Thursday, January 18, 2007

Why The Colts? Why Not?

I have been a Colts fan since I was in junior high. Not really sure why. I'm not from Baltimore, anywhere in Maryland, or even anywhere on the east coast (which is where the Colts were from when I was a kid). The Bears and the St. Louis CARDINALS were closer. So, why the Colts??

When I started cheering for them, they were the Baltimore Colts. Johnny Unitas (one of the best quarterbacks of all-time) was gone. They were rarely on TV in the midwest. So, why the Colts???

Bert Jones was their quarterback. Lydell Mitchell and later Joe Washington were running backs. John Dutton was their huge defensive end. They were very good in the mid 70's...but always ran into the Raiders or the Steelers in the playoffs...and always lost. Even then, they also had battles with the New England Patriots (Steve Grogan quarterbacking). Still, why the Colts????

I guess I don't know why. I do know one of the happiest Christmas gifts in 1976 was my Bert Jones jersey....straight from the pages of the Sears Wishbook. I wore that jersey until it was so thin you could see through it. I thought it was the coolest shirt in the world.

Then the 80's and 90's came along. I got older...and the Colts, under cover of darkness, abandoned their fans and moved to Indy. They also left behind any hints of a winning team (except for the freak year when Jim Harbaugh had them one hail mary pass away from the Super Bowl). Even with this, I stayed true to them. Imagine a sports fan in the 80's/90's whose teams were the Colts and the Cubs. No one accused me of jumping on the good team bandwagon.

Then the 1998 draft came along and the Colts had the first pick. And the big decision....Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf. According to SI at the time, Leaf had more of the physical tools needed for an NFL quarterback. Fortunately for the Colts, they chose to go with quarterback savy, not physical gifts.

After a couple rocky seasons, it has been awfully good to be a Colts fan. Sure, we have issues in the playoffs...but 12 or 13 game winning seasons are sooo nice.

So, as we approach another postseason game against the Patriots....I say good luck Colts. Win one for Bert Jones.


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