Some people are fans of the Indianapolis Colts. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Indianapolis Colts. This 2014 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: Indianapolis Colts
Your 2013 record: 11-5. Worst 11-5 team in football two years running, gang!
Your coach: Chuck Pagano, who knows the key to long-term success is wearing a new shirt:
Issued to all Colts players, it has the picture of a Lombardi Trophy on the back. To [D'Qwell] Jackson, who spent the first eight years of his career with the Cleveland Browns, it was just one of the many indications that things are different with the Colts.
Whoa hey, you mean a football team out there wants to win a Super Bowl? GTFO. That's such a remarkable new perspective—I feel like I'm seeing football in a whole new way.
Seriously, Pagano's shirt has the Lombardi on the back with the word DECIDE. That's it. It's not even clear. Like, does he think a player would decide to not win it?
Colts players look forward to coach Chuck Pagano's motivational t-shirts.
That is such a typical Indiana sentence. "Guys, what goin' on? WHOA HEY COACH GOT A NEW SHIRT BIG DOIN'S A TRANSPIRIN' HERE!"
Coach Chuck Pagano had similar Lombardi shirts made last year, emblazoned with the words, "Hoist it." The current slogan — "Decide" — came from a motivational video one of his daughters discovered on YouTube and shared with him this offseason… "We look for themes every single year," Pagano said.
Obviously, I hope next year's theme is "Enchantment Under the Sea." One day, I'm gonna start a consulting company that specializes in creating motivational themes for football coaches. Just pay me a hundred thousand bucks and I will cobble together two or three words that you can use to spew your bullshit. BRING IT. THIS IS THE TIME. GET HARD. FU SCHNICKENS. I could make a mint.
By the way, Chuck Pagano wrote a book this offseason. Is it inspirational? You know it is. Did Tony Dungy write the forward? You know he did. Let's consult a review from a totally not-biased Colts blogger:
And he even gives insight into what he means when he calls someone a "horseshoe guy," writing (188), "The horseshoe emblem of the Colts shows seven nails or studs. Each one represents a quality we want in a player/leader for our team - smart, tough, dynamic, physical, character, integrity, and respect. That's what we mean when we say we're looking for a horseshoe guy - guys who play the game the way it was meant to be played. Players who want to be a part of something bigger. Something great."
Holy shit, that is awful. Listen, I know Chuck Pagano is a great guy and an inspiration to many, but I feel like I just ate an entire boxed set of Tony Robbins DVDs. "Horseshoe Guy" is a direct byproduct of the Cardinals Way-ing of professional sports. Every team wants to be different. Every team wants to be special. Every team has deluded itself into thinking it's MORE TEAM than any other team. The Colts and the moron fans appear to have bought into this idea fully.
Your quarterback: This thing:
I'm not saying Andrew Luck is a monster, I'm just saying he lives in a castle in the clouds and will eat your children whole if they climb up a beanstalk and go wandering into his bubbling cauldron.
By the way, Frankengoober here threw seven interceptions in two playoff games last season. If his name were Colin Kaepernick, that stat alone would launch five thousand different First Take segments. Is he not clutch? Did he provoke those interceptions? Were they cornball throws? But this is Andrew Luck, and so seven horrible picks are simply part of the learning process.
What's new that sucks: This is the part where we get to rip on Jim Irsay for getting pulled over while shitfaced with $29,000 in cash and a briefcase and laundry bag filled with pills. Because sometimes a basic toiletry kit simply isn't enough to hold all the Oxy you require. Sometimes, you need a fucking laundry bag. Never trust an owner who plays a musical instrument.
And then there's this lengthy exploration into Irsay's relationship with Kimberly Wundrum, "an Indianapolis woman with a drug history of her own—a woman who died of a suspected drug overdose two weeks before Irsay's arrest. Her body was found in a $139,500 townhouse Irsay gave her last August." More …
An entity called the "2009 Blue Trust," which was administered by Colts executives, owned three homes since 2007 that Wundrum listed in public records as her address. She used two of those properties — including an $800,000 home — as the corporate address of her landscaping business in filings with the Indiana secretary of state.
