Some people are fans of the Indianapolis Colts. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Indianapolis Colts. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Indianapolis Colts.
Your 2016 record: 8-8.
Oh, the indignity. But we’ve only just begun! After all, who can forget the time they blew a 23-9 fourth-quarter lead against Brock Osweiler. Only a team coached by Chuck Pagano and overseen by tire company brand manager Ryan Grigson could pull off such things. They also cut Antonio Cromartie after an Anthem protest (27th ranked pass defense in the league). Then the punter retired so he could work for fucking Barstool. Good punters can play for 20 seasons and retire without catastrophic physical problems, and yet this man still fled for a Sox-themed PUA subreddit.
After losing the easiest division in football for the second straight year, owner and “Dad who’s a little too eager to hang out at his kid’s graduation kegger” Jim Irsay went into hiding for nearly three weeks. I assume he was making a pilgrimage to Ronnie Van Zant’s tomb. Irsay finally emerged and acted as if everything was perfectly fine, then waited another two days to fire Grigson and allow that man to fulfill his destiny as a Brown front office failure. The problem, of course, is…
Your coach: Still Chuck Pagano. Somehow. Some way. Why? WHY IS HE STILL HERE? Does he have free access to blank prescription pads or something? I wouldn’t let Chuck Pagano coach a first-grade teeball squad, and yet here he remains. The next original word that man utters will be his first.
Christ. Was this man raised by a fucking Tom Emanski VHS tape? As long as Pagano is in charge of this mess, this team will always be the Fake Punt team to me. They will always a poorly-run band of morons adhering to one transparently empty motivational tactic after another, all while getting their shit ruined on the field.
Your quarterback: You killed him.
I will never forgive you idiots for this. You had the surest QB prospect in a generation land in your fat laps and what happens? You fuck him. This man injured his shoulder two YEARS ago and only just got it surgically corrected this offseason. He’s ruined. I’m appalled. I fucking hate you, Colts. I already had to deal with the Jets’ and Niners’ QB situations, and now you’re gonna gift me 10 bonus games of Scott Tolzein at QB. ASSHOLES. Look at this poor bastard!
What the hell happened? He looks awful! Do the Colts stock their training table with lymphoma? Every year the storyline is “Can the Colts protect Andrew Luck?” and the answer is always no. This man will be retired and studying Louis Kahn coffee table books by 2019.
What’s new that sucks: Your general manager! Yes, it’s Chris Ballard, hired from the playoff powerhouse that is Kansas City. Did our man get his own flowery profile, just like Grigson did with his stupid coffee cup scouting? You know he did:
The flip-flops aren’t an accident; they’re a metaphor. This man is loose. Those who’ve worked with him before vow it’s no act – he’s genuine, they’ll say, a man remarkably comfortable in his own skin. This building is learning that. Ballard’s been a breath of fresh air around the Colts’ West 56th Street facility in recent months, in many ways everything the man who previously sat in his seat wasn’t. There’s a swagger to those sandals. He moves with a surety to him, a moxie that screams, Don’t worry, I’ve got this.
OMG THAT GUY IS IN FLIP FLOPS! HE DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT NUTHIN’! I’m dead. Just burn my body and dump the ashes in a ditch because I don’t wanna live in a world where Hank Scorpio Jr. here can wow a billion-dollar NFL team simply by wearing a pair of Reefs to the office.
Meanwhile, one of Pagano’s and Ballard’s grand plans for this team to be more PHYSICAL is to have more hitting in training camp. Because that ALWAYS helps players last longer, for sure. They adore that. I love that flip flop guy can sell himself as Mister Cazh and then turn right around and also sell himself as drill sergeant. What if he’s actually just a fraud? Couldn’t be. There’s very little that’s promising about this roster as is. Frank Gore is still the back. First round pick Malik Hooker is already hurt. The rest of the team is filled out with free agent JAGs like Christine Michael and Kamar Aiken. The line hasn’t been good in, like, ten years. As with the Grigson years, it’s just a hobbled Luck surrounded by a bunch of dressed-up doodoo. And yet, watch Ballard sucker everyone in with his exposed feet. Fucking flip flops. Unreal.
