quarterback
the team to victory. He receives death threats. As
the team takes the field against the Chargers, he is
introduced in the starting lineup, and the boos rain,
along with shredded souvenir Colt jerseys and helmets.
Chargers 34, Colts' reserves 14. It's over.
From the how's that again Dept. On the
pass he delivered to Hines Ward that broke the team
pass catching record, Charlie Batch broke the pinkie
on his throwing hand. "If only he could have waited
to break the record," the Redhead says. If what, huh,
Jake Plummer is a triple crown
interception winner, once leading the NFL outright,
once tying for the lead and once leading the NFC.
Now, after nine games, he's got only three. I've
never been fond of the doctrine that preaches that
after cleanliness and Godliness, safety first is the
best thing for a QB. But tell me, when you look at Plummer's season, how can a logical
person argue with this?
Ken Lucas is my No. 1 cornerback in
the league right now, but after what he said about the
Jets, he'll be on my all-pro team with an asterisk
next to his name. That'll show him! For further
information on this subject, wait about 26 places.
A week ago Tuesday, wideout Jerheme
Urban was cut without pay after suffering a stress
fracture in his foot. Seemed that he'd signed a
waiver, beforehand, because he was an injury risk.
Players complained. Fullback Mack Strong, the union
rep, complained. Urban was then recalled and placed
on injured reserve, which means he'll get his pay for
the rest of the season. And who is the owner of this
team, whose first instinct is to be so careful with
his pennies? Computer gazillionaire and Microsoft
co-founder Paul Allen. And that is why I believe in
the strength of unionizaton, folks.
Before the Ravens' game they had tied
a record of 58 straight games, during the 16-game
season era, without scoring 30 points. Then they blew
it by scoring 30 against Baltimore. Everybody's
despondent. What do we do now? I've got the answer.
Keep it going by working on the record for consecutive
games not scoring more than 30. I believe that would
be 59 now.
You believe in the QB rating system?
OK, how's this? Two of Michael Vick's highest ranked
games, Seattle (94.8) and Green Bay (108.9), were
losses. His two lowest rated outings, Philly (55.7)
and the Jets (16.3), were victories. This isn't the
definitive argument, by any means, but it's just a
little more ammo in my war against the Elias Bureau
and it's silly system.
Late Sunday night I wrote my
handicapping column for Sports Illustrated, featuring
Philly vs. the Giants, assuming the Eagles would show
the same lethargy against the Cowboys that they had
for most of the year. I picked New York to win the
following week. Then on Monday night I watched
Dallas-Philly, and after two series, it became obvious
that I'd made a terrible mistake and the Eagles were
going to blow 'em out. At halftime, when I should
normally be working on my charts, I called my editor.
Is it possible to dictate a quick rewrite? (My
deadline had been that morning). "OK, do it quickly,"
he said. "Let's have it." So I changed my angle to
how the miserable Eagles had turned it around. Then,
of course, came that freak-show ending, and McNabb's
injury. What do I do now? Is it too late to add
something? Didn't even remember who I had ultimately
picked in Giants-Eagles. See what happens in this high-powered, madcap world of deadline writing?