Some people are fans of the Indianapolis Colts. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Indianapolis Colts. This 2012 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read the other Why Your Team Sucks 2012 previews here.
1. Finally, you really do suck. God, you have no idea how long I've been waiting for the Colts to regress back to being the bumbling flyover team they always had been before Peyton Manning arrived. Before Manning, the Colts were a perpetually shitty team whose lone defining quality was that they were located in the wrong town. They were a running indictment of how naked avarice and a blind drunk owner can diminish a sport. Even through the Manning years, it was hard to forget that the Baltimore Colts were uprooted in the dead of night and then set back down in the Midwest's answer to Jacksonville. In a perfect football world, there is no such thing as the Indianapolis Colts. That's why it's always better that they suck. It's easier to forget that the Colts exist when they're 2-14 and relegated to nothing but 1 p.m. start times.
And it should be even easier this season, thanks to the gutting this franchise experienced during the offseason. They're all gone now: Peyton Manning, Jeff Saturday, GM Bill Polian, Dallas Fucking Clark, Pierre Garcon, Ryan Diem, Joseph Addai (who ended up being terrible, but still). All of them gone, an entire team's identity wiped clean in a matter of weeks. I didn't like watching them go 13-3 year in and year out thanks to their cozy position in the MAC conference of the NFL that is the AFC South. I didn't like hearing Manning breathlessly fellated by announcers, who offered any number of excuses any time their hero barfed up a lung in a divisional playoff game. I didn't like Bill Polian leaking information to Peter King so that King would then, in turn, tell you how awesome Bill Polian is. Now, it's almost as if the Colts themselves no longer exist, which is precisely the way I like it.
2. Jim Irsay is James Dolan with a shitty Twitter account. There's something mortifying about Colts owner Jimmy Irsay rocking a $5 Colts five-gallon hat and sending out horrible classic rock lyrics on Twitter every five seconds. As much as I dislike the Fat Humps that constitute the Colts' fanbase (Andy Dwyer aside), I'm embarrassed for them. They didn't do anything to deserve a stoner uncle for an owner. He's like DadBoner if DadBoner were real because if DadBoner really existed he wouldn't be funny at all.
Jim Irsay @JimIrsay
ROUND NUMBERS!!!!!!!!!! 0 10 60 7000 4000000000 ....90000000000000000000
Feel like I could punch him a thousand times, you guys. Jim Irsay's colorful personality is a show, a futile attempt by him to distance himself from his old man. Deep down, I suspect he can be just as petty and dickish as the old drunk.
3. Let's get Andrew Luck killed! Andrew Luck is good enough and polished enough to make the Pro Bowl in his rookie season, particularly in a QB-weak AFC. The problem is that heart of the line has been destroyed and the only free agent the Colts brought in to help keep Luck upright and talking like he has a booger caught in his throat is... WINSTON JUSTICE?! Oh holy shit, Luck is gonna die. Hiring Winston Justice is like giving the defense an extra lineman to play against you.
And there's no running game to speak of. Take it from someone who has claimed Donald Brown off of fantasy waivers three years straight. Donald Brown is the jobber of running backs. The wideouts are Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, and Donnie Avery. The latter two will have retired with severe PTSD and dissolved tibias by the third week of the preseason. It's just gonna be Luck and Wayne, all alone, trying desperately to make something out of nothing for 16 straight weeks. Those poor, poor bastards.
4. Let's misuse our only good defensive players! Thank God Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are back. At least there are SOME quality parts from the old Colts that the team chose to salvage. The only problem is that new coach Chuck Pagano will be running a 3-4 defense, which means that Freeney and Mathis will now be forced to play out of position. OOP DEE!
5. Hear it from Colts fans!
Did you have a roommate in college, or an acquaintance in your 20s, who completely bullshitted his way through exams / interviews / life, yet everything fell into his lap? It is infuriating, isn't it? Through no special talent whatsoever, this prick just gets the best life has to offer handed to him consistently.
That is our owner. Inherited NFL team? Check. Ran horrific franchise while still in honeymoon period with new city? Check. Lucked into greatest* QB on the face of the earth? Yes. Won a Super Bowl despite having a Division II defense, because a safety with a body made of glass suddenly turned into a combination of Superman and Jesus for four games? Oh, check yes. Parlayed the team's only losing season for eleven years into what appears to be a more athletic version of Peyton Manning? Yep! Made insane amounts of money through all of this dumb luck? Oh, fuck yes.
Who has one losing season in over a decade and blows apart the entire franchise—GM, quarterback, coaching staff, trainers, everything? Jim Fucking Irsay, that's who. Guess what? It'll probably work, because that's just how things go for him. He could name Will Leitch as team chef and Will would instantly be transformed into Giada de Laurentiis.
The big signings in the off season? Cory Redding and Tom Zbikowski. The new head coach? Chuck Pagano. I know the Colts were stolen from Baltimore in the middle of the night, but goddamn now we're just swiping the their bottom of the barrel players because they might have talked to Haloti Ngata and Ed Reed once.
Coming off its worst season in my memory as an Indianapolis Colts fan (and there were many shitty teams pre-Manning), there are obvious reasons why my team sucks. The Colts went 2-14 last year because the Polian brain trust thought it would be a good idea to make Curtis Painter the backup plan. Christ, I still can't believe that happened. Is that one of Jesse Pinkman's meth-dealing henchmen or an NFL quarterback?
Jerraud Powers is the only guy resembling a talking, breathing cornerback, and once he goes down with his annual Week 5 injury, the Colts will make Jake Locker look like a Pro Bowler (they'll still dominate Blaine Gabbert). Donald Brown is the clear-cut favorite at starting running back. At least we can feel confident assuming 2012 is the last time that sentence will be written anywhere on the Internet.
After years of having a waiting list for season tickets, the Colts still haven't sold them out for 2012. Why? Because there are that many fat humps in Indianapolis who are bigger Peyton Manning fans than they are Colts fans. Don't get me wrong, I miss Peyton Manning. He's my favorite NFL player ever, and any Colts fan who doesn't say the same is just being a contrarian hipster. But for fuck's sake, we all saw exactly how this was going to play out by late September last year. A reasonable fan would have realized the smart move with the first overall pick was to sever ties amicably with Manning and move on with Andrew Luck.
But many fans were actually shocked that things in this business didn't work out with a storybook ending. These are the same fairweather fans who still aren't going to Pacers games because of a fight eight years ago. Quit acting so butthurt, and be thankful that we fell ass-backwards into (hopefully) another great quarterback. Do you people realize how envious fans of teams like the Dolphins are of us?
It's true. If I see a Fat Hump rocking a half Colts/half Broncos jersey in the Denver stands this season, I will force that person listen to Irsay cover the entire Dylan catalog.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me and give me ample evidence of why your team sucks. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. Next team up: THE TEXANS.