Speaking of frauds, the Colts also hired professional Troop Analyst Brian Decker to help with personnel, even though Decker already consulted with Cleveland for the 2014 draft, one of the worst single-team drafts in NFL history. Is there any bullshit self-help method these rubes won’t fall for? There is not. And that is because…
What has always sucked: Indiana is the most gullible state in the union. Big fucking surprise that the state that gave us Mike Pence and Bob Knight would buy into all of this team’s Big Strong Man gimmicks every year. Indiana blows. It exists mainly so that people from neighboring states can feel grateful about not living there when they have to drive through it. Every patch of land outside Indy is either a landfill or a Chick-fil-A, and populated with mouthbreathers who’ll happily let their insurance lapse but kick up a fuss the second they hear Colin Kaepernick’s name on the radio.
“NO ONE WANTS THAT MUSLIM LOVING AMERICAN HATER HE WOULD BE THE DEMISE OF THE COLTS”
Dopes. Indiana is emblematic of an American heartland that sees itself as strong and righteous and the SOUL of a nation while being, in reality, a hollow shell with empty hydrocodone bottles rattling around in it. No wonder Jim Irsay thrives here.
What might not suck: Look man, you play in the AFC South. Jacksonville alone will spot you 80 points on your net point differential.
HEAR IT FROM COLTS FANS!
Fuck Ryan Grigson.
Chuck Pagano is a great guy but has Andy Reid’s game management skills if Andy Reid was drunk and on Xanax.
My wedding was the best day of my life but a substantial part of that was because it was also the day Ryan Grigson got fired.
My kids’ school used to reserve the Monday after the Super Bowl as a day off if the Colts made it. They don’t do that anymore.
When and if you put this in, can you credit me as “Claw”? A professor once called me that for an entire semester, and it was the best thing ever.
We want to be cool so badly but it’s very obvious we’re a 40-year old dad who wears shin-high socks and all white shoes.
Here’s to being the 3rd best team in the cellar of the NFL! Cheers!
We have a generational talent at quarterback and we’re wasting his prime with an offensive line comprised of fucking scarecrows and a defense with that will let a QB sneak go for 50 yards. Our best running back is Frank Gore who is older than my dead grandfather. TY Hilton can only run a seam route. I hope we run the fake punt for every play next season and lose by a million for the next thousand years.
The Colts read like a recipe where you take all of the ingredients for the Washington Redskins and then add a heaping dose of Oxycontin. Since the 2012 draft, the only difference between the franchise trajectories of Washington and Indy is that it’s taking our pill-addled owner longer to grind Andrew Luck into dust because his ogre genetics produce a physical specimen that is far more durable than mere humans like RGIII. These genetics also inhibit his ability to control either his facial hair or drool production.
I moved to South Dakota last summer and I’m honestly glad that the Colts are so fucking terrible because now I can enjoy spending my Sunday afternoons doing literally anything else. Think about that for a second; I’d rather spend my time exploring all of the wonders that South Dakota has to offer rather than watch this meth-fueled gravy fire. I hope Andrew Luck skips town in a Mayflower moving van just to put a poetic end to this franchise’s relevance.
I had the extreme misfortune of sitting directly in front of a couple of very belligerent individuals who found themselves in that sweet Venn diagram overlap of Colts fans and Bama fans (many exist, for no reason at all). The entire game they screamed for the Colts to put in Trent Richardson and would frequently launch a barrage of racial epithets when he wasn’t in, usually capped with “Trent is the best player on this fucking team!” Problem 1: (extreme Ron Howard voice) He wasn’t. Problem 2: Said game occurred in late 2015, many months after Richardson had been cut from the team. The player they were cheering was, in fact, Boom Herron.
Since 1998 or so, The Colts have had two amazing quarterbacks, but neither have been as good as Tom Brady. Their head coaches have ranged from pretty decent (Dungy) to incompetent (Pagano) to a cat wearing a headset (Caldwell). The Patriots have had Bill Belichick. The Colts have Jack Kerouac’s less talented brother as their owner. The Patriots have a guy that everyone seems to adore. The one time the Colts actually won it all, it was against the Sex Cannon in a hurricane, which brings a strange sort of stank over it.
