8 Simple Truths About the Colts

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Not sure if she’s getting fingered or had a bad burrito

On Saturday, the Saints and the Colts square off in the third of four preseason games in Indianapolis. While this marks the first time since 2011 that the teams played each other, a 62-7 beating by the Saints, the two teams of course are forever entwined due in part to Super Bowl 44.

That being said, as a person that grew up a Colts fan and saw the light thanks to an episode of Real World New Orleans in which the gang celebrated with the good people of the Crescent City in the wake of the Saints’ Super Bowl win, I decided to share some truths about the Colts fanbase and organization.

1. Peyton Manning is only reason why Tony Dungy could be headed to Canton

Not too long ago, I wrote that Mike Smith’s teams in Atlanta was heading down the same path as Tony Dungy’s teams in Tampa Bay (great regular seasons, terrible postseasons).

The year after Dungy leaves Tampa Bay, Jon Gruden comes in and wins a Super Bowl, making Brad Johnson look like Drew Brees.

Dungy goes to Indianapolis, has Peyton Manning as his QB, and the rest is history.

If Peyton wasn’t QB in Indianapolis, Dungy wouldn’t be considered for anything.

2. Going to a Colts home game is like going to a church service

For some stupid reason, the Colts retired a number for their fans (think a lamer version of the 12th man in Seattle) prior to the team leaving the RCA Dome in 2007.

As opposed to the Superdome, games at the RCA Dome, much like the ones at the Metrodome, were like three-hour church services. Even when the team moved to Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008, the fans in Indianapolis were still without regard the quietest in the NFL.

3. Jim Harbaugh is in the Ring of Honor

I know Saint fans were up in arms about Aaron Brooks getting into the team’s Hall of Fams, but Jim Harbaugh’s induction into the Colts Ring of Honor over guys like Bert Jones (the last QB drafted by the team to win a playoff game before Peyton) and Ken Dilger always puzzled me.

In the short time Harbaugh was in the Circle City (the nickname comes from Monument Circle which is like Lee Circle in New Orleans), the Colts posted back-to-back 9-7 seasons and basically tanked in 1997 to get the #1 pick in the 1998 draft.

4. Never date a female Colt fan.

During Super Bowl 41, my then-girlfriend, who moved to Memphis from Shelbyville, Indiana in August of 2006, and I went to a Super Bowl party in the suburbs of Memphis. Due to the fact that she was a Colts fan, I figured that she would be as rabid as I was.

She wasn’t.

The most excitement that she excreted that night was clapping furiously at the end of the game.

We broke up three weeks later.

5. Peyton Manning masked a lot of things

If you placed Peyton Manning in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Baltimore or even Dallas, your team more than likely wins 11-14 games off the bat.

More importantly, the presence of Manning masks a lot of things that could be wrong with your team’s front office.

As opposed to what the Broncos did in 2012, the Colts never made an effort to draft Manning’s successor.

As one person put it to me a couple of years ago, the Colts is probably the only franchise that has lucked into getting two Hall of Fame quarterbacks.

6. Only people in Indiana think the Colts-Patriots rivalry is still a fierce rivalry

As a Saints fan, you’re taught early on that the football team in Atlanta is the enemy, that even dating a fan of that team is off limits.

Growing up as a Colts fan, it was hard for me to buy into the notion that the Patriots was supposed to be a rival.

If anything the “rivalry” was akin to Kobe going one-on-one with Lebron.

Or even better, the Pacers-Heat rivalry.

But go anywhere around central Indiana and Colt fans will try to sell you on the notion that the Patriots are their rivals.

7. The Colts are the Atlanta Braves of the NFL

In the last 20 years, the Braves have made the postseason 14 times, winning three National League pennants and the 1995 World Series.

As of 2014, the Braves haven’t won a playoff series since 1999, when they dispatched the Houston Astros in the Division Series.

Despite the fact that the Colts won eight straight division titles from 2003 to 2010 and appeared in two Super Bowls, they went one and done four times in the postseason. In fact, in Peyton Manning’s 13 years with the Colts, the team went one and done seven times in the postseason.

By comparison, Brett Favre went one and done three times in the playoffs in his career.

8. The Colts Way is bullshit

While some may think that the Saints got lucky with signing Drew Brees and hiring Sean Payton, the fact of the matter is that Tom Benson realized that in order to win championships you have to spend money, which explains why he has a Lombardi Trophy.

In the case of the Colts, as much as the people in central Indiana don’t want to admit, the franchise’s way of doing things is akin to that of a drunken hand of poker. Aside from the draft picks of Peyton and Faulk (who jetted to St. Louis and won a ring) as well as Luck, the “Colts Way” is basically falling backwards to the point in which you hit rock bottom and pray for a miracle.

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Local Wrestling: Then and Now

I entered this world in February of 1980. When they cleared me to leave the hospital a few days later, my first trip wasn’t to my home, or the pediatrician’s office. It wasn’t even a visit to my grandparent’s house. It was instead, a trip to a place that would have a distinct impact on my life. It was a trip to a local wrestling event. My father, Greg Hawkes, was to perform.

I remember as a child that when my dad’s theme song, “Cant touch this” by MC Hammer, would come blaring across the speakers, the crowd would become wild and the adrenaline never failed to flow through my body as if I just hit the winning homer of the World Series.

