|Wed May 22 @ 1:00PM - |
Better Breathers Club
|Wed May 22 @ 6:00PM - 07:30PM|
File Management - Anderson Public Library
|Thu May 23 @11:00AM - 11:30AM|
Preschool Story Time - Daleville Library
|Thu May 23 @ 1:30PM - 02:00PM|
Preschool Story Time - Daleville Library
|Thu May 23 @ 6:00PM - 07:00PM|
Pink Floyd Lecture
|Thu May 23 @ 6:30PM - 07:30PM|
Holy Yoga - Madison Park Church
|Fri May 24 @ 1:00PM - |
Senior Mexican Train Dominos Tourney - Pendleton Library
Latest News from Around Madison County
- Category: Sports
- Published on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 18:14
As a lot of us watched Peyton Manning this summer as they brought Training Camp back to Anderson University for the first time since I was in High School still dreaming (more like Fantasizing) of someday playing on Sundays. How many of us really appreciated what we watched? Do names like Jack Trudeau, Gary Hogeboom, Craig Erickson, Mike Pagel, Chris Chandler, Mark Herman, Jeff George start to make you want to bear-hug Peyton yet? Sure Jim Harbaugh made us fall in love with him for being the Rocky Balboa of the NFL for a year & a half, but “mediocrity” would still be the word used to describe his career. How about the name Ryan Leaf? Wasn’t that a nuclear-missle sized bullet the Colts dodged there?
What about Peyton though? As I watched the Colts/Bengals game Sunday I couldn’t help but see Peyton, Reggie & Jeff Saturday out there with a bunch of “average” at best players pouring their hearts out for them. Don’t get me wrong this is in no way written to rip them apart, but how many times do we have to watch Charlie Johnson & Ryan Diem get blown over like Chess Club kids dared to try out for football in box drills? I mean I’m pretty sure when one of those Defensive Ends runs Diem over & his helmet comes off we will see long blonde pig tails sticking out each side of his head.
Really makes you want to bring back Tarrik Glenn & Adam Meadows, huh? Sure they jumped off every now & then on 3rd & 1, but at least they secured the end of the line. Then you have our guards, it’s not their fault, we do usually draft them in the lower half of the draft as back-ups & they end up having to start before the years over. A majority of our plays end with Saturday still fighting with his man with at least 2 of the other 4 on their backs beginning to put together another apology to Peyton on their way back to the line of scrimmage.
And what about our backs & receivers? Wow! Our trainers have got to be raking in some serious over-time this year. Our running backs, understandably, can’t stay healthy. The last time Joseph Addai saw a hole on a dive play was at LSU! Peyton creates our running game with draw after draw after draw, all out of Shotgun. Dallas Clark, out, Anthony Gonzalez, out, Austin Collie, hopefully on his way back soon, Blair White, practice squad to starting line-up to battling injuries, Brandon James, practice squad to starting line-up, Piere Garcon, drops a lot of balls. I know the fans love him because for every 3 or 4 drops he has he makes up for it with an amazing grab, but still not the most reliable target & also hampered by a hamstring injury most of the year & last but not least Jacob Tamme, this guy has been stepping up. Let’s face it 4 out of 5 Colts fans didn’t even know his name until Dallas Clark went down. As for Reggie Wayne, he has more defenders on him throughout the game then the President has secret service agents. But here we are again nine games into the season sitting a game up in the AFC South with a 6-3 record and 4 of the last 7 games at home. How in the world? Sure we still have a tough road ahead, with our thin roster, but the combination of Peyton Manning & Bill Polian finding players to come in that nobody has ever heard of & Coach Caldwells leadership will keep us afloat until our key guys get healthy & is one we should really take in while we can. The things Peyton accomplishes week in & week out, no matter the challenge, is mind-blowing to me.