My entire life has revolved around watching the Colts get curb stomped in a playoff game in Foxborough, shrugging, and then switching over to a Pacers game just in time to watch Paul George brick a three off the side of the backboard at the buzzer. This wouldn’t be so insufferable if I didn’t live in Boston during the entirety of this run....but Indianapolis isn’t nearly as nice.
Every year around August/September I’m able to convince myself they’re actually going to be good. “We just picked up Frank Gore! Andre Johnson?!?! This is our year!!” And then every single year around December I hate myself for being so fucking stupid.
God, the endless amount of playoff watch parties I’ve gone to just to watch the Patriots destroy the Colts, dreading the ride home in silence.
Fuck Ryan Grigson, fuck Hank Baskett, fuck Mike Vanderjagt, and fuck Hank Baskett again.
My team sucks because we lucked into back-to-back generational talents at quarterback then surrounded Andrew Luck with a cast of Madden 2007 stars on absurd contracts and offensive linemen who would struggle to start in the CFL. Our drooling ogre of a quarterback has more broken bones, torn ligaments and ruptured organs than our coach has brain cells, and our defense is somehow more anonymous and uninspiring than last year. We still haven’t learned that defensive tackles should weigh more than a box of Tic Tacs, and will therefore give up roughly 4,000,000 rushing yards per game this season.
Keeping Pagano after firing Grigson is like having two cancerous testicles and only removing one, while the other continues to destroy the body. Fuck Jim Irsay with a rusty heroin spoon.
Edit: I forgot Pagano did in fact have cancer and this analogy is probably in poor taste. I don’t care. Fuck him anyways.
Pacers have had back to back 7th seed finishes. The Colts have had back to back 8-8 finishes. There is nothing in Indiana that is above average. As someone who attends every home game, my favorite thing is when the crowd complains about people standing when we’re on defense in the red zone. Unless it is a playoff game or the Patriots are in town, Lucas Oil Stadium is the most boring atmosphere to watch a professional sporting event. Please God let us not waste any more of Andrew Luck’s prime by letting him get frog splashed into the field 20 times a game.
I once got a free TV + $147 from Jim Irsay for answering some inane Bob Dylan trivia question on Twitter, so I’m fine with his pill-popping self, tasteful-nude-in-his-rich-man-bathroom antics:
* My first memory of being a Colts fan involved getting really excited about finding a Monsters of the Gridiron card of Steve Entman, and then almost immediately also finding out that ol’ “Beast-Man” was born with balsawood models of human knees.
* We stole the team from Baltimore, where the Ravens have since doubled us up on subsequent Super Bowl wins in 12 fewer seasons of trying.
* I’m still forced to interact with people who became (and remain) Broncos fans when Manning left.
* Our owner looks like the lead singer of Indiana’s most aggressive Van Hagar cover band.
* Jeff George over Junior Seau, Emmitt Smith, or Shannon Sharpe.
* We fired Bill Polian in favor of Ryan Grigson
* I watched Peyton Manning play the best football of his life and still retire with a losing playoff record against the Jets and Chargers.
* I get to spend the next five years watching Andrew Luck get blown apart like a crash test dummy while knowing full well that our once-in-two-generations QB situation is a single subpar draft away from becoming just like the Bears or Browns.
* It’s because of us that the Texans think they’re good now.
About the only things about this franchise that bring me sustained joy are Jim Mora YouTube videos and Prince’s performance at that Super Bowl. Fuck the following people or things: Jeff George’s mustache, Aaron Bailey’s treacherous hands, Bob Sanders’ glass bones, and Curtis Painter’s perfectly round head. Double fuck Trent Richardson.
There’s really no point in being too invested in this team because Pagano represents an absolute ceiling for them. He’s a garbage coach and a walking cliché. I hate that man. He once passed out a poker chip with GRIT inscribed on it to represent them being “all-in” or some shit.
This is our penance for being gifted with back-to-back generational talents at quarterback. Andrew Luck is one of the best quarterbacks in the league – that alone in today’s league should buy you 9 or 10 wins per year, absent any other factors. They’ve been an 8-8 team the last 2 years. Pagano’s coaching costs the team 1-3 wins every single year. They start 1-2 every year and fall behind in the godforsaken AFC South for crying out loud. They get boatraced by nearly every good team they play. They start so slow and leave it up to some Luck heroics to get back into it, make it look pretty, and occasionally win. Then Pagano after the game talks about how proud he is that the guys “just kept choppin’ wood. Never stopped swingin’ the axe. Never stopped believing. Iron sharpens iron. At the end of the day we just have to keep our blinders on and stick to the process.”
