TERRE HAUTE — You know what bugs me about Super Bowl XLIV?
Nothing … and that bugs me a lot.
When the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints hook up in a week, there’s no obvious bad guy. The Colts quietly go about their excellence. The Saints are the feel-good story of the moment. No blowhards, no blustery windbag coaches need apply.
I’m the kind of sports fan who likes to take sides, who likes to make an emotional investment in a game. For me, games are infinitely more interesting when someone wears the black hat, when a player has a big mouth, when a city and its fan base won’t shut up about how great they think they are.
Where, pray tell, is the East Coast/big market bias? I (sniff) kind of miss it.
What the world needs now are drama queens, prima donnas and me-first yakkers who are better heard than seen. I want trash-talkers, chest-beaters, and hopefully, if karma works its wonderful magic, crow-eaters.
But, alas, none of that is going to happen. These two teams are (gulp) … too likable.
Now’s as good a time as any for this mostly Colts’ fan audience to reveal that I’m not a Colts fan myself — I’m a Wisconsin native and a Cheesehead to my summer sausage-and-cheese curd-eating core, which means the Green Bay Packers are the team that moves me.
If only I had a wayback machine to wipe out that weak overtime pass interference penalty against the (hated) Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game and I’d have my wish. Oh Brett Favre … if only I could turn my lonely eyes to another dopey interception.
But I’m not a Colts hater either. I simply cover the team on occasion with requisite emotional detachment. I wish the Colts well, if for no other reason than it will make a lot of folks around here happy.
But it’s just so much more fun to have a team or someone you love to hate. And I hate the fact that absolutely no one on either team fits the bill this time around. I’ve tried to find something, anything, to get my goose, but nothing works.
What on earth can anyone find remotely objectionable about the Colts? Jim Caldwell is too nice? Pat McAfee is a pro wrestler?
Peyton Manning does too many TV ads? Peyton Manning? Are you serious?
The man is currently cooking along at such an all-time level and goes about his job with such robotic excellence that you almost feel like you should attend a Colts game as you might a church service and only speak in hushed, respectful tones so as not to disturb his craft. In itself, that would normally qualify as annoying, but hating Manning is like hating “Citizen Kane.” You’ve taken leave of your senses if you can’t at least give a nod to the sheer greatness.
Even the Colts’ talkers are sedate. Reggie Wayne wore a construction hat in the post-AFC Championship game locker room because the Colts still have work to do. In your face, Saints! Somewhere, Chad OchoJohnCincoson is shaking his head disapprovingly and telling him to try harder.
You can’t even go off roster in the quest for rancor. Colts fans? They aren’t in any way annoying at all collectively and most of my best friends bleed blue-and-white. Indianapolis? Not my favorite city, but nothing to dislike about it either. I went to high school there, lived with my wife there. It’s just fine.
The Colts could, of course, be playing for a perfect record if they hadn’t shrugged their shoulders at immortality and pulled their starters with perfection on the line. Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. But as much as I hated that decision by the Colts, they did get to the Super Bowl, so I can’t conjure much more than tepid irritation. Pity that.
As for the Saints? New Orleans is one of America’s great cities, their fans are colorful and have suffered as much as any NFL fanbase and they similarly have a roster bereft of punks. You even have the added local connection of Saints head coach Sean Payton, who was once an assistant coach at Indiana State.
Hopefully, Colts fans won’t latch on to the silly meme that the Saints are going to try and hit Manning as much as possible. Call me crazy, but last I checked, that’s what the opposing team is supposed to do. Nothing to see here … move along.
So next Sunday, somewhere in the Great Plains where I will watch the Super Bowl as I travel on ISU’s men’s basketball road trip to Wichita State and Creighton, I will kick back and like what I see.
Sigh. Oh well. Hate ’til next year.
Todd Golden is sports editor of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TERRE HAUTE — You know what bugs me about Super Bowl XLIV?
Colts sign former Giants receiver Nicks
Ryan Grigson loves to make a deal. The Indianapolis Colts third-year general manager has earned a reputation around the National Football League as a guy who will act decisively and quickly if there’s somebody that he really wants. That trait proved true again Friday as the Colts added former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to the team’s roster.
Colts keep Vinatieri, Davis, Bradshaw in fold
With the NFL’s free-agency signing period getting underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it was fairly certain that the Indianapolis Colts would be active participants.
The Colts went into free agency with around $40 million of salary cap space in their back pocket. Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson, however, had indicated at the National Football Scouting Combine that he wanted to be judicious in how the team spent its money.
Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years
Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, Pat McAfee — the Indianapolis Colts’ punter and kickoff specialist — tweeted that he had a special announcement to make at the top of the hour.
