“Thanks for coming out at a weird time. I know you were in bars, malls, watching Indiana beat Michigan State, and spending time with your family, but my life doesn’t operate like that, so here we are on a Saturday at 5:45 in the afternoon
Five years ago, I screwed up. I had become so sick and tired of Bill Polian’s ill-tempered antics around here that I kicked he and his son out of the building, and hired the guy I believed was most unlike Polian.
Ryan Grigson was the anti-Polian in many ways. Totally unproven as a potential general manager, Ryan was just a scout with a less than championship level organization. Sadly, one of the primary ways Grigson and Polian were different was in talent evaluation.
We hope he would grow as someone with a keen eye for dynamic football players. Instead of evolving toward Polian in that area, Grigson adopted the least attractive aspects of Polian’s personality.
Fourteen seasons with Polian was justified by a Lombardi Trophy, a couple of Super Bowl trips, relentless regular season excellence, and a bunch of Pro Football Hall of Famers. The five seasons with Ryan brought a mirage of early success followed by two years of unending mediocrity.
A few minutes ago, our Pro Bowl punter tweeted, “Unwarranted Arrogance just ran into a brick wall called karma,” and I have commissioned a bronze plaque embossed with those words to be hung in our conference room forever as a reminder that if you are going to act like a jag around here, you better damn well win Super Bowls.
While Ryan is a good man, I am not going to bore you with the personal life paragraph from his wiki page. This is a big boy world, and Grigson didn’t get the job done. We aren’t in the citizenship business – we’re here to win football games, and Grigson did nothing to build an adequate defense in his five years in Indianapolis.
How many kids does he have? I don’t know, and I don’t care.
Win a Lombardi Trophy, we have a party every 10 years for your team. Lose as many as you win in the AFC South, pack a box.
Truth be told, I should have pulled this trigger a year ago, but allowed myself to be talked out of it by Chuck Pagano. Chuck knew his job would be safer after he championed Ryan and blew all that smoke up my ass about wanting to get it done together.
I wish Chuck was as adept a strategist with my football team on 16 Sundays a year as he was with his career on that day.
Speaking of Chuck, I don’t know whether he can lead us too a Super Bowl or not, but I do know that paying a guy $13.5 million of my cash make Chuck go away to hire someone who might be his equal will not make me very popular at holiday meals with the fam. So we are going to give Chuck another shot at this thing.
The guy I will hire to run the show is going to get three things done. He’s going to build a defense through the draft. Second, he’s going to make sure Andrew Luck is protected. And third, he’s going to stop throwing millions of my dollars at mediocres whose most enthusiastic moment each week is sprinting to the bank to cash his game check.
A lot has been made over the last year about the 2013 and 2014 draft classes that yielded exactly two players who remain on our roster. I should have made more of it myself. Whoops.
I hope Colts fans will accept my heartfelt apology for ignoring the obvious for as long as I did. You deserve hope, and a future with Ryan at the helm would have stripped the hope cupboard bare – and then some.
Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.