As mentioned before, the Indianapolis Colts choked up a game trying to keep their players healthy for the playoffs. Most commentators are upset about it, though some have defended it. My father-in-law chalks it up to strategy that makes sense given the rules of the game, namely because having accomplished home-field advantage nothing matters until the playoffs. Others say that it was a bad move because the hit their morale takes (not just losing a game, but losing one that they could win) makes it less rather than more likely that they will win the Superbowl.

I think most of these people miss the point. DamnYankee, a commenter on Ta-Nahisi Coates’s blog, gets it:

The issue is not whether this makes it more likely or less likely that they win the Super Bowl, but rather that things other than playoffs should matter!. That some people can even say that taking a loss makes perfect sense because it doesn’t affect their playoff standings is symptomatic of the problems that playoff-obsession cause.

This isn’t an argument before or against playoffs in general. Rather, it’s that there ought to be different avenues of success. This can be accomplished within a playoff structure. Unfortunately, it’s often the case that playoff systems take on a life of their own and other goals, like division titles and victories over rivals, begin to matter less.

Whatever my criticisms of the NFL playoff model, going undefeated remains a victory apart from Super Bowl victories. This should be preserved. The Indianapolis Colts (or more preciisely, their coach) should be shamed for what they did. I hope that the morale hit they took takes all of the wind out of their season and they lose in the first or second round of the playoffs.

(I just hope they don’t lose in favor of an 8-8 Super Bowl Champion)

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4 Responses to Down With The Colts

  1. Kirk says:

    In other news, the Bucs beat the Saints this week. I still can’t friggin’ believe that.

  2. Abel says:

    If they lose to the 8-8 Broncos, I’m okay with it. 🙂

  3. Kirk says:

    Lately, I’ve been watching the Isle of Man TT, on Discovery HD Theater. I’m not entirely sure why they’re broadcasting it six months after it happened, but I still find it fascinating.

    The course is so dangerous, it is no longer part of the world championship. At 37 miles around, it also takes a long time to learn. It goes through small cities and towns–where the riders blast right by stone buildings and walls–and along winding country roads that feature precipitous dropoffs.

    Each lap, the riders have to slow to 5mph for one turn, with top speeds on the course varying by bike category. The semi-street legal bikes go 160mph+, and the higher-class bikes go 200.

    In the TT’s 102-year history, 225 riders have died. Still, even there’s more money in riding the world championship courses, many guys keep riding this course.

    One American wrecked the first time he went around it. Then, he wrecked again on his second try, breaking his bike and his arm. (They showed the bike; it was a comical pile of parts.)

    A British rider slid “about 150 meters.” Luckily, he stopped before he hit the building he was sliding towards.

    The spirit of these guys is the exact opposite of the Colts. There’s no reason to ride this race, but they do it anyway for the challenge.

    If you get Discovery HD Theater, check it out. Half the riders seem to be named “Ian”, they all have terrible teeth, I can’t understand much of their “English”, but the course and bikes are gorgeous. They even have a high-speed camera in one corner that shoots 600 frames/sec, catching exactly what the bikes are doing. (They flex mightily, sometimes coming entirely off the ground.)

  4. Kirk says:

    This shows much of the course. At certain points, the helo has trouble keeping up.

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