And now a quick sidetrip away from the god-like Aaron Rodgers, the android-like Mason Crosby, the who-needs-a-touchdown Steelers and the looming prospect of more Patriots more of the time ...
Let's check out what's happening in Irsayville, aka, the Indianapolis Colts, aka the Cone Of Silence Is Real, And Look How Well It Works.
When last we left head coach Chuck Pagano, we thought we were leaving him at last, or he, us. It's been two weeks since he did his season post-mortem for the gentlemen and ladies of the Indianapolis media, with the ladies and gentlemen figuring it was his last such performance. But Black Monday became Maybe Tuesday became What The Hell's Going On Wednesday, and there's been nothing but silence from the complex out on 56th Street in Indianapolis.
Pagano's still the coach. Ryan Grigson's still the general manager. Apparently. For the time being.
Meanwhile, the rumors swirl, as they will in any information vacuum. Irsay has been wooing Jon Gruden. Irsay has been wooing Peyton Manning. Irsay has been holding séances, trying to contact Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi.
OK, so I made up that last one. Although who knows?
This is, after all, Irsay we're talking about, the NFL's moonchild. And so you never know. The Gruden and Manning rumors, apparently, are legit. The Blob understands the latter, understands the former less so. Gruden, after all, has been out of the game for eight years. Yes, he still does all that analysis for ESPN, and he still works with young quarterbacks, sort of, in that role. But that dynamic is completely different than being a head coach, and anyone thinking straight knows it.
No matter how much he keeps up with the game, the sidelines are still the sidelines. Outside looking in is still a completely different view than inside looking out.
So, the Blob remains skeptical about retrieving Gruden from the closet, still smelling of mothballs. And it remains, like everyone else, mystified by this entire episode.
All it knows, like everyone else, is the longer this goes on -- the more Irsay fails to say definitively he's sticking with Pagano and Grigson -- the more embarrassing a spectacle it becomes. If Irsay is having this tough a time selling one of the NFL's perennial winners, what's that say about the state of the franchise? What's it say about how it's now being perceived?
The presumption when Ringling Bros. announced it was closing shop over the weekend was that the clown show about to take power in Washington needed the tent. But maybe it's something else.
Maybe it's the clown show at 56th Street that needs it.