If Chuck Pagano were as good at coaching football as he were spouting meaningless clichés the Colts would go 19-0 every year.
I’m not even going to focus on this upcoming season, with the Titans passing them by and Anthony Costanzo’s pass blocking leading to multiple organ failures for the sky ogre.
Fuck Irsay, and quadruple fuck Hank Baskett for Bill Bucknering that onside kick.
I take you back to much simpler times, 2012, the year the Colts drafted Luck. I, a recent Ball State University graduate with an internship and zero money, wanted to see Luck in person, so a Week 3 matchup with the Jags seemed to be my best shot at some tickets. Myself and two buddies copped some section-600 moon-level tickets, loaded my Jeep Cherokee with Colts cornhole boards and a cooler of beer, and trekked on for our first full-on Colts tailgate.
It was the same game the Colts would induct Edgerrin James into the Ring of Honor — he’s my favorite player of all time, so I wore my Edge Miami Hurricanes jersey, hyped as all hell. We slammed beers, Luck rallied the troops, and then Cecil Shorts caught an 80-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds left in the game to piss all over my $10-Bud Light filled heart. My girlfriend at the time texted me before I was even out of the stadium and said, “Good game.” It was, in fact, was the opposite of a good game, and I broke up with her a couple days later. The Colts broke some poor, sweet girl’s heart because they play defense like James Harden. Erika, I’m sorry that the Colts suck so bad.
Our days of being the best in the AFC South are behind us for the foreseeable future. Describing a Colts win to your coworkers on Mondays is like bragging about how you didn’t catch herpes from a dime-store hooker.
Being a Colts fan is like being excited about the flavor of mayonnaise. We’re a white bread, flour-flavored, middling team that isn’t worth its weight in Valium and Xanax. I live in Tennessee now, and even if I could find a Titans fan, almost no one even considers you enough of a threat to engage in some good, old fashioned shit-talking. We’re a proud AFC finalist.
Fuck Jim Irsay with a broken jar of fire ants for ever allowing Grigson to have a say in the playbooks.
It was the Super Bowl XLIV Colts vs. Saints. My dad had the family over to watch the big game. I was wearing a Garcon jersey that was missing the tilde under the “c”. Everyone was having a good time eating some great football food and sucking down tall boys of beer. After being up 10-6 at halftime everyone in the house was feeling pretty confident going into the second half.
After the loss everyone at my dad’s didn’t say a fucking word. Pure defeated silence. Everyone just got up and left like leaving a funeral.
It takes an otherworldly level of incompetence to not only waste Andrew Luck’s football career, but also waste his true calling as a world-class architect by bludgeoning his brain on a weekly basis thanks to an O-line comprised of lawn chairs and dental floss.
Fuck Ryan Grigson with one of Jim Irsay’s stupid guitars while Chuck Pagano watches.
P.S. - The fact that our new GM wears flip flops to work has everyone BUZZING.
The Colts have managed to somehow acquire not one, but TWO once in a generation quarterbacks and I have watched them both waste into oblivion because the front office does not feel the need to have anything aside from a group of dead cats as an o-line or an actual defense.
I look forward to going 8-8 (if we were in any other division I would say 6-10, but the AFC South will always be a dumpster fire) and letting Houston win the division again.
Fuck Ryan Grigson with a copy of the Trent Richardson trade deal. I hope he gets attacked by wombats.
We didn’t fire Pagano? Chuck Fucking Pagano is still the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts?
...HOW IN THE SHIT?
Pagano was brought in specifically to improve the defense, and it somehow gets worse every year. Erik Walden was our sack leader last season, and he can’t get a job at an IHOP now. Vontae Davis’ hamstrings have retired to a nice rescue farm upstate. It is a genuine embarrassment Robert Mathis had to go out on that wet fart of a season.
The Texans are gonna go 7-9 with Gino Torretta at quarterback by December and still win the division because we fucking blow.
Fuck Mike Vanderjagt with Trent Richardson’s dick.
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