Heather Hill Lloyd, a.k.a “The Blue Mare,” shares her latest insights on the Indianapolis Colts with Phillip B. Wilson, about wrapping up the AFC South Division title, how Andrew Luck is playing, preparing to say farewell to Reggie Wayne, facing the Dallas Cowboys on the road on Sunday and celebrating another birthday.
Phil B: Well, they got it done. I said we were spoiled and you said we weren’t spoiled, but we both said it didn’t matter because they got it done in the AFC South. I guess we should look back first. You happy they got the AFC South wrapped up, even if it wasn’t a pretty game?
Heather: Very. Getting the division wrapped up is always goal No. 1. No matter how they did it, they got it done. I don’t think they made the mistakes that they’ve made in weeks past. I do feel like they cleaned things up a little bit. Now I wouldn’t call it pretty, but the defense again has really impressed me. The special teams was as what they’ve been all year, which is fantastic. The offense, they’re rolling. They still have some stuff to clean up, but the interesting thing to me that I never thought, looking back to training camp, we would go into the end of the season saying, ‘Gosh, if the offense could just light it up, we would be great.’ When we were at training camp, and we’re watching all these weapons the Colts have, we never thought it would be the offense that would be holding them back from achieving what we all expect them to achieve. Again, the good thing about that is they’ve got the tools there, they’ve got the talent there, they just need to bring it together. I like the fact that the defense looks fantastic. They’re ready to go. The defense is playing playoff football. Special teams has been playing playoff football all year. So if there’s one thing we have to look at and say, ‘Boy, I really hope they start firing on all cylinders and get it together,’ if it’s the offense that we’re saying that about, I feel pretty good about that because I know they can do that.
Phil B: Nah, your’e starting a campaign to play Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. Admit it.
Heather: (Laughs.) Here’s the thing about Andrew Luck. It’s not always pretty, but boy, that guy can get it done, whether he runs it in or whether he throws it in. If you’re in a playoff situation, he’s not as experienced as some of these other quarterbacks out there, but when you look at the chart of most touchdowns this season, Andrew Luck is sitting at the top with Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady underneath him. You’ve got to feel pretty good about that. Yes, there are some interceptions in there. Yes, there’s some bonehead plays in there. But the reality is, this guy can get it done if we need him to and I have confidence that he’s going to be able to do that. Yes, they need to kind of iron some things out still and bring it all together, but I still feel great with Andrew Luck at the helm.
Phil B: We’re both not worried about Andrew Luck. He’s still learning and growing. I don’t feel like I have to defend him. You don’t have to defend him. We know what he’s capable of, the numbers speak for themselves. Did it feel like you said good-bye to Reggie Wayne on Sunday?
Heather: I left that game confident that the Colts would be back with a home playoff game. That made it a lot less dramatic than it probably would have been. But I really do feel like we are in the process of saying good-bye to Reggie. When you listen to his press conference, when you listen to the stuff that he has to say right now, he definitely sounds like someone who is starting to reflect on his career. That tells me he’s probably getting there. I never pictured him to be the kind of guy to drag it out. I think the greatest thing about Reggie is that as fantastic as a career as he’s had, he’s going to end it just as fantastic and classy and upstanding as he was as a player, and you can’t ask for more than that. It’s so rare that fans get to cheer for a player and love that player and then watch him retire and always remain a member of that team, no matter what he decides to do down the road. It’s perfect. It’s sad. But, again, I will be a lot sadder if we get to a point where I know it’s his last game, then that will be a whole different story.
Phil B: Last week we talked about you making a deal with the ‘Football Gods.’ Have you any more conversations or negotiations with the ‘Football Gods’ about the Colts going to Dallas and playing to win, not getting anybody hurt, winning the third AFC seed and how it’s more important to be a third seed instead of a fourth seed, or have you decided that the ‘Football Gods’ have rewarded you enough and you don’t want to go back to the well too often?
Heather: I’m kind of more of the latter. I will say this, I had nothing to do with Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray breaking his finger. I never pull for athletes to get hurt. And here’s the other thing, he’s my running back in the fantasy football league championship for the Indy Bloggers League. I’ll always pull for the Colts over my fantasy team, but when DeMarco Murray got hurt, I was like, ‘Really? Come on.’ Now for the Colts, to not see him on the field, which is still debatable, he might be out there, sure, I’ll like the Cowboys without DeMarco Murray, that’s going to make me feel better about that game for the Colts. But, no, I did not have any conversations with the ‘Football Gods.’ I’m hoping I don’t have to go back to them at any point this year, but listen, if we get in a desperate situation in any of these games, I will not say they I won’t do it. For now, I’m going to let it play out the way it plays out and I sincerely hope that if DeMarco Murray does play, he is safe and he is smart because playing the week you have surgery on your finger does not sound very comfortable to me at all.
Phil B: Are you worried about a game where the Colts don’t need it and the Cowboys do? Does that make you nervous?
Heather: Listen, you always have to be worry about that. The Colts have achieved goal No. 1 already. They’ve won the division. They’re going to host a home playoff game. The good thing is I still see how the Colts could advance themselves. They’re still going to have something to play for. I’m a big momentum person, so I want them to go out and play hard anyway. I love the fact that coach Chuck Pagano has said he’s not into resting players just for the sake of resting players and if they get that rest, it’s because they need it because they’re injured. Yeah, these games are always dangerous. The Cowboys are one up on the Eagles in their division and they’re going to have to stay up if they want to make the playoffs. So that’s a very dangerous game. And you know what? The Cowboys are playing really good football right now. Their offense is on fire. Quarterback Tony Romo, who is Mr. November, nobody has told him it’s December yet, he’s still playing like it’s November. It’s going to take a good game by our defense, which I know they can do, to slow them down. And it’s going to take our offense to go out there and score touchdowns. But, yeah, it’s going to be a tough game because the Cowboys are definitely playing for more than the Colts right now.
Phil B: Last but not least, I have to publicly wish you a happy 40th birthday.
Heather: (Laughs.) Well, it was my 40th birthday two years ago, but you can still wish me a happy 40th birthday.
Phil B: I was trying to be close. I didn’t want to give that away. Some people don’t like their number being out there.
Heather: (Laughs.) You know what, I’m 42 years old, I feel pretty good about that. My legs are great. I’m proud of my 42 years. It’s no secret that I’m not a spring chicken, but I’m also not old.
Phil B: The Blue Mare is alive and kicking.
Heather: I will say this, though, the Colts already got me my birthday present. They won the division for me last weekend, so I feel really good about being able to sit back and watch them for the next couple of weeks and hopefully they’ll build some momentum and continue to clean up some mistakes and head into January looking great. I’m a happy girl.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.