Colts win Sunday. Lose Monday.

Colts safety LaRon Landry (Photo: Muscle Pharm)

Colts safety LaRon Landry (Photo: Muscle Pharm)

How quickly life changes in the NFL.

On Sunday, the Colts followed up a win against Jacksonville with another decisive victory over the Tennessee Titans. In the last two weeks, the Colts have gone from 0-2 to 2-2 and 2-0 in the AFC South. Back to zero. A new start to the season…

Monday morning, I opened up my calendar and saw this:

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Only…he’s not. Now healing from a torn Achilles tendon, the earliest Robert Mathis will be back is next season. Bummer.

Later, I was trying to clean out my closet and was repeatedly interrupted by breaking Colts news. By Monday afternoon, we were down two more players. Safety LaRon Landry is out for four games and practice squad receiver Da’Rick Rogers for, well…forever.

Football is a game of yards. But it’s also a game of humans. And sometimes humans are just so…human.

I’m all about second chances and so are the Colts. But like Chris Rainey (dismissed during training camp for buffoonery), Da’Rick Rogers came in with two strikes against him and knew full well he had no room for error on or off the field. He pushed his luck in the preseason, when he scored a touchdown and kicked the ball for a 15-yard penalty. Follow that up with a DUI, and he made it too easy for the Colts to drop the short leash he was on and set him free. Free to make his own decisions. Good or bad. But I hope he goes with good. If not, that’s an awful lot of regret to handle some day.

And LaRon Landry would appear to be one of the first players nabbed by the NFL’s new and improved drug policy (which now includes testing for steroids and human growth hormone). One would assume that the NFL would “randomly” select players for testing who look like the Incredible Hulk, so…this is hardly surprising. But certainly disappointing.

If I’m Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson, I send Landry the dreaded text message: “We need to talk.”

And that talk goes something like this…

“You haven’t done anything for the Colts outside of what’s required. Which is fine. If you’re performing up to expectations. But, you really haven’t been. And now, you’ve violated something that is required, which is keeping your body clean of banned substances. We have a lot invested in you, LaRon. Tell me, why should we keep you around? Do you want to be here? Your actions don’t say “team player.” And you’re not really looking like a “horseshoe guy.”

If Mr. Landry wants to go rep supplements, have at it. I doubt anyone will pay him $3 million a year to do it though. And it seems the company he’s been representing has already dropped him (at least from their website). LaRon Landry should spend the next four weeks thinking about what he really wants to do. If he wants to play football for the Colts, great! But come back fully committed. A team player. All in. Or…go be a body builder. Or a superhero.

I still want LaRon Landry. But only if the feeling is mutual.

Don’t tell me, LaRon…show me.

And now, I’m going back to cleaning my closet. Please don’t interrupt me again.

Go Colts!

My Colts Fanniversary. And How I’m Celebrating.

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Life is weird.

My husband got a call from the Colts this week. They invited one person from our party to come down to the field to welcome the team out this Sunday as part of their Season Ticket Members Tunnel Club. He nominated me (obviously). And I was thrilled.

Now for the weird part…

The significance hadn’t occurred to me until I composed a tweet for the hashtag: #TweetAtYourselfTenYearsAgo.

Here’s my tweet:

Ten years ago I had just moved to Indianapolis. I was getting ready to go to my first Colts game (as a Vikings fan). I know. Just feel bad for me though.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 (coincidentally, my dad’s birthday), I watched Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts beat Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. Growing up a Vikings fan in Minnesota, I was always glad to see the Packers lose. So, I was happy to cheer for the Colts.

What I didn’t realize, was that I was already becoming a Colts fan. I just didn’t know it yet. The ties were there…I loved Coach Tony Dungy from his days in Minnesota. I went to Syracuse with the star wide receiver, Marvin Harrison. And Peyton Manning, well…who could resist him?

On November 8th, when the Vikings came to play the Colts on Monday Night Football, I wore pink to the game (to be neutral). I said I’d cheer for whoever had the ball. But half way through the game, I realized I was cheering for the Colts on defense too. I couldn’t help it. They had already won me over. And I’ve never looked back.

This Sunday, I will celebrate my first decade of Colts fandome by welcoming my team out of the tunnel at Lucas Oil Stadium. And I couldn’t be prouder to do it.

I don’t think life is random. I don’t believe in coincidences. I think we’re given signs along the way. But it’s up to you to shut out the noise and listen. For me, Sunday is yet another sign that I’m right where I’m meant to be. Doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. And loving every minute of it.

Over the last ten years, this team has taken me on ups and downs, through celebration and heartache, and given me opportunities I could never have imagined.

I’ve dedicated a good part of my life to being a Colts fan. But that’s nothing compared to what they’ve given me in return. And I can’t wait to see what the next decade brings.

Life is weird, people.

Weird and wonderful.

Go Colts!

Dear Pep Hamilton, I get it. Kind of. 

Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton (Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)

Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton (Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)

Dear Pep Hamilton,

Alright. I’m coming around. This Stanford/No Coast/Score First offense (or whatever we’re calling it these days) has really been a struggle for Colts fans.

I have to admit, I am a fan of pretty football. I love a long, beautiful spiral. I get turned on by a laser-sharp pass. And nothing gets me more excited than a good old fashioned shootout.

You have to understand, many Indianapolis fans grew up watching Peyton Manning play quarterback for the Colts. Others, myself included, fell in love with the Colts watching Peyton Manning throw the football. It was pretty hard not to fall in love with the Peyton Manning offense. It was a pass-happy, quarterback-driven football fantasy that played out for us every week and left us gasping and screaming for more. We were totally smitten with it.