When asked about the Blue Trust, Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward responded that it pertains to Irsay's "personal life," and it would be "inappropriate for me to comment."
Hey, that's not shady AT ALL! But, of course, Irsay (seen here handing out free hush money) has yet to be disciplined by Roger Goodell, probably because he's a horseshoe guy or something. Fuck Jim Irsay and his affluenza. Fuck him so hard. But don't worry, Colts fans. Robert Mathis, your best defensive player, WAS suspended by the league for four games for using Clomid (Mathis said it was to get his wife pregnant, even though it's the WOMAN who is supposed to take it for fertility). I'm glad the NFL has its priorities in order.
Football-wise, the team signed center Phil Costa to snap the ball over Luck's head twice a game, only to see Costa retire in the spring. I blame Hulk Hogan. Hakeem Nicks is also here to rupture both hamstrings by Week Negative 2. Last year, when Reggie Wayne got hurt, everything pretty much went to shit for this offense. Having Nicks ready in his full-body Ace bandage isn't much consolation if it happens again.
What has always sucked: Not only is Trent Richardson still here, but the Colts doubled down on him by dropping Donald Brown and letting Ahmad Bradshaw's one good ankle stick around for backup. Team GM and future boat salesman Ryan Grigson boasted in February that he has no regrets about burning a first rounder on such a shitty, shitty player. Trent Richardson needs an oxygen mask and six blowjobs between carries to get proper rest.
But here are the Colts, pretending as if nothing is wrong. Again, I do not trust any team that so willingly blasts sunshine out of its own asshole. The GM is a liar. The owner is a shitbag. The QB is a sky ogre. The coach is a bottomless pit of empty wordplay. The run defense is putrid. And the fans are fat, entitled slobs. They are heartland fanboys, the kind of people who think Indiana is some kind of magical land where the sun rises majestically over cornfields and people get up at 5 a.m. to tend to the hard work of being REAL Americans. I've been to Indiana. It is nothing. It is Chicago's methadone clinic. The state drink is mayonnaise. The word "optional" should appear in parentheses next to it anytime it's mentioned. Rob Harvilla: " Trump's casino in Gary is likely the most depressing place I have ever been and I have lived in Ohio for more than half my life."
The best thing about Indiana is Tom Raper.
I would buy an RV from this man.
What might not suck: The rest of this division is so, so bad. This team gets six games against Chad Henne, Jake Locker, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, which is like getting six games against a handful of party balloons. Luck will be better. The defense will be better. I smell yet another 11-5 season culminating in a really adorable playoff loss. At least Irsay will have his pills to help blunt the pain.
Hear it from Colts fans!
Gazan civilians are better protected than Andrew Luck.
Current members of the Colts' Ring of Honor:
Robert Irsay: snuck the team out of Baltimore in the middle of the night
Bill Brooks: career best 1,131 receiving yards ranks 354th in league history.
Ted Marchibroda: led the team to 30-34 record in Indianapolis
Jim Harbaugh: asshole
Tony Dungy: religious bigot asshole
Chris Hinton: two-time Super Bowl winning QB; NFL MVP; Hall of Fame inductee — oh wait, that's the guy the Colts traded away to get this above-average offensive lineman
12th Man: retired when team moved to open-air stadium; only real skill was being very quiet when Peyton was on the field
Marvin Harrison: killed a guy
Edgerrin James: only set foot Indianapolis when contractually obligated to; smart man
Marshall Faulk: was really good for the Rams
Eric Dickerson: was really good for the Rams
Because if I lived in Carmel, you better damn well believe that I'd be high off my tits on Xanax.
We continue to think we're a "model" NFL franchise that "does things the right way." It's a joke.