Colts excited to add talent, experience of D'Qwell Jackson
With the National Football League's veteran free agency period set to start on March 11, the Indianapolis Colts front office has started to make the decisions needed to retool for the 2014 season.
Former Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had been released by Cleveland on Feb. 26, signed a reported four-year, $22 million deal with Indianapolis on Thursday. Only the first two years of the contract are guaranteed.
Jackson (6-foot, 240) started 96-of-97 games over the past eight seasons with the Browns since being selected by the team in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played collegiately at Maryland.
EIU’s Garoppolo hopes to impress scouts
Let the Eastern Illinois University quarterback tradition continue.
Mike Shanahan, Jeff Christensen, Sean Payton, Tony Romo and, now, Jimmy Garoppolo. All were record-setting quarterbacks on the Division II and FCS levels.
Grigson says Colts likely not to make big splash in free agency
Don’t expect the Indianapolis Colts to go wild in the upcoming free-agent market.
While the Colts will have anywhere from $33 to $37 million to spend this offseason, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson says the franchise will be a bit more selective when it comes to signing any prospective veteran free agents.
SEASON IN REVIEW: Colts make progress in 2013 season
The Indianapolis Colts made plenty of progress over the course of the 2013 season.
And the Colts fought through some adversity as injuries hit the team hard at several positions, most notably at wide receiver (Reggie Wayne), tight end (Dwayne Allen), running back (Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw), offensive line (Donald Thomas) and cornerback (Greg Toler).
Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development
Time to move on. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss at New England last Saturday night, head coach Chuck Pagano is ready to take time off and then start getting after it again late this spring.
Blunt force trauma: Patriots running game too much for Colts
LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight AFC championship game.
The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.
‘Still the same Tom’
How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
Belichick impressed with Luck's skills, poise under pressure
Bill Belichick doesn’t have to be reminded about the talents of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Although Belichick’s New England Patriots handed the Colts a 59-24 loss in Foxboro last year, he came away from the game with plenty of respect for the young signal caller.
Colts, Patriots, both with many new faces, to meet in playoffs for fourth time
Here we go again. Yet another Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots playoff game.
Up next for Colts: Brady, Patriots
Hello Tom Brady.
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers’ 27-10 AFC wild-card playoff win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face Brady’s New England Patriots Saturday (8:15 p.m.).
Luck leads huge rally as Colts grab first playoff win for Pagano
What a game.
Just when it looked like the Indianapolis Colts were going to be blown out at home in an AFC wild-card playoff game by the Kansas City Chiefs, the impossible happened.
Colts sell out today's Kansas City game
There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.
The Colts host Kansas City today. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.
NFL honors Colts' Mathis with Deacon Jones Award
Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.
He learned to appreciate Jones’ creativity over time.
The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honored Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL’s Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league’s sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.
Victory over Chiefs means nil, Mathis says
Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.
Record-setting Indy win
Finish the National Football League regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers
Play clean. That’s been a credo that the Indianapolis Colts have tried to live by this season.
Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably
Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.
Toeing the line: Colts’ offensive line getting healthy, finding niche as playoffs near
The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line has certainly taken its share of hits this season, both on and off the field.
Colts’ chief strength: No panic
The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.
Luck has knack for knowing when to run
To run or not to run. When it comes to Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck, his competitive nature usually comes into play.
Loss at Chiefs could cost Colts bye in playoffs
Chuck Pagano doesn’t have to make his Indianapolis Colts players aware of the playoff implications surrounding the team’s road game at Kansas City on Sunday.
Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano stresses that he is not a scoreboard watcher when it comes to other National Football League games.
Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season
It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.
Whalen, Richardson make waves on offense
It’s not too hard to figure out who the offensive and defensive players of the game were in the Indianapolis Colts’ 25-3 win over Houston Sunday.
Mathis, Colts hoping to gain defensive momentum against Texans
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of the Indianapolis Colts two most vested veterans, has taken it upon himself to make sure his team is ready for Sunday’s AFC South matchup with Houston (1 p.m., CBS Sports).
Mathis and injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been with the Colts the longest. They, along with defensive end Cory Redding and safety Antoine Bethea, have become important voices in the Indianapolis locker room.
Colts not apologizing for way they won division title
Backing into the AFC South title? The Indianapolis Colts are not apologizing to anyone for claiming the franchise’s eighth division crown since the start of the 2002 season.
Bungles — including refs’ — benefit Bengals
Give the Cincinnati Bengals plenty of credit. In a game that pitted two of the AFC’s better teams and two of the National Football League’s best young quarterbacks, the home-standing Bengals took care of business.
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- Colts sign former Giants receiver Nicks