It's been a star crossed season in Indianapolis. From the injuries to the devastating losses full of crazy bounces, right down to losing a game on a 'leverage' penalty, the Colts have been snake-bit.
So for one final regular season Sunday it was nice to finally get a few breaks.
While my dream scenario didn't work out, the Colts had gotten help even before the game started. First the Jaguars lost both Maurice Jones Drew and David Garrard, which hurt their chances to score a win over the Colts. Then the Chiefs imploded opening up the chance to play the Jets (sporting an injured Mark Sanchez). All Indy had to do was win, and the third seed was theirs.
Of course, seven dropped passes in the second half kept Indy of taking control of the game with the Titans, and when Dominic Rhodes fumbled with 1:46 to play, all seemed lost. The Colts were still going to make the playoffs, but as one fan put it, "The Luke deflated like the Metrodome". As great a story as Rhodes was, that fumble was going to be long remembered in Indianapolis.
Then, almost miraculously, he got his own Jerome Bettis moment. Kerry Collins, who once again showed that if he is given time to throw he can be an effect quarterback, couldn't handle the snap from center. He dove on the bouncing ball, only to have it squirt free into the arms of Robert Mathis.
In a season of black cats and broken mirrors, the horseshoe finally turned up.
Football involves far more luck than we like to admit. The games are played on such a high level and are so tight, that while transcendent players can seem to tip the field in their favor, often times the difference between euphoria and despair is the oblong bounce of the ball.
The Colts' reward for their perseverance, nerve, and fortune is a matchup with a beatable Jets team Saturday night. The Jets will be no easy task for sure. It doesn't pay to look beyond the edge of the map, because here there be monsters. This season should have taught us to be thankful for each and every win, because they have to be earned. Today we should celebrate a division championship, and if the Colts are fortunate enough to win a playoff game, we celebrate that too.
Accomplishments are hard earned in life. Every single one should be celebrated. Those who look down their noses at success as if they deserved more only prove they are not worthy of any. The odds of this team holding up the Lombardi trophy are extremely long (much, much less than 10% even with the most generous odds). This is a team to be embraced and loved even if the season doesn't end in magical fashion.
Then again, the Colts have already won four games in a row to get to this point. Is four more so impossible?
Well, let's just say: it'll take a lot of luck.