Well. They did it.
The decision came under a lot of scrutiny, but in the end, clearly they made the right call.
As a paying consumer, I realize now that not playing your hardest all the time can pay off in the end.
It just proves, when you rest your starters, they can do great things...like losing in the Super Bowl.
The Colts laid down in week 16 against a Jets team they were beating in the second half of that game, a game they could have won. And they laid down against a Bills team they certainly could have beaten in week 17. Great decision!
Without that rest, those starters wouldn't have been capable of losing in the Super Bowl.
And when it was all said and done, the Colts were there, doing what they set out to do with all that extra rest...lose in the Super Bowl.
So Jim Caldwell. Take a bow. You did it.
You went down as another team that went 14-2 during the regular season and lost in a Super Bowl. I can't wait to tell my grandkids about it, because they're going to want to know how it happened.
"Tell us again about how in week 16, with a 15-10 lead in the second half the Colts sat Peyton Manning and the rest of their starters. PLEEEAAASE!"
I'll smile and say, "Ok, one last time," before tucking them into bed.
"Sure," you the reader may say in response to this sarcasm, "The Colts lost the Super Bowl. And sure maybe it was because the Saints played with some gumption, going for it on 4th-and-goal, and taking that gutsy onside kick, while the Colts played a pasty, bland, safe brand of football. But, they made it to the Super Bowl as a team with a 14-2 record. Who's going to forget that?!"
"Ha-ha," I will chuckle. "I suppose you have me there. I will never forget them and what a remarkably bland season they had."
You know what else is great? The fact that the reason you watch sports (or at least I do) is to see someone do something that plenty of other teams have done.
Why if the Colts had won the Super Bowl, it'd be like, "Wow, they did that thing one team does in every sport every year! Like...WOW!"
I mean, really, could we have even handled it as sports fans had they gone 16-0 and then won the Super Bowl? No freakin' way.
And if they had gone 16-0 and lost the Super Bowl, it'd be like, what's memorable about that. Then they'd go down as just some losers who lost the Super Bowl like that Patriots team, who is the only team in NFL history to go 16-0 in the regular season and then lose in the Super Bowl. But, that 14-2 Colts team that made it to the Super Bowl and lost...they were something else.
And why did they make it to the Super Bowl? Because they didn't go for 16-0.
And do you think the Colts fans that paid good money to see their team play in week 16 wanted to see them go for 16-0?
Heck no! They paid all that money so they could boo the team for even considering going for 16-0 against the Jets.
I mean Peyton Manning played the first half of both those games at the end of the year where he could have gotten hurt.
Many think Colts fans were upset they didn't go for 16-0. But really, they just were booing the fact that Manning was even in the game.
"How dare you go for 16-0!" they exclaimed. "What are you lunatics? Lunatics who want to accomplish an amazing feat never before done in football history going 19-0?! I mean, if that's why people watch sports, to see athletes do the unthinkable, then take me off this crazy person e-mailing list. Jeez Louise!"
So you see. It all worked out. The Colts entered the Super Bowl healthy except for Dwight Freeney who was hurt in the AFC championship an-...wait a minute.
Why didn't they rest Dwight Freeney in the AFC championship?! He could have gotten hurt! He did get hurt! Oh man!
Well now Jim Caldwell has learned his lesson. Just rest everyone all the time and they won't get hurt and then you can go on to maybe possibly do amazing things.