Sunday, August 28, 2016

Panic room

And now, for your reading pleasure, the Blob presents "Is The Sky Falling Or Not: A Discussion," a topic of great relevance right now to certain people in Indianapolis who paint their faces blue and spend their Sunday afternoons in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Let's present our panel.

Over here, you have the contingent that insists the sky is indeed falling, even though the season has yet to begin and we are five months from its end. This contingent, after three exhibitions in which the Indianapolis Colts did not look like a mighty host, has retreated to its panic room. From there, it's periodically sending out messages that do not exactly sound like Churchill's we-shall-fight-on-the-landing-grounds speech.

"Andrew's going to get killed again!" is one example.

"We have no running game!" is another.

"Our entire defense is hurt, even the guys who aren't that good!" is yet another.

And then, of course, there's this, rising up in the wake of the Colts' exhibition loss to the Eagles last night:

"Jack Mewhort could be done for the season!"

At which point the non-panic room contingent is compelled to point out that Mewhort is one of the offensive linemen who almost got Andrew (as in, "Andrew Luck") killed last year, and so how bad is this news, really?

Look. I get that the Colts O-line, which couldn't block a stiff breeze last year, is still a leading proponent of the Open Door Policy, and even the relentlessly upbeat Chuck Pagano admitted as much last night. He as much as copped to yanking Luck at halftime so, you know, he wouldn't get killed out there.

I also get that everyone on the defensive side really is hurt, including cornerback Darius Butler, who left with an ankle injury last night. I get that there's no running game because the O-line can't open any holes, and even if it did, who would run through them?  The Horsies' best mail-carrier is still Frank Gore, and he's even older than he was last year -- when he was, I don't know, 56 or something.

So, no, things aren't looking up. But, again, it's August. The stores haven't even started putting up their Christmas decorations. The Game Show Host is still weeks away from his final election-day meltdown. The year 2017 still seems impossibly distant.

In other words: It's way, way too early to retire to the panic room.

Such a bizarre place, the Land of Goodell. Every year NFL fans talk about how meaningless and stupid the preseason is, and then they freak out when their teams look bad in the preseason. Well, which is it? Meaningless and stupid, or a grim omen of heartache to come?

The Blob votes the former, which is why it advocates getting rid of the preseason altogether. What's its value besides fattening teams' PUP lists? Are the Dallas Cowboys going to be better prepared now that Tony Romo is out for two months with an injury he incurred in a preseason game? Will the Colts be more ready without Butler and all those other defensive guys they've lost?

Hey, if the colleges can start their season cold, so can the pros, who have frankly been training longer. Preseason is just another way for the NFL to squeeze a few more dimes from the rubes. And the NFL already has enough dimes.

Plus, it really is meaningless and stupid. The last time the Colts went to the Super Bowl, in 2009, they were 1-3 in the preseason and lost to the Lions, who went 2-14 that year. The year they beat the Bears in the Super Bowl, 2006, they went 1-3 in the preseason and lost to two teams (Rams and Bengals) who failed to make the playoffs.

The Colts went 12-4 that year. They were 14-2 in 2009.

In other words: Relax, people. And for God's sake, open the panic room door.

There's a big beautiful world out here. Really.

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