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By DYLAN MALONE
After it was all said and done I just had to go with the simplest, most effective play on words I was suggested, “Chillin’ with Dylan.” I knew it was right when I read the idea because as it came off my tongue I immediately had visions of grandeur for the future. I knew right then that I would be destined for greatness thanks to a great, catchy name like that.
Ok, so that sounds a little egotistical…and it is…but I really do appreciate all the suggestions emailed, called out at sporting events this last week, and even…snail-mailed to my desk (what dedication!). Jim Shrader gets the nod from the panel (of one) for the best name for the column. Congrats on your wordy wit, good sir. I owe you a steak.
There were some great suggestions and I know that some of you who posted will be sure that your name was better. I’m sure that at least half of you are probably right. At any rate, some honorable mentions were “Dylan’s Double Play”, “Bleacher Bum”, “The Athletic Supporter” (this one made me laugh), “Malone’s Mind”, and “Downfield with Dylan.” My wife gets second place, however. Her suggestion was “The Jock Strip.”
But…it’s all said and done. The column has been named. So let’s move on.
How about them Colts? 0-3 for the first time since 1998…wow. That’s a long time. This time in ’98 Bill was admitting he had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. For you obscure sports fan historians, on the same day the Colts were going 0-3 in 1998, The Prairie View Panthers football team beat Langston University 14-12. With the win, the Panthers snapped an 80-game losing streak, the longest in the history of college football.
So there you go…0-3 doesn’t sound so bad anymore (try being a Cubs fan). We have gotten so spoiled with Peyton Manning running the show. And why wouldn’t we? This season marks the first time in his professional career he’s missed a game! That’s pretty impressive. Some would save Farve-like…but I digress.
With the big #18 possibly out for the season, it started to make me wonder about past teams who have lost their superstar for the entire season. If you saw Peyton in the booth on Sunday Night Football, you know that he probably cracked his neck in frustration trying not to scream with each pass that left Painter’s hands. Is there any hope for the Colts now that Peyton is resting his surgically repaired neck?
Tom Brady missed most of the 2008 campaign with a torn ACL. His replacement, Matt Cassel, seemed to fit in quite nicely after a few kinks were worked out. The Pats eventually ended up 11-5 and tied atop the division with the Miami Dolphins who would make it in because of a better division record. 11-5 and missing the playoffs? Tell that to the Seahawks last year. I’m sure the Colts wouldn’t mind going on an 11-2 run to end the season.
How about Blake Griffin from the L.A. Clippers? In his first season, the college phenom broke his left kneecap, which he injured during the final pre-season game, and underwent surgery missing the entire 2009–10 season. How did the Clips do? A 29-53 finish…pretty much how they were expected to be.
Sticking with basketball greatness, what about Jordan’s injury riddled season in ’85? He missed 64 games due to a broken foot but the Bulls still managed to squeak out the eighth playoff spot. Jordan returned in time for the playoffs against the top-seeded Celtics. Despite Larry Bird and company sweeping the Bulls, Jordan scored 63 points in the opening game, an NBA playoff record that still stands today.
So there are a couple of examples of teams good and bad losing their superstars for some time. Are the Colts a good team with or without Peyton? Just remember that at halftime against the Texans during the opener this year the Colts were down 31-0. Ouch. You can blame Kerry Collins for the goose egg but what about the 31 points the defense gave up?
The Colts have a long way to go but with some luck and a little bit better play at the QB position (Painter please go away…) perhaps the Colts can win enough games before Manning’s return to practice in December. With a good enough record, maybe the Colts will bring #18 onto the roster early…