THIRTEEN DECEMBERS ago, the Colts were 14-0 and facing a plucky Jets team in a meaningless home game nearing Christmas. They had everything locked up—AFC South division championship (remember when they used to win those?), No. 1 seed, and home field advantage—so the actual result didn’t matter in the scope of that season, but it did mean something for history. At that time, a perfect season and immortality alongside the 1972 Dolphins was still within reach. Instead, the Colts voluntarily chose to insert Curtis Painter over reigning MVP Peyton Manning in the middle of the game and their chance for history was, well, history (perhaps Tracy Porter’s pick-six in the Super Bowl a few weeks later nukes that anyway, but for the sake of the story, just go with me here).
Yesterday in Minnesota? Yesterday was history! Capital H history! A blown 33-point lead will forever be remembered, and just like the time I threw up on myself because I was too nervous to talk to girls at the seventh-grade dance, people will undoubtedly bust the Colts’ balls about it for the rest of their lives.
Nate, I just wish the awkward and pukey 4-9-1 Colts’ mom could pick them up and end this embarrassment, because no one wants to see it continue.
MILLER: Get bent, nerd—I VERY MUCH want to see it continue! I want to invest in its future, in fact. Start a 529 plan for it. Get it an iPad. Make it feel loved. I want it to find its “people,” as they say—the other slow-motion catastrophes brought on by incompetence and pride and an archaic worldview. (Plz DM it, New Twitter🙏.) I want to shield it from the cold realities of the world, but that would be counterproductive; its growth will require it to be uncomfortable from time to time, and I am OK with that. Because in the end, Derek, I just want it to have a good head on its shoulders and be happy, and if that means Matt Ryan has to get violently de-limbed each time he drops back to pass, then so be it. This “embarrassment” as you call it is the Colts’ greatest asset as a franchise right now. It’s its future. It must be protected at all costs.
We asked for ANYTHING but bad and boring football, and by God we got it! We got it in bunches. We got mesmerizingly bad and historically inept football! We got chaos, frankly. It’s more than we deserve.
SCHULTZ: If we’re reaching for positives, it was a crazy entertaining game! Entertaining like watching the Nazis faces melt off when they opened the Ark of the Covenant in the first Indiana Jones installment. Unfortunately, Harrison Ford (the Colts) was the one who dissolved this time around. However, from watching the previous 13 games of these woebegone Colts, I think my face had already melted. Can a loss like yesterday’s really be soul-crushing when your soul was crushed in, like, Week 2? We talked last game about Dallas mutilating the Colts’ corpse in the fourth quarter and that’s what leaves me numb to a 33-0 collapse: The 2022 team was already completely and totally dead.
MILLER: Mmm-hmm “dead” like A FOX! I don’t think this could have worked out any better, on the whole!! Think about it: We got to see the Colts do cool, fun football shit for the first hour or so. Tthen, for the next magical hour or six, we got to watch them suffering through the hilarious pitfalls of playing football after eating too many edibles … and in their grand, miserable finale, they improved their 2023 draft position!! Oh this game had it all, Derek, and we are lucky to have had it. We laughed. We cringed. We DREAMED. We were never not gobsmacked, frankly—never not entertained. 10/10, no notes. The wheels are officially off now. Let’s ride!
SCHULTZ: Buckle up because this ride still has three games left, followed by a quarterback/head coach/general manager search that is sure to get stupid—and hopefully not too face melty—with Jim Irsay at the controls. Yesterday is etched in history. Alongside the Curtis Painter Game, last year in Jacksonville, and a few others that I won’t sting you with here, the debacle in Minnesota will remain in the dark recesses of any Colts fan’s memory bank.
The good news is outside of belly aches from uncontrollable laughter, the 2022 Colts can’t cause this fanbase any more pain.