Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Colts sacrifice perfection, still come up empty

Idle thoughts from an idle mind, while wondering if the flush toilet or the snow blower is mankind's greatest invention:

•The Indianapolis Colts are the latest to learn that nothing is for certain in the National Football League.

Not Super Bowl titles, not perfect seasons.

So, what did the Colts accomplish by shutting it down with a 14-0 regular-season record, leading to two losses entering the playoffs? In the all-or-nothing world of pro sports, they ended up with zilch.

Rolling over in losses to the Jets, a playoff team only because of the Colts' largesse, and the hapless Bills deprived Indy's players and fans of pursuing a historic season.

In the end, everyone went home empty-handed.

•A lot of us - and us would include me - were guilty of anticipating Peyton Manning's best-ever coronation. And then came the horrid, horrendous, telegraphed pass picked off and returned 70-some yards by Tracy Porter for New Orleans' clinching touchdown.

Manning has a Super Bowl win and plenty of NFL quarterbacks through the years can't claim the same. But he also is 9-9 in playoff games, some of which were there for the taking in the late going. Contrast that with Joe Montana (16-7), Tom Brady (14-4), Terry Bradshaw (14-5), and John Elway (14-7). I would never suggest Ben Roethlisberger belongs in such a discussion, but he is 8-2 in playoff starts and owns two rings.

•The first Super Bowl odds have been set for next season and, if you were wondering, the Browns and Lions are 100-1.

•Am I the only one who thought Punxsutawney Polamalu was the funniest Super Bowl commercial?

•The weeks of debate leading up to it put pro-life in the headlines far more than what proved to be a rather benign Tim Tebow commercial ever would have.

•I know the NFL got burned by Janet Jackson's, um, exposure a few years back. Remember the so-called wardrobe malfunction in 2004? The Super Bowl hasn't given us a truly "current" act since. Recent halftime shows featured Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and The Who. The latter, at least the original group, is on anybody's list of greatest rock bands. But watching and listening to Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend in their mid-60s made me feel old.

•Congrats to Dick Cromwell for a tremendous coaching career, the best in City League history, and for ending it on his own terms. I'm glad he was able to go out with a big season. He certainly isn't leaving the cupboard bare for his successor at St. Francis. The new coach will start with a great offensive line.

•Best line I've seen about Lane Kiffin offering a full ride to, and accepting an oral commitment from a 13-year-old, seventh-grade quarterback is that by the time the kid is a freshman at USC they'll both be ready to go through puberty. Fortunately, the boy has five years to change his mind. Because if the NCAA bares any teeth, that's when the Trojans should be coming off probation.

•With a new stadium - and greater revenue streams that come with it - set to open soon, the Minnesota Twins should have the resources to give catcher Joe Mauer a lucrative, monster-long contract. But with so much tied up in Mauer and first baseman Justin Morneau, could the Twins afford to surround them with pennant-contention talent? Think Alex Rodriguez and the Texas Rangers.

Contact Blade sports columnist

Dave Hackenberg at:

or 419-724-6398

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