Some people are fans of the Indianapolis Colts. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Indianapolis Colts. This 2020 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Indianapolis Colts.
Your 2019 record: 7-9. That’s a decent record when you remember that Andrew Luck gave up on football—and possibly life in general—right before the season started. The amusing thing about Luck’s retirement is that the Colts didn’t see it coming, despite the fact that Luck had 57 different chronic injuries and an actual working mind. Anyone else close to Luck probably said, “I think this job is probably wearing on Andrew,” but Jimmy Irsay was out here like I THINK ANDY’S GOT SOME KINDA PUSSY BRAIN THAT WON’T LET HIM PLAY WITH HALF A LUNG, BUT WE’LL TOUGHEN UP THAT BRAIN REAL GOOD!
You hate to see the Colts’ obliviousness rewarded, and yet they cobbled together the kind of season—complete with a Sunday night beatdown of the Chiefs AT Arrowhead—that proved karma is a terrible lie. The silver lining is that they started off 5-2 before slipping down a frosty hole. Also, Adam Vinatieri finally croaked. So there was SOME relief for haters out there. Thank Jesus.
Your coach: Frank Reich. Again, it’s maddening that the Colts were jilted by renowned shit-for-brains Josh McDaniels only to stumble bass ackwards into a second choice who has already proven to be vastly superior. Even the most glaring fuckup of Reich’s tenure—when he went for it on 4th and 4 from his own 44 at the end of overtime against the Texans in 2018, failed, and allowed Bill O’Brien to take advantage in a game situation for once in O’Brien’s sorry-ass life—was actually the correct strategy. I say that even though I’m a miserable dickhead who loves it when NFL teams have to settle for ties. But no, it was the right move. Brave, even.
[grinds teeth into powder so fine you could do a full routine on the pommel horse using them]
Absolutely. Reich had to coach the Colts from afar all offseason, but the team thankfully has had no positive COVID test results yet.
That’s a sign the plan designed by athletic trainer Dave Hammer — the Colts’ infection control officer — is working.
I’m heartened to know that Ryan Grigson is no longer with the Colts and yet he would be the EXACT kind of moron to go to the team trainer—who is very much not a virologist—and say, “Hammer, you are now the INFECTION CONTROL OFFICER. Let’s take it to this virus.” There is no job in the world that NFL teams can’t troopify by at least 20 percent.
Your quarterback: [door flies open]
There he is. King Laserface himself. After a year of the just-barely-competent Jacoby Brissett, the Colts broke the bank (WHY?) and signed themselves up for one year and $25 million worth of Philip Rivers cranking out babies and talking trash to his own wideouts. I cannot begin to tell you how badly Rivers fell off last season. No one can, because the Chargers have no fans to bear witness to such open casket wakes. But I can say with frightening confidence that even Tom Brady has a more encouraging late-career prognosis at the moment than dear Marmalard.
Nigel Tufnel agrees. No longer can Rivers count on some generic 6-foot-10 wideout on the Chargers to bail him out when he floats a ball into the fucking asteroid belt. He’s always thrown caution—along with the ball itself—into the wind. But now, as an instant lame duck, he has even less of a reason to give a fuck when a defender comes boring down on him and persuades him to divest himself of the football. Thus, I’m gonna spend the whole year listening to announcers debate Philip Rivers’s Hall of Fame potential all game long while they pay absolutely no attention to him accidentally braining one of his own sister wives with a back shoulder throw.
This signing represents the Colts shifting into what I can only describe as the James Dolan version of Win Now mode. Rivers is playing behind a good offensive line for the first time in his 45-year career. He has good wideouts, including Michael Pittman Jr., who was put on this Earth to make me feel old. He has a running game. A younger, more promising quarterback would be able to make the AFC title game with this roster. Rivers is neither of those things. He’s here to PREVENT the Colts from taking the next step forward, in an expensive and glaring fashion.
What’s new that sucks: I wanna congratulate documented flip-flop wearer Chris Ballard for assembling a good roster, but he’s also the man who watched Xavier Rhodes play corner in 2019 and said to himself, “Now that’s a guy we absolutely must have.” The Colts refuse to make a good move without making a subsequent move that immediately undermines that good move. Xavier Rhodes can’t play anymore. Rivers can’t play anymore. The Colts shocked the league and pulled off a trade for DeForest Buckner, which means he probably can’t play anymore either. They’re a deeply erratic organization, almost like they broke into Irsay’s medicine cabinet and ate everything inside.
