Wilson's Word: Good time for laughs

It's late May, a long way from the NFL regular season, so laughter is a welcome change during the offseason routine.

Say this for the Indianapolis Colts these days, they seem to be having fun.

In the past, that’s not always how it seemed during offseason training activities, when the workout routine seemed like drudgery and players didn’t effectively hide their disdain for practicing football in the spring.

But these guys sure appear to be enjoying themselves, for whatever that’s worth.

Second-year offensive lineman Jack Mewhort was talking for my video camera when we got “video-bombed” not once but twice. First, tight end Dwayne Allen walked by, wrapped in just a towel, and flexed his left biceps.

Funny guy, Dwayne.

But then if you watch the video toward the end, offensive left tackle Anthony Castonzo can’t resist goofing around as well. The big guy stretches his arms out wide in the background. It wouldn’t have caught my attention if Castonzo didn’t flash a mischievous smile. Yeah, the playful big guy did that on purpose.

Quarterback Andrew Luck walked into the shot at the end of the interview. I’m thinking, “Here we go again.” Luck noticed the interview, but just kept it cool and sat down. His locker is next to Mewhort’s.

We shared a laugh about how I thought Luck was going to have some fun with Mewhort, too.

A chat with Mewhort, who has been getting some snaps at right tackle because Gosder Cherilus is on the mend, became rather ironic when head coach Chuck Pagano had some fun teasing the media.

Pagano spoke with enthusiasm about how the Colts were going about their business in workouts, then surprised us all with an off-the-wall tangent.

“Until we get the pads on, though, we could all dress out and look pretty good out there right now,” Pagano said.

As reporters laughed, he scanned the room and said, “Most of us. Most of us.”

Then he broke down the football potential in the media masses, row by row.

“Front row, I don’t know,” he said, smiling. “Second row, we’ve got some possibilities. Third row, definite possibilities.”

Then his eyes scanned the platform on the back wall. Seated behind my camera and looking around the tripod, I knew something was coming.

“Then on the back side,” he said, looking around, “that’s why you’re hiding, Phil B. Stay down.”

The room erupted in laughter.

“Definitely look like a right tackle prospect,” he said, laughing. “Not going to play a skill position.”

Finally, being 50 and fat pays off. I never mind being involved in a good laugh, even if I’m the butt of the joke.

Locker-room chats offered more amusing interaction. Offensive guard Hugh Thornton needled me about not getting him Indianapolis 500 tickets. Yeah, I didn’t deliver for him and his girlfriend. I will have to hear about that for a long time.

After pushing the red record button for a video of Allen, he immediately made a face with both of his eyes crossed inward.

That inspired me to needle him about how an unofficial poll of female reporters had Allen chosen as the sexiest man in the room. Just kidding, but he tried to play it straight for a moment.

“Appreciate it,” he said, looking around. “I was going to say Josh Chapman.”

Nice. Let’s give the 6-foot, 340-pound nose tackle some love.

It still seems like an eternity before the NFL regular season, when these Super Bowl contenders open at the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 13. Expectations are as high as they’ve been in recent years.

Life will inevitably get serious as these guys try to knock off the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, among others.

But the Colts aren’t getting caught up in the hype, at least not yet. They’re obviously excited about the possibilities and the tight-knit group seems to enjoy each other.

That includes having fun with the media. It’s all part of the process, right?

And, hey, if “Gos” can’t go …

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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