(Note: I'm stealing this metaphor from Demond's comments yesterday. All credit to him and the readers for developing it. It deserves to see the light of day).
The Holy Grail.
It represents eternal life. He who possesses it will live forever. The closer anyone gets to it, however, the more deadly it becomes.
Indy is so close. The validation of a life time of work that has constantly slipped through his fingers is so close he can almost reach out and grab it.
Others have gone before in the quest.
The crazy Nazi tried to drink greedily from the Grail, and died because he got old too quickly.
Elisa brazenly reached for it, and tumbled to her doom.
Indy sees it now. It's right there, tempting him.
Fortunately, there's a voice of reason. A voice of wisdom and experience calling him back off the ledge.
There was a time when I had a level head about me when it came to 16-0. My head told me that this team is so banged up, it would be foolish to put people at risk. The Colts should play conservatively. Rest is necessary and good, especially for a team with so many key players limping around. Now that they are just two games away from finishing off the perfect regular season, however, all I can think is that I want them to go for it.
Is it wise?
No. Actually, I think it's the worst thing they could do.
At the end of the day, the Colts have at best a 25-30% chance of winning the Super Bowl. Their actual odds are lower. Now, those odds are better than any other team has, but that doesn't matter. They are still well below 50/50. No matter what Caldwell and Polian decide, there's a high liklihood they won't win it all, and everyone will kill them for whatever call they make. Public sentiment is super high for going for it. So high that people will never forgive the Colts for resting players if they fail to win the Super Bowl. The call to rest players is only the correct call if you are 100% sure that playing them would cost you a Super Bowl. If it is just a preference, you have to calculate the long term ramifications of pissing on the whims of your fans. I'm all for brave, ballsy decisions. I'm all for doing the right thing even when unpopular. But when a thing is this unpopular, you have to be CERTAIN it's the unquestioned right plan of action.
Rest is the high percentage play here. No matter what others may say, I know that if they rest players and lose, it will be because of a missed kick, a bad call, or a fatal flaw (like the O-line falls apart). It won't be because they were 'too rusty' or 'out of synch'. I'm not going to hold it against them. No matter what else, I 100% endorse the silent treatment the coaches are giving it. One week at a time? This team is taking it one DAY at a time. The more intense the attention, the tighter the focus. We do what we have to do today. We practice. On Sunday, we play. There is no Monday. There's no 16-0 because we aren't 15-0 yet. It's brilliant.
No, my head assures me that taking it easy will be the right play. Play Manning a good chunk of the Jets game (more than a series or a quarter), and let it go. The Grail will kill you.
The evil Patriots spent 5 months in "Eff-you" mode, greedily crushing teams until they flat ran out of gas at the end, looking ancient in the process.
The Saints foolishly declared themselves to be going for 16-0 when it wasn't their time to do so. Didn't work out so well for them.
Indiana Jones knew that. He knew it. He gave all the right advice to Elisa, but when it was right there in front of him...
I don't want this team to lose. I want it all. Immortality. The Greatest Team Ever. The Greatest Quarterback Ever. It's all right there. It's not too far! We can just about grab it. What could happen? It's just a few more inches...
Let it go, Indiana. Let the Colts ride off into the sunset this season. They'll ride off as heroes. They'll ride off as legends.
They'll ride off alive.
Maybe dying in pursuit of immortality is better than living to make a lame sequal about aliens, ESP, and crystal skulls.
Play this week all out.
Next week...don't worry about next week.
We can get it...We can almost reach it...