Next week we head to New England, you can’t even read that without putting on your game-face! Read it again, your lip curled didn’t it? Is there another team more disliked to Colts fans than the Pats? Not even the Chargers who we probably have more reasons to dislike than the Patriots in recent years. On paper we probably shouldn’t even be in the game Sunday as thin as we are on both sides of the ball. On the road, probably in bad weather (certainly not favorable), against a hot New England team with Peyton, Reggie & Jeff squaring off against a defense scheme known to give Peyton fits with a full holster to shoot with; how will he do it this time?
Much like the Eagles game, also a team better then most are giving credit to. As I’m writing this they are thumping the Redskins 59-28 with two minutes to go. We had no business being in that Eagles game either, but we had our chances in the end. We could have won that one too, we’ve seen it time & time again.
On defense it’s a lot of the same story. Injuries have us lining up guys every Sunday that weren’t even on a roster when the season started. Some of the defense is starting to come back now slowly but surely, but this “Next Man Up,” slogan that we hear commentators throw around when speaking about our Colts really has something to it. Hagler, Francisco, Conner & Foster all had huge plays on the defense on Sunday against the Bengals. We had Freeney, Mathis, Bathea, Hayden & Powers out there with a mediocre at best supporting cast. Powers saw limited action, mostly as a nickel corner, so Lacy started again.
Tony Dungy laid this foundation, and now Coach Caldwell, Bill Polian & Peyton Manning run a franchise that does not know the words “over matched.” I don’t know how but I fully expect Peyton to find ways to keep us in the game against the Pats Sunday even though we have no business under the circumstances of being in it. But even a loss Sunday brings us to 4 of the last 6 in Lucas Oil with better than good chances of closing out strong.
If a “lock-out” doesn’t prevent the Colts from having training camp in Anderson next year be sure to really take in the one in a million superstar we have around here to cheer for. Without Peyton I have a hard time imagining this ship wouldn’t have sunk already this year; a lot of the past several years actually. They have made overcoming obstacles a regularity around here & we have become extremely spoiled by it as Colts fans.
Somehow we always end up in the playoffs, & even with things they way they are this year, we’ll probably sneak in again. And just think if Collie, Addai, Bracket, Session, & even Sanders can get healthy going into the playoffs? All these 2nd & 3rd stringers who are playing now are getting a lot of “on the fly,” lessons that you can’t help but imagine will make them better once they are only relied on for spot duty here & there.
I’m not saying we’re heading back to the Super Bowl by any means, but I AM saying that we should really appreciate the kind of franchise we have to root for in the Colts, because under center every single Sunday is the only guy in the league who IS “capable” of taking a group made up of a majority of undrafted free agents, rookies & practice squad players deep into the playoffs & into the land of “You never know?”
If we get to watch this up close & personal again in Anderson next summer I say we look past the football & deep into the spirit of “Overcoming whatever is in the way,” & let this “Next Man Up” philosophy & attitude really sweep across this community, this city & into our families, businesses, etc.
It is more than just football we are witnessing, I don’t mean to beat anyone over the head with the Bible or anything, but what we have gotten spoiled by is Tony Dungy’s & now Jim Caldwell’s Biblically rooted leadership approach that instills characteristics of perseverance, & of a hope that doesn’t let a training room line that resembles that of a womens restroom create panic. Or any previous poor performances dictate anything at all about the next one.
Lots of teams have overcome things before, but this is different. The “swagger” of this team is different. It’s been different for a very long time now & we’ve just gotten used to it when we could have actually learned from it. Only 1 Super Bowl victory to show for it but still the winningest decade of professional football history, & a lot of those teams having horrible defenses, from 2000 to 2010 speaks volumes to that leadership.
The Jets, Patriots & Steelers are the talk of the Super Bowl predictions right now, and rightfully so, they are playing the best football right now. But beneath the radar is a team that you just can’t count out until the last buzzer sounds on the last quarter of their very last chance. No matter who they have out there on the field with Peyton, because that persevering spirit is contagious & it seems even our 2nd & 3rd stringers have most certainly caught it! So who’s it going to be this week?
“Next Man Up!”