Our only defensive threat, Robert Mathis, is suspended for the four first games of the season for taking a PED. He claims he took a fertility drug to have another baby with his wife. It should be noted that this man has 2-year-old twins.
Of course, Colts fans bought his excuse hook, line and sinker.
Our owner, of course, is the worst amalgamation of sports owner traits. He inherited the team not through merit but from being the son of his piece-of-shit, alcoholic father who robbed Baltimore of their beloved franchise.
He threatened to move the team to Los Angeles and got the state/city to use taxpayer dollars to fund 86 percent of the stadium's costs, by far the sweetest deal in the NFL.
He thinks he's a musician and despite having the drug habits of your average meth-addled hillbilly, believes he's a member of the cultural elite just because he fucking owns an original manuscript of "On the Road." Jack Kerouac may have had a drug habit too, but at least he was talented.
He's basically the James Dolan of the NFL.
We're such fat, unthinking dipshits.
People are seriously calling into talk radio saying if the Colts come out of the gate slow Pagano should be on the hot seat. A guy who 2 years ago had cancer and last year went 11-5.
We were blessed with two insane quarterbacks by sucking in the right years and act like that's due to some organizational competence or plan and not dumb luck. We also pretty much all have two teams now (Colts and Broncos) and pretend that this is ok.
If the Broncos are on at the same time most of us will change the channel to masturbate to Peyton's voodoo chants and yearn for days gone by.
Watching the best young QB prospect to enter the league since Peyton Manning run for his life every other play is horrific.
Our defense minus Mathis can get fucked with a weed whacker.
And SUPER FUCK Trent Richardson with a dildo wrapped in barbed wire. I've never seen a guy built like a brick shithouse go down easier than a senior citizen with a prosthetic leg. Vodka Samm gave security more trouble being tackled.
My first trip to Indiana was to write up some auto auction in Auburn, Indiana, and the host family drove me around town and was most proud to show me, without irony, the "bunghole factory."
We hold on to the rivalry with New England for dear life, which is fair enough since thats the only thing keeping this franchise nationally relevant since Manning left and Pagano went into remission. But we love to talk trash about the Hernandez murder case, which is totally fucked up because (a) someone was murdered and (b)Colts wonderboy Marvin Harrison is just a more incompetent version of Hernandez. He *allegedly* shot a guys car a bajillion times and the guy once (in the hand), then *allegedly* waited until a year later to come back and murder him right. Oh yeah, and he's probably going to the hall of fame.
Andrew Luck looks like a mongrel cross between Geena Davis and Thom Yorke and Sloth from the Goonies. He has a look on his face at all times like he had just be hit in the back of the head with a wooden board. He's a fucking mouth breathing goon. And he's IT. The singular facet of the team with any redemptive qualities. Their offensive line this year is basically a bunch of scarecrows. The only one who could possibly think this team was any good is their owner, because he's goddamn whacked out of his mind on the best prescription drugs money can buy.
Possibly, it could be because the city itself sounds like a racial slur for a Native American and Greek mixed-race kid and no one wants to go there or live there or even think about going or living there.
The front office is utterly inept. The Colts have been an above average team in the last 20 years only because we managed to be terrible at exactly the right times, falling ass backwards into two once-in-a-generation quarterbacks. Doing what we do, we ineptly managed every part of our team that wasn't Peyton Manning and his receivers, essentially ruining the career of one of the best QBs to ever play the game. We miraculously won the Super Bowl in 2006 because we offensed our way past the Pats (at home, of course) and got to face Rex Grossman for the title. Peyton Manning has respect for our fans and organization, but I'm not sure why; his record of poor performance in the playoffs is completely our fault.
