Let’s Go, Let’s Get Two
I realize the title of this blog usually refers to a double play in baseball or softball, but I’m using it for football anyway.
I’ll admit it. This was my test…my test to see if I was just pulling for them until Peyton won the Super Bowl or if I was really in it for the long haul. I mean I’d waited a few years for it to happen anyway and invested so much time and energy into pulling for them that I wondered if I’d just take a break…a breather…a time-out. I was worried. I wondered about my own desire, my own hope, my own cheering section. Would I be as hungry for them to win it again? Would I cheer as hard and as loudly as I had every year before? Would I care as deeply about all of my boys working their behinds off week in and week out? And then, July 29th came, they reported to training camp, and all my worries seized to exist. Well at least worries about how much I would care now that they’ve won a Super Bowl. The fire in my belly was still there. My concern about their health and fear of injuries came creeping right back in when they took the field for their first training camp practice. And I’m already sweating that first regular season game against the Saints. I can’t leave my boys behind. The desire to win a Super Bowl is renewed every year when they regroup and all 32 teams have a 0-0 record.
I still want them to win every game they play, and I still believe they can win the Super Bowl every year. Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King reported after his visit to Colts Training Camp that Peyton returned to camp so hungry, it was sick. YEAH, BABY! Bring it on! Peyton wants to be a better quarterback than he was the previous season, EVERY YEAR. He never stops learning, reviewing, working to stay consistent, but better and more fine tuned. And he expects that from his teammates as well.
Something I learned about Peyton’s offseason routine that shouldn’t surprise me one bit, but actually made my jaw drop: He meets four times a week with offensive coordinator Tom Moore and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell at 7:30 a.m., beginning in early April. They scrutinized each of the 710 passes he tossed in the regular season and playoffs. They watched tapes that involved only his interceptions, touchdowns, and sacks. Seriously! 4 times a week! 7:30am! All 710 passes! Now of course I know he’s the king of the film room and can sit in there for hours on end scrutinizing every team in the NFL. He’s got binders on every team that he keeps under lock and key even though his notes are written in some kind of code that only Peyton knows. He takes nearly every rep in practice and only stops when his coaches force him to, which has led to him being restricted to a pass count the last few years. Seriously…can any NFL player possibly prepare more than him?
Other Training Camp Observations
Rookie wide receiver, Anthony Gonzalez, told his agent to rush through his contract negotiations because he didn’t want to miss a second of training camp. Come, again? He did what? And then, he arrived first at training camp before anyone else because he didn’t want to be late. Who is this guy? Yeah…I love him already and can’t wait to see him play.
Rookie offensive lineman, Tony Ugoh, is taking reps at the left tackle position vacated by retiring LT, Tarik Glenn. Last night on the NFL Network’s training camp special from Colts Traning Camp, I wasn’t completely impressed, yet. I think he’s allowing Dwight Freeney too much room and not pushing back. Of course I also take comfort in that because if Tony Ugoh has to practice against Dwight Freeney all the time, then perhaps the NON-DWIGHT’s in the NFL will be a piece of cake.
The backup running backs in camp are quite impressive. The Colts are trying to solidify which player will be the other half of the tandem with Addai, and from what I saw, that’s going to be a tough decision. DeDe Dorsey didn’t impress me as much as Clifton Dawson (a rookie from Harvard!). We’ll see…
And so you’ll say…the season following a Super Bowl win has a tradition of going poorly for the champion, but I’m holding out hope that the Colts will go against the grain and prove that their multiple post season years are no fluke and that they are a perennially good team.
Because they’re my team, win or lose. So, let’s go, let’s get two.
On a baseball note…this is for Kelli…I’m not a baseball fan. I have to be at the ballpark in order to actually enjoy a game (unless it’s the college world series, and then I can’t get enough). But I know good players and people when I see them. So congratulations to both Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn on their induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame last weekend. I’ve actually been a fan of Ripken’s for a while based solely on his preparation and work ethic. Tony Gwynn exemplified similar qualities during his career with the Padres. They are both part of a dying breed, and well worth their 1st ballot election into the Hall.