New Coach...Same Sad Story for the Colts

Eric WilloughbyContributor IDecember 28, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 27:  Jim Caldwell the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts is pictured during the NFL game against the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The quote Jim Caldwell uttered was "our goal wasn't a perfect season" after watching the New York Jets take over the second half of Sunday's game. The question that all of the fans at Lucas Oil Stadium are asking is "why is that not one of the teams goals?"

And please don't show me these former players and coaches defending Jim Caldwell's decision to rest the starters either. Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and many other Indianapolis Colts starters had played fourteen and a half weeks of NFL football without sustaining an injury.  

Chances are very slim that any of them would've sustained an injury, especially something of a season ending variety. Not to say there wouldn't be a chance at it happening, anything is possible, but you could also get hit by a car walking down the sidewalk!

The Colts for just about the past decade have been using this so called "rest your starters" idea that still makes no sense. All of those years of Tony Dungy resting his starters so that they could come out rusty in the playoffs and get smoke checked by the New England Patriots, yet it seems the Colts never learn their lesson.  

The one year the Colts did win the Super Bowl it was not because they rested their starters. Like Tedy Bruschi said in his article on ESPN, "The offseason and a first round bye is the time for resting," especially when you have a chance at greatness.

Other people will say "nobody remembers the records of the past 10 Super Bowl champions" that is true, but I do remember an 18-0 Patriots team who lost in the Super Bowl, and I would forever remember a 19-0 Super Bowl champion, just as well all remember the 17-0 Miami Dolphins to this day!  

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That Patriots team will at least say they went for it and left it all on the line to have a chance at greatness. Yes they failed, but they were also the first team to finish a regular season 16-0, and that will always be remembered by history, something that seems to be of little interest to this Colts' Franchise.

In the words of Herm Edwards even "you play to win the game." Isn't winning games a goal? Do you really want to lose to a team who you might end up playing in the playoffs and give them the confidence to know you can be beaten?

Every team in the league now knows you can be beaten. They don't just feel it, they saw it happen. You would think that undefeated record would put a large target on your back, but it is outweighed by the target you now have on your back.

The infamous story of runners of years past was that nobody could break a four minute mile, then one day one runner achieved that goal. It seemed like every day after that a new runner or group of runners would break that four minute mile. That belief factor of seeing someone else do it makes it that much easier for the next team to do it!

Moreover, these athletes do not get to where they are by taking days off. Every person on that field is competitive out of his mind, you honestly cannot believe that having the first 19-0 season means nothing to them. Or even 16-0 and not winning a Super Bowl would mean nothing to them? Come on!  

Lastly, what about the poor fans? Those hard working fans who spend their hard earned money to come and watch the team they love and want just as much as any player in that stadium to be a part of history. Do they just not matter? Is their support not one of your goals either? It seemed pretty clear where their motives lied when they booed the second string the whole second half, right?

So just one more question for the Colts fans, players and management. What happens now if you go 14-2 or 15-1 and fail to make it out of the first round of the playoffs yet again? Then what have you accomplished this season?

The answer is nothing! If your team is rolling your best bet is to keep them rolling, just ask the New Orleans Saints, sometimes a loss it not the best thing!

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