Team, not the players, the team, not the players. If you don’t know what I am talking about, feel free to read on. Since the docking of the Mayflower, The Colts has made a huge imprint on my life. I cherish memories like raising my frosty mug to Duke Tumatoe’s song: “Lord Help our Colts” (by the way there is a new version on Youtube for the 2011 season). I remember bracing myself in amusement during the crazy punt returns and the ‘Verdance’ of Clarence VerdIn (one of my all time favorites). I don’t know why but I still smile remembering Chris Chandler, a QB, running for his life. I laughed at people who left a game early during one of Jim Harbaugh’s ‘Comeback Colts’ wins. It was funny when Jeff George threw a tantrum. I enjoy memories of, as if in slow motion, Eric Dickerson’s long powerful stride and his fierce stiff arm knocking people down. These are just a few of the fun experiences with family and friends as we gathered together to watch games.
The not so enjoyable times were when after having fallen love with individual Colts players, I had my heart shattered many many times because of the sometimes early, sometimes inevitable player releases from the team. So many players came and went, were cut or traded, that I learned my lesson EARLY not to root for any one player but to root for the TEAM as a whole instead. I admit I still struggle to keep from getting attached to players and am still saddened at the more surprising departures of players such as Marvin Harrison, ‘The Edge’ James, and more recently Dallas Clark. But I couldn’t help but fall in love with Peyton Manning. I thought surely he would be here until he retired. When the door closed on his future with the Colts, I felt like a family member died. The worst part about that for me personally was that I was waiting until I had more money to buy a ticket to see him play and now if I ever have that chance he will be in another jersey. There were other players I knew were going to be let go of but the surprises were the ones that hurt the most. The players that left willingly for more money, well that’s another story. Which leads me to a lesson I just realized today: no more following Colts players on facebook!
Anyway, the point of my diatribe is that for those of you hurting, those of you who feel betrayed, those of you who want to hate or give up your expensive hobby you have cherished for years, if you learn the lesson I did a long time ago which I almost forgot about when we lost, ahem, Manning… to root for the team as a whole not individual players, then you will have much less heart break and much more fun for years to come. Oh and my own personal newly learned lesson: no more following players on Facebook.