It had its drawbacks of course, like on the rare occasion when said quarterback didn’t play well (usually reserved for big games). But other than that, it worked out pretty well for us.

And then came Andrew Luck. Peyton Manning 2.0. Not only could he throw, but he could run too! Who needed a running game? Let’s just draft a stable of wide receivers, let Andrew Luck air it out every week, and we’ll ride that horse all the way back to the Super Bowl! Or, so we thought…

Until you came along. And decided the Colts needed a “power running game.” Which really confused us. Why run the ball when you’re so good at throwing it?

Well, gradually we’ve come to see the benefit of a running game. It’s a nice option to have, and not only when all else fails. Balance may not be exciting, but it is necessary. Especially if you want to win football games.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we can work with this. We may not love it, but we can adjust. Just try to be patient with us. We didn’t all go to Stanford, you know. Many of the players you coach are probably much smarter than me (and the Colts may be the only team I would say that about).

But every once in a while, throw us a bone…and let Andrew Luck throw a bomb.

Just for fun.

Thanks for understanding.

Go Colts!

Introduction: The Look of the 500

Photo: IMS 1911

Photo: IMS 1911

I’ve spent the last few weeks going back in time, literally, through old photos from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And it’s really quite awe-inspiring.

Who would have thought that the Indianapolis 500 was going on as far back as 1911? Who would have thought that any event was happening back in 1911, for that matter. But yes, before people drove cars, they showed up by horse and train to watch The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. And there are pictures to prove it.

Photo: IMS 1914

Photo: IMS 1914

It kind of feels like I’m sitting on the couch in my grandma’s living room, pouring through a box of old photos. Only, rather than the faces of my family’s past, I’m gazing into the eyes of the founding fathers of the sport I have come to love.

Photo: IMS 1910

Photo: IMS 1910

One of my contacts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Cassie Conklin, reached out to me in August. She had an idea for a blog series on the IMS website and wanted to know if I’d be interested.

“The Look of the 500 idea came to me in 2013 as a way to show off the history of IMS and the Indy 500 in a unique way. Usually we center around the drivers, the cars, and the winners. I thought it would be fun to highlight the people and culture surrounding the history of the 500. The Look of the 500 series is also a great way to reach out to those that don’t normally connect with the competitive, automotive side of our history. It’s fun and light-hearted.”

– Cassie Conklin, IMS Social Media Strategist

I’ve been fascinated obsessed with the Indianapolis 500 since the first time I saw an IndyCar go around the track. So for me, the answer was easy.

“Yes, please!”

So, IMS opened their photo vault to me. And I’ve been captivated ever since. Every time I sit down and start sorting through pictures, I find something that amazes me. For example, who knew the Goodyear Blimp was around in 1923?

Photo: IMS 1923

Photo: IMS 1923

I just wish someone, like…maybe, Donald Davidson (IMS historian) was sitting next to me so I could ask him, “Who’s this?” I wouldn’t ask to sit on his lap though. Because that would just be…awkward.

I love sports. And I love to tell the story of sports. And to tell the story of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing from the pictures of the past is a truly unique opportunity.

A history in pictures of a sport I have such great respect for. And one that started right in my own backyard. Or, maybe my front yard.

Either way, I feel both grateful and humbled to bring you The Look of the 500.

I have added a link to The Look of the 500 on the IMS blog at the top of my page. Check back every week to get a peek at The Look of the 500 through the decades.

Week 2: Colts vs. Eagles | Darren Sproles Strikes Again

Philadelphia Eagles Running Back/Colts Nemesis Darren Sproles (Photo: AP/AJ Mast)

Philadelphia Eagles Running Back/Colts Nemesis Darren Sproles
(Photo: AP/AJ Mast)

I had the strangest dream the other night. A little green monster took the field against the Colts on Monday Night Football. He was weary and worn, but when he stepped on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium, something magical happened. He suddenly emerged youthful and powerful. Small but strong, he was difficult to spot and even harder to stop. He ran all over the Colts. And when it was over, before disappearing down the tunnel…he laughed an evil laugh and proclaimed, “I’ll be back!”

And then I woke up. On Tuesday morning. It wasn’t a dream. Darren Sproles strikes again.

Someone asked me last week what my biggest concern was going into the Eagles game. My response was not the up-tempo Chip Kelly offense, or the emerging star quarterback Nick Foles, or even LeSean (Shady/Bad Tipper) McCoy. It was the 60-year-old (no, not really) running back Darren Sproles. And now you know why. I don’t know what the Colts ever did to Darren Sproles, but he just loves to embarrass them. No matter what color he’s wearing.

Sproles was hardly the only problem the Colts had on Monday night. This one was puzzling. I can usually put my finger on the reason the Colts lose a game, but this week…not so much. Maybe it’s because many things contributed to the loss. Many mistakes, many missed opportunities, and yes, many bad calls by the officials. But when a team gets a bad call, they have to respond with a good play. And the Colts just didn’t do that enough.

The offense looked…off. Not offensive, but off. The defense made plays, except when they needed to most.

Yes, the Colts lost two games in a row for the first time this era. But, it’s early in the season. And last I checked, there’s a lot of football left to be played. They need to have a short memory. Because as much as 0-2 sucks, 0-3 sucks more.

The message to the Colts is simple: Control what you can. The refs can’t be stopped. Darren Sproles can.  Or…can he?

It’s a new week. And the Colts have one job…just win, baby.

Go Colts!