After two seasons of hopelessness, Colts fans believe the team is headed in the right direction after losing a game it should have won against the Bengals.
Maybe that’s idiotic. Maybe it represents a tolerance of defeat. Whatever it is – it’s a hell of a lot more fun than embracing doom through as another generation of team leadership exerts its will upon the franchise.
Two things we can all agree on – GM Chris Ballard is a smarter general manager than Ryan Grigson (by default) and Frank Reich appears better suited in the role of head coach than did Chuck Pagano.
The roster may be really young and not talented enough to compete successfully with the elite teams in the NFL, but it’s a hell of a lot more fun to see the light at the end of the tunnel and believe it’s not an oncoming train.
As sports fans, we get to believe the improbable, embrace the silly, and wander free among like-minded believers extolling the virtues of scarcely talented teams and athletes.
Whether the Colts win or lose, we sleep fine. Whether the next five drafts executed by Ballard are works of genius or madness, we work, play, laugh, and love with enthusiasm.
I write all this because it looks like the Washington Redskins are good enough to fear this Sunday, and then the World Champion Philadelphia Eagles are next. That looks like a likely 0-3 start, so we need to start chopping wood toward embracing a sane perspective about a team that is a couple of years away from making championship dreams come true – if Ballard gets it right.
The Colts rebuild is going to be long and complicated. Players will come and go around an ever expanding core, and that core will be built through the draft – an annual exercise of scouting and hope that likely yields an average of four productive players per year.
To give you an idea of where the Colts are in this process, let’s do the math. Four players per draft, 22 starters per team, and an average of six players lost to injury means that the Colts will have to execute seven drafts to rebuild. Two down, five to go? Yikes!
Forget yikes. Embrace relax.
The entire Colts season will last approximately 48 hours of game time, and if they suck with let’s say a 6-10 record, our actual time spent in misery will total 30 hours. That’s barely more than one full day.
I feel very good about the progress Ballard has made during his 20 months on the job. Andrew Luck is healthy again, and five picks in the first two rounds in last April’s NFL Draft likely accelerated the process. But if I’m wrong about Ballard?
You are going to need role models in finding a way to enjoy being a football fan of a failed franchise. Fortunately Indianapolis is 45 minutes north of Bloomington, the home of the losingest football program in D1 history We Hoosiers have had a great time laughing our way through the tears for decades.
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.