I woke up this morning not planning on doing a major post. I was up late working on 18 Plays. I have 'real job' responsibilities to tend to. I just didn't have the time.
Most importantly, there was nothing to say. The Colts played great. The schedule looks sound. There are injured players, but no real concerns. When there is no real angle on a day, I try to keep my mouth shut. Coming up with stories is hard work. I refuse to just write garbage to fill this slot each morning.
Not everyone works so hard. Some columnists are so incredibly lazy that they'll just write whatever so long as they can fill a page of print.
Kravitz wrote a column today saying the Colts will lose in the first round of the playoffs. That's no crime, per sea, and there could be valid reasons for holding that opinion. I can think of lots of reasons this season might not work out: teams clamp down on Wayne/Clark, the run game vanishes at the wrong time, injuries on defense mount instead of recede, Caldwell goes conservative in a big game, ect. I'm not saying those are probable, but they are reasonable and it is possible to make a sound argument around some of them. It would take some work, creative thinking, and sound research. But, if one is going to say the Colts aren't for real, you'd had better give some reasons for it.
Bob doesn't give any. Instead, his argument is more simplistic:
After Sunday night's game in Glendale, Ariz., Wayne joked with me in the locker room.
"Hey, you picked us to lose," he said, smiling. "What's up with that?"
"Yeah, I picked you to lose," I told him. "Every year in the playoffs I pick you to win, and where does that get me?"
Until further notice, these are still the Atlanta Braves of the NFL. What they are doing, what they have done, is absolutely startling. What's this now? Twelve straight regular-season victories? The remarkable has become commonplace. Parity, it seems, is for everybody else.
And yet, without winning in January, it doesn't seem to matter quite as much.
So Bob has no reason for ripping the Colts other than irrelevant games that happened 5 years ago. The truth is this column is lazy. Bob had nothing to write today, and he's been pretty easy on the Horse recently, so for no reason at all, he turned his pen on them. No analysis. No logic. Just emotion and recrimination.
He does quote one stat about the Colts' points production in the playoffs. Of course that goes back to 1999 and there's only two players from that offense still around (Manning and Saturday). Hell, it goes back to the 41-0 game after the 2002 season, and the only guys on offense still here from that game are Manning, Wayne, and Saturday.
He kills the Colts for losing in San Diego, but that was because he was too stupid to see the flaws in that team and wrote a big column about how they were sure to win when anyone with eyes knew it was going to be a tough game to come away with.
There's no analysis in his piece. There's no explanations, true or false. He doesn't provide any reasons why the Colts lost those games that might be applicable to this season. If anything, the entire story line on the Colts has been CHANGE for the past 6 months. It would seem logical to assume things would be different this year. Bob, however, focuses on the one thing that is the same: 18. His only 'logic' is that he subtly insinuates that it's because Peyton Manning is a choker:
For all the regular-season greatness, for all the gaudy numbers, the bottom line is that the Colts are 7-8 in the playoffs during the Manning era. In those eight losses, the Colts have averaged a meager 13.6 points per game, despite the widely held perception it's the defense that holds the Colts back.
I've seen this movie before.
So have you.
Go ahead and have Super Bowl dreams, but do so at your own peril.
Ah, so that's the Colts' problem? Manning? His 90+ rating in the last three losses are the reasons the Colts didn't win? Did he even watch those games? He wanted Dungy fired for the playoff losses, and now Tony is gone, but Kravitz STILL wants to pile on.
It must be Manning. He clearly blames Manning for everything that has gone wrong...every bad call, every injury, every tough break in the past decade.
I'm not going to go through the normal litany of reasons why this kind of thinking is stupid. I've done it scores of times. At this point, if you can't accept that the NFL playoffs have become a royal crap shoot every January, there's not much more that I can do to convince you.
But surely, SURELY after what we've seen Manning do already this year, we can elevate the discussion of the Colts beyond the level of "Manning is a choker". Even Bill Simmons can see that's not true.
All the rest of us can.
Bob Kravitz can't.
He's lazy. Not because of what he said.
Because of how he said it.