I came across an opinion piece on one of the many quasi-legitimate blog sites dedicated to the Indianapolis Colts this morning that really put things into proper perspective about the game this weekend between the Jaguars and the Colts. The author, Collin McCollough, expressed his hatred for all things Jaguars related in this blog post. It is truly surprising to see anyone from the Colts fan base expressing hatred. and it had me pondering the question, "Do I hate the Colts?"
In short, no, I do not hate the Colts. In fact, I actually LOVE them, and there are a host of reasons for my affection.
I love the Colts because they have owned the AFC South division since it came into existence in 2002, relinquishing the title only once over the first eight seasons it has been in existence. The fact that they have so dominated the division is worthy of respect even though the AFC South has not been exactly the most difficult of divisions to rule since its inception.
I love the Colts because their quarterback, Peyton Manning, is one of the best signal callers in the league. Not only that, but he is practically a NASCAR driver with all of his endorsement deals, and with that gigantic forehead of his, there is always room for additional advertising for anyone willing to pay the price.
I love the Colts because their personnel guy, Bill Polian, has proven to be a pure genius in stocking a roster chalked full of talent from top to bottom, as long as you start with Peyton Manning at the top, and pretty much consider him the bottom as well. Sure, there have been a few nice gets like Dwight Freeney and Bob Sanders along the way, but drafting Peyton Manning really was the move that had the greatest impact on the franchise.
I love the Colts because of their humility. With their dominance in the AFC South over nearly a decade, it brings great pride to the fans of division rivals to know that multiple Super Bowl titles have been won by one of our own. Oh, wait. Only one Lombardi has actually been won by anyone in the division? Well, to hear their fans talk, you would think it was clearly more than that, right? Where was I? Oh, I love the Atlanta Braves because...
I love the Colts because of the sheer brute force of Bob Sanders. Nobody has a better grasp of how to defend the Jacksonville Jaguars on game day than Bob. Of course, nobody has a better grasp of how the health insurance provided to players in the National Football League works.
I love the Colts because their loyal fan base has shown tireless dedication as their team has built a decades old tradition of success. Oh, wait, you mean they weren't the diehard fan base prior to 1998? You mean their team actually faced blackouts in the smallest stadium in the league? That can't possibly be true.
I love the Colts because they have the best sound system in the league in their cute little stadium. Nobody pipes in the crowd noise quite as well as they do, unless of course the CD gets stuck and you've got a whole lot of repeating going on. Granted, that could have been feedback or even a diesel generator that just happened to get caught on microphone. But, it takes a top notch sound system to make it sound like crowd noise.
I love the Colts because their fans have a keen sense of fashion. Seriously, there isn't another fan base in the entire NFL that could sport an argyle sweater vest and pull it off quite as well as our friends in Indianapolis. It's the only fan base where the women are probably a touch more intimidating than the men, and what is not to love about that?
I love the Colts because a colt is a young male horse, and who could possibly hate a young male horse? If it was an old paint, or some ancient, angry plow horse, maybe they'd be worthy of hatred. But a young colt?
I love the Colts because they never cling to the whole 375 thing, or dredge up the fact that the Jaguars racked up 375 yards of rushing, basically ramming it right up their posterior in the same season they actually won the Super Bowl. They took it like men, never bringing up the trauma of being reamed so thoroughly by a division rival.
I love the Colts because they ALWAYS make deep runs into the playoffs, and always win the Lombardi when they are favored to do so.
I love the Colts because Peyton Manning never whines like a school girl who had her candy stolen when things aren't going his way.
And finally, I love the Colts because they have such great respect for the other teams in their division.
It will pain me greatly when the Jacksonville Jaguars face off against my beloved Colts on Sunday, and hang 376 yards rushing on them as they lay claim to their first AFC South division title.