There are bright spots. Darius Leonard is a god. Jonathan Taylor looks to the kind of prolific Wisconsin running back who turns out to be a good pro instead of an honorary Golden Corral tenant. But in the bigger picture, the Colts spent years on what seemed like a very concerted attempt not to get “too good,” and have now upgraded to making sure they’re never too bad. Managed adequacy has always been at the heart of Indiana living.
What has always sucked: No team in football, not even the Steelers, strains to embody phony-ass heartland values the way the Colts do. Their owner is an ether-soaked burnout who only chipped in $100 million for his gloirified tool shed of a stadium. Their quarterback is a one-home cult. Their fans are the kind of people who lock motorists in their basement after those drivers have made a particularly bad wrong turn. And yet I’m supposed to act like the Colts personify modern American grit all because they drafted Quenton Nelson? The one time they draft a good lineman, and he comes too fucking late to save the LAST quarterback they ruined? No. No, fuck that. America isn’t gritty. America is full of weak, thin-skinned assholes who lose their shit the second they see a black person holding a protest placard. And Indiana, per capita, contains MORE of these exact assholes than any other state. The Colts are just another brainless NFL team making money off of its fans’ collective obliviousness. I almost admire them for the con. Not enough to CHEER for them, but it merits tepid admiration nonetheless.
So fuck Indiana. Indiana is a gun factory by day and Chicago’s sewage treatment plant by night. The foremost goal of anyone who is in Indiana—native or otherwise—is to LEAVE Indiana. Preferably in a Mayflower truck in the dead of night.
What might not suck: COVID masks really have done wonders to improve the look of all Indiana citizens.
Ratto says: “The Colts have used the quarterback position decided to see how fast an elevator with its cables cut can accelerate toward the bottom. Two of their running backs only have their jobs because their names are either alliterative or rhyme, and their best player remains their left guard. Their current defensive depth chart has one defensive end, one cornerback and one safety starting, suggesting that they intend to defend in single file this year. Jim Irsay has still not done the one thing that will make fans forget his father GinBreath von Slugtrail III.
“They have fetishized mediocrity to the point where they should change the logo to Jeff Fisher. The change in the logo they did make, slapping a C with rivet holes on the state map, only reminds people of the grade the art student who turned this in should have gotten. Their biggest fan is our vice president, who thinks COVID-19 can be cured by licking toilet seats and then rolling around in a field of poison sumac. The only alternative to the Colts is a dormant IU football team whose coach staged a prancing hissy fit before the Big 109 postponed its season. Even the good people who live in Indiana are good only by comparison. I wish this team ill, but re-purposing themselves into the Football Pacers is a more proper fate. The country is a dump and Indiana is somehow the most forgettable part of that dump.”
HEAR IT FROM COLTS FANS!
FUUUUUUUUUUUCK RYAN GRIGSON.
Fuck Mike Pence.
Fuck Ryan Grigson with Jerry Garcia’s Tiger guitar.
At least the other shitty teams have loyal fanbases. I have seen enough Denver/Indy hybrid Manning jerseys to sail a fleet of yachts.
Pretty sure that the front office is just made of Chris Ballard, Irsay’s daughters, and now Philip Rivers’ 10-to-the-power of-three children.
Philip Rivers is old and a religious nut job. Of course, that fits in well with the crazy evangelical hillbillies throughout the state and the closeted evangelical living at the US Naval Observatory. Oh, and T.Y. Hilton’s leg keeps falling off.
It’s a good thing the Colts signed Philip Rivers because if there’s a COVID outbreak on the team, all 53 of his kids could take the field for a couple of weeks while the Colts quarantine.
We have to root FOR Philip Rivers? The smug asshat who peacocked around the sidelines jawing with fans while Billy Effing Volek closed The RCA Dome for him? That’s like Bill Laimbeer taking a one-year gash-grab twilight contract with the Celtics and leading his intro presser with, “Clean slate, right chowds?”
Rooting for Philip Rivers is like having to rewatch Game of Thrones only with all of the non-Jaime-Cersei sex scenes cut out. Also: Who spells “Phillip” with only one “L”? Psychopaths hellbent on single-handedly siring an entire generation of humans. That’s who.
