It’s been brought to our attention here in the Hoosier State that the Indianapolis Colts don’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell, which in this case is Foxborough, Mass., of defeating the New England Patriots on Sunday.
That’s what we read, again, in a familiar column from a Boston writer. It was kind of the same stuff shared in print a year ago, too. And the Patriots crushed the Colts that time.
But if this esteemed journalist thinks for one frigid second that we’re going to sit back here in our wintry Hoosier slumbers, counting the minutes until the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, and accept his pronouncement of Patriots invincibility and outcome inevitability, well …
OK, he’s right.
Yeah, the Colts can’t win.
You know it. I know it. He knows it. The Patriots know it. The Colts know it. And, of course, ESPN knows it. We don’t have to wait to see how their “experts” pick the game.
The Patriots have Mr. Bill, a.k.a. the evil genius, coach Bill Belichick, sporting that hoodie and staring a hole through our soul without a single shred of emotion, like say, Darth Vader, but without that loud breathing. The Colts have Chuck Pagano, a feisty bulldog of a coach who, oh, I don’t know, has beaten cancer.
Boston has Cheers, one of the greatest TV shows in history, you know, the place “where everybody knows your name.” Indianapolis gets a visit every now and then from Parks & Recreation, which is kind enough to give Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert a chance to work on his acting with a cameo or two. Yeah, you’ve got to go with beer-guzzling, end-of-the-bar-stool-fixture Norm Peterson in that matchup, don’t you?
New England has Tom Brady, who is easily the most attractive hunk of a quarterback in the NFL. And don’t get me started about his wife, Gisele. Saw her here in Indianapolis for that Super Bowl a few years back, and my life hasn’t been the same. Mandatory poster in the “Man Cave.”
And the Colts? Their quarterback looks like a caveman. Or that movie hero Wolverine. Or just plain Amish. Or a revolutionary war general. Andrew Luck rocks a “Neard,” a neck beard that has inspired us hicks to take doctored photos wearing the same look. Brady wouldn’t be caught dead with one whisker out of place.
The Patriots have been a dynasty. Three Super Bowl rings. So many other close calls. Brady and Belichick are in their ninth AFC Championship Game? Are you kidding me? Ninth? Get out of here. The Colts have one Super Bowl ring in Indy. And were in the way a few other times, right?
The Patriots are touchdown favorites, which is nothing short of amazing. It should be at least a 26-point spread. That’s the average margin of victory the last three times these teams have met. The oddsmakers are going to take a beating on this one, giving just seven points. What do they know? How many casinos are there in Las Vegas?
Sure, the Colts are just glad to be given the opportunity to share the field with those guys. They’re not worthy, of course, but it’s awfully nice of New England to allow a team that has a horseshoe on their helmets and Luck on their side to play ball there for a few hours.
And about that field, or Gillette Stadium, a.k.a. “The Razor.” It has a lighthouse. Yeah, there’s always a light there to show them the way to victory. The Colts have Lucas Oil Stadium, a.k.a. “The Luke” and “The House That Peyton Built,” with a snazzy retractible roof which never seems to get enough use because, hey, we don’t like to watch our football in the cold. We’re wimps. When we dare to visit “The Razor” in January, good gracious, we catch something. It’s freezing out there.
New England has lobster. Indianapolis has, oh, I don’t know, we’ve mastered that green bean casserole dish with the cream of mushroom soup and French-fried onion crinkles. Yum.
The Patriots’ uniforms epitomize patriotism, red, white and blue. It doesn’t get more American than that. The Colts are just blue and white. Royal blue, to be technical. And we all remember what happened when the Patriots upset England back in the day. Yeah, the home team covered then, too.
The AFC’s top seeds have a mythical superhero known as “Gronk.” Tight end Rob Gronkowski’s nickname smells of football toughness, a stud you can ride all the way to the Super Bowl. The Colts have got “DQ,” inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. He’s a hard-working dude, to be sure, but there’s no getting around the fact that “DQ” typically stands for disqualification.
New England has been so good for so long, Indianapolis had to steal its kicker, “Mr. Clutch,” Adam Vinatieri. We couldn’t find anyone better, so we’re sticking with the old man, the NFL’s oldest player, who recently celebrated his 84th birthday, I think it was. His voice is “horse” from blowing out all those candles.
Say this for the Colts, though. They’ve got T.Y. “Thank You” Hilton. That’s polite, you’ve got to admit. The Patriots have a guy whose name we can’t even spell after Googling. Human…ah…won… no, I mean, Hoomanone…jiminy Christmas…Hoomanawanui. Come on, give the Colts at least that.
And the Hoosier State capital has one other thing New England doesn’t. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy 500, “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing.” Yeah different sport, but if you’ve ever stood on pit road when a race car zooms by at 230 mph, you’ll be convinced it takes a crazy person to want to do that. That’s us. We can be crazy. Then we revert back to simple folk and drink milk.
How else can you explain the Colts wanting to go back there and play the Patriots after losing on that field in the playoffs three other times since 2004? The Colts must be crazy. Just gluttons for punishment. They clearly never get the message. Thank you, sir, can I have another, um, beatdown?
Seriously, from the bottom of blue hearts everywhere, thank you again for allowing the Colts this rarest of opportunities to stand next to football gods, block and tackle them even, and maybe score a few points to put on an entertaining show.
What more could we ask for or expect? It’s the simple things in life.
Just remember, New England, it’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how the Colts have the character and heart to even bother to show up and play the damn game.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.