I consistently have pretty realistic nightmares that Andrew Luck retires from football because he's tired of our embarrassment of an offensive line and can just make bank working in the real world as an intelligent Stanford grad and not having to fend off concussions with his bare hands and massive frame. And I honestly wouldn't blame him. It's hard for the Colts to improve our offensive line because we need improvement at every position except quarterback and Robert Mathis. And our offseason was completely pointless because we made our big move when we traded for Trent Richardson last year. He immediately revealed himself to somehow be less capable than Donald Brown, but that didn't stop us from giving him the ball while we put our fingers in our ears, closed our eyes, and hummed aloud, pretending that we hadn't just thrown away a first round draft pick.
Our ability to promote white receivers past the point when they are useful has reached a new high now that a Stanford education is a good enough resume to get you onto our football team, even if your name is Griff Whalen.
We get away with this absurd "just throw a good quarterback out on the field and see how things go" strategy year after year because we play in the AFC South, which has three other teams that are inexplicably worse organizations than the Colts.
The Colts style of offense (just run for 2 yards a carry and have Andrew Luck make amazing throws) and defense (just allow the opposing team to score at will) make us the definition of a team that people want to watch from home. Lukas Oil has no personality at all, and is more of a mall or warehouse than a football stadium. Last year my parents, who have no interest in football, attended a playoff game because my dad's office was giving away tickets. Our fans were so disinterested that local businesses bought up tickets to a playoff game and gave them away to avoid the shame that would come with having a playoff game blacked out locally. If we had gotten to play Denver in the playoffs there would've been as many Colts fans cheering for Peyton Manning as there were cheering for the Colts. And I'm pretty sure around 50% of Colts fans think that our head coach is actually named Chuck Strong.
I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of sitting down to watch the first round of the draft and being reminded that we spent ours on a RB who breaks tackles at will but can't run further than three yards without falling over. I remember being genuinely excited when he broke out a 7 yard gain. Seriously. Also, fun stat: 4 career playoff carries = 1 yard and 1 lost fumble.
However, we did field the worst interior o-line the NFL has ever seen. I thank god we actually let Mike McGlynn go this year or I would have been forced to turn up to camp and kill him personally. Playing with Mike McGlynn is like giving the other team an extra rusher. The only halfway decent guard we have (a patriots cast off) recently suffered a season ending injury for the second time in 2 years. How did we get better? We didn't.
Our best defensive player is banned for 4 games for an 'accidental' PED violation. Our second best defensive player from last year now plays for the 49ers (and we didn't fucking replace him!!) Our 3rd best, Vontae Davis, plays like Revis one week then like he has 2 broken ankles the next.
Last year we convincingly beat the 49ers, handled the Seahawks, but proceeded to then get blown out by the Rams (AT HOME!!) as the only team Tavon Austin actually looked good against, and the Cardinals.
Lastly, we fell ass backward into the most polished young QB of his generation with only one year of complete shit in between. However, I can't help shake the feeling that our new superstar has exactly the same problem as the old one. The Colts as a team, turned the ball over 14 times in 16 regular season games last year. Amazing. However, as soon as the playoffs come around Luck stops just looking like Hodor and actually plays like him (9 turnovers in 3 career playoff games).
Jim Irsay is what all those kids on #richkidsofinstagram are going to look like in 30 years.
Because our owner is miffed that fans haven't started #JimStrong to support his recovery from drug addiction.
(Seriously, here's the interview where he compares fighting cancer to fighting addiction)
What an asshole.
We managed to make Alex Smith look like Johnny fucking U while the only way we could stop the Chiefs ground game was to clock Jamaal Charles upside the head until he couldn't remember what his name was, and we still couldn't stop them from running the ball.
And that offensive line, all fucking 5 starters will be the first NFL players to be charged with murder in the middle of a game which will happen when Jadeveon Clowney and JJ Watt half ass-ly trot by them en-route to murdering Andrew Luck. Then all 5 will get a whopping 5 game suspension from Dictator Goodell while Lavon Brazill has to sit out the year for smoking a plant that's practically legal anyway.
Our most memorable tackle last year came from our PUNTER.
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