Thursday, December 31, 2009

Perfection


After a two month hiatus due to work and college apps, in the words of T.O. I'm BAAAAAAAAAACK and I'm better than ever. It's amazing how much can change in the world of sports in such a short amount of time. The last time I made a post the Vikings were flying high and were virtually locked into the number two seed, Mike Leach hadn't locked Adam James in a closet, Tiger Woods was thought of as just a golfer, and the Wizards looked promising in their first four games. Of everything that happened in the last two months, the issue that really got to me was Jim Caldwell and the Colts giving up on their quest for perfection.

The Colts were leading the Jets early in the second half, at home nonetheless, when head coach Jim Cladwell elected to pull some starters including Peyton Manning with whom he replaced with rookie backup Curtis Painter. Nothing against Curtis, but when you put a rookie against a Jets team playing for a playoff spot and that has a physical defense like Rex Ryan's, he has no chance. The Jets cruised to a win in the second half 29-15.


This decision raises the question, is it more important to assure health to your starters or go for an undefeated season? The clear answer is to go for an undefeated season. Simply put, going undefeated is awesome. The members of the '72 Dolphin team can say that they were part of the best team to ever play and no one can really argue with them because NO ONE beat them. Without the undefeated season do we really remember Mercury Morris, Larry Csonka, and Bob Griese the way we do? Had the Saints still been undefeated and they did this I would have had slightly less of a problem because they would be going for the franchise's first Super Bowl. But when the Colts, a team in which half of their players have rings, they needed to go for something more special.

The decision also does not secure the Super Bowl by any means, if anything it may hurt their chances. Prior to 2006, we saw the Colts rest their starters the last two games of the regular season and then collapse in the playoffs. The year they won it all they were forced to play to win every game in order to secure a division championship. After Peyton was pulled, he was visably upset, and obviously did not agree with the decision. Manning stood on the sideline sulking with his helmet on and chinstrap buckled as if he was ready to go back into the game. And as much as everyone worries about Peyton Manning's health, the guy has started every single game of his career; I think he knows how to take care of himself for one extra half.

In the end, Jim Caldwell has only put more pressure on himself because now if the Colts don't reach the Super Bowl, his decision will certainly be criticized.




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