PHILIP FUCKING RIVERS?! The team has a perfectly good QB already and they go and sign Mr. Nine-Kids-And-Counting to a vanity deal?! This is particularly egregious considering that Cam Newton was on the market, but I guess that one black QB is more than enough for Indy. Fucking Colts. Jesus Christ, fuck this team.
Phillip Rivers beat us in the last game in the Hoosier (fuck you RCA) Dome. At halftime, he came off the field early to go to the locker room, jawed at the fans, and flipped them off. Since that moment, he has only had one fewer child (5) than Colts playoff wins. I expect him to close that gap.
Even so, like an idiot, I bet a friend Rivers would finish with more fantasy points per game than Brady. A week later Gronk came out of retirement.
I want to know what the hell I did to piss off the football gods so much that they made Peyton Manning’s neck explode, magically repair itself, and then win a Super Bowl in Denver. And break Andrew Luck so badly that he decided to retire at 29. And now the worst of all: force me to cheer for a 38-year-old Philip Rivers.
Marmalard sounds like a locally-sourced bacon jam you’d see in a trashy-chic downtown Indy restaurant, so this was basically inevitable.
Do you know how rough of a drop-off it is to go from cheering on Andrew Luck, a weird quiet dude who since retirement has tweeted (via his book club) his support for reparations, to Quiverfull Rivers? At least we didn’t just promote Swag Kelly, a thing that a not-insubstantial amount of the fanbase still wants.
The AFC South is an annual contest to see which of four forgettable disasters can shit their pants the least and make it into the playoffs, usually with an inflated record thanks to beating up the other three. Yet somehow the Colts, with their media darling GM, cannot consistently beat Bill O’Brien.
I write one of these every year, and this year’s is the toughest yet. I could take the excuse that a global pandemic and recession, along with America’s fall into fascism, have put things into perspective and it’s just hard to care about sports. But I think I’ll just blame the Colts mediocrity for my apathy. Fuck Grigson, now and forever, amen.
I got so drunk tailgating before we played the Jets one year that I puked on the people sitting in front of me about five minutes into the game. Had the choice of going to the hospital or jail, so I chose the hospital. Spent about $4,000 for an ER visit, and that was still a wiser investment than the $40M+ the team will shell out this year on Brisset and Rivers.
I called my dad the moment I heard Luck retired. He was watching a movie, so he said “what the fuck” and hung up. I called other relatives, and the prevailing sentiment was that they hate him for it. My so-called liberal relatives are mad at Andrew Luck for retiring before the Colts turn his brain into a charcuterie board. Let the man live his life.
If Rivers can somehow manage to choke Irsay to death with with one of his bolo ties I might be able to get past him being on the team.
Still fuck Hank Baskett.
EXCLUSIVE: Fan video of new Colts QB Philip Rivers taking the field for the first time!
At least when our former GM and LA Looks aficionado Ryan Grigson was running this team directly into the ground it gave you something to talk about. But no, we righted the ship and now we have a dullard GM who doesn’t take chances and drafts well, and a coach who is pretty decent and it’s boring as fuck.
Our stadium is like watching a game at a Kohl’s with worse sightlines. I know several season ticket holders who were ELATED with the new stadium Jumbotrons because, and I quote, “I can look at my phone and see the game at the same time, so it’s a win win.’ Lucas Oil Stadium is so perfectly boring and uninteresting, all the way down to the sappy Christian rock band that cranks out Third Day jamz in the lobby every week on gameday. A nice little bow on top of a package of who the fuck cares.
And really, we deserve this team, and not only for those fucks who wore the split Broncos/Colts jersey’s when Pey Pey got shipped out. Want to know something you’ll regularly see around Indianapolis? Confederate flags. Was Indiana, at any point, part of the confederacy? My friend, it was not. Bud, we’re just here for the racism. This is prime Trump land, where his followers are forged out of pig shit and White River Water just like the Uruk-hai in Lord of the Rings. The Vice President of this Country, our former lame duck Governor, calls his wife “Mother.” There is zero chance this guy doesn’t dress up like a baby and let her peg him. NONE.
We routinely feud with Iowa about who gets to claim the fried pork tenderloin sandwich as their own state food. We delude ourselves into believing the Patriots are our rivals. No Patriot player, coach, or fan has ever considered the Colts their rival. We have also attempted to do this with the Steelers, with the same results. We do this because we are ashamed to admit that the Texans are our true rivals.
Andrew Luck got married before he retired, which I found surprising because I always thought he lived with his parents and slept in a race car bed.
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