Through the years, I’ve witnessed many brutal main events featuring the “Mississippi Blondes” Greg Hawkes and Charlie (Boo) Williams against “Bad Boy Burns” Wayne Blaylock and Sammy Hall.

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I have also seen the epic battles between the “Mississippi Blondes” against the “Gravedigger” Floyd Blaylock and the late, great, Dale Williams.

And could we ever forget the man who was considered the giant of local wrestling, Aaron Holt?

Those memories are a thing of beauty to me. Where has time gone?

Several of these local wrestling “Legends” mentioned above had every bit as much the talent as the famous ones the world came to know through television.

Today, in 2014, local wrestling is every bit as popular as it was in days gone by. The new talent is very intriguing and is popping up everywhere. Tomorrow’s local “legends” are starting to pull ahead of the pack and the generation following them is probably sitting in the stands drinking coke and dreaming big dreams of that ring each Friday and Saturday night.

With “Bad Attitude” Tony Dabbs, “Real Deal” Neal Taylor, “The Future” Chris Styles, Barry Wolf, Shawn Reed, “Xtreme” Brett Michaels, Memphis Monroe, Josh Matthews, Chris Adams, Curly Mo and “DC” Daniel Cross, there’s definitely no shortage of talent.

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Oh and we can’t forget about the legendary manager “Hollywood” Jimmy Blaylock. I think he could infuriate the Pope in the middle of a mass.

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On August 23rd, OWO has put together the show of a lifetime. It’s a dream come true for local wrestling fans. This show will feature two big-time main events and several other matches that would normally be feature events.

North Mississippi, mark your calendars and let’s make it a point to attend this huge event on August 23rd to show our support, not only for the current local stars, but also to see two wrestling legends in Jerry “The King” Lawler and Bill “Superstar” Dundee, along with former WWE star, “Grandmaster Sexay” Brian Christopher.

It’s guaranteed to be a show for the ages! The bell rings at 7:30. Be there!

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Brett G. Hawkes AKA 662dawg

Mike Smith’s Falcons=Tony Dungy’s Bucs

At one point in the mid to late 1990′s and early 2000′s, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was one of the best teams in the league.

Once known as laughingstock of the league (for the record, they once drafted Bo Jackson), the Bucs enjoyed a resurgence with defensive players Warren Sapp, John Lynch, and Derrick Brooks as well as Tony Dungy at the helm as coach.

After a 6-10 record in 1996, Tampa Bay would reach the postseason four times in the next five years, reaching the NFC Championship Game in 1999, their first such trip there in 20 years. And while the trips to the postseason wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, Tampa Bay could never string together enough offense to get past Green Bay and Philadelphia in the postseason.

So after another flameout in the playoffs to the Eagles in 2001, owner Malcolm Glazer canned Dungy and brought in Jon Gruden, who basically won the Super Bowl with the same team.

As opposed to Tampa Bay under Dungy, Gruden’s Bucs had a killer instinct when they took the field, something that no squad in that city has had before or since.

I thought about those teams when I had talked to a buddy of mine in New Orleans late Tuesday night about the Atlanta Falcons.

Much like those Buc teams under Dungy, the Falcons under Mike Smith has been pretty solid in the regular season, winning 59 games in six seasons.

Along with that, the Falcons, much like Tampa Bay two decades earlier, has gone to the postseason four times in a six year span, appearing in the 2012 NFC Title game.

And just like the Bucs under Tony Dungy, the Falcons under Mike Smith have lacked a killer instinct, something that was evident from what the country saw on Hard Knocks last night.

Especially when a group of players openly admit that a rookie simply destroyed what confidence they had going into the 2013 season.

Anytime you hear something like from a team, it means that you’re living rent free in their heads.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect what Mike Smith and Thomas Dimtroff has done in Atlanta as far as resurgence with this Falcons organization.

However, no matter how hard they try, they’re always going to be behind the field of everyone in the NFC South.

Jeff Duncan’s words are now a load of crock

Back in May, Jeff Duncan wrote an article regarding the drafting of Michael Sam and how the events in New Orleans helped make the league better.

“Because of what happened here,”Duncan wrote, “the NFL is a much better league. It’s smarter, tolerant, and better.”

The last time I checked, the word “better” meant that the comfort level or what not had been enhanced.

When that happens, that makes the person or environment more accepting and progressive.

One of those things isn’t the NFL.
While Mr. Duncan is entitled to his opinion about the NFL, I beg to differ about the NFL being better, especially after what happened yesterday with Ray Rice.

Anytime you believe that weed is more of a threat to your league than hitting a woman, regardless if she provoked you of not, your league is not better.

Especially when 40% of your fanbase is women.

Anytime you give a four game suspension to a guy that was never charged with anything, your league is not better.

If anything, your league is as flawed as it was ever before.

Goodell, who could have had a chance to send a message, instead decided to go the softball route with Rice, suspending him two games as opposed half a season.

That’s not being better as a league.

That’s being archaic.

So before Jeff Duncan spews out another “NFL is better” column, let me say this.

What is better to you?

Does it involve lax punishments on domestic violence?

Or nah?

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Ole Miss Is the Last Group That Should Ever Criticize Hype or Heisman Campaign

All off- season long the hype has been building around Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.  After his comeback performance against rival Mississippi and his bowl game efforts, along with many memorable moments in 2013 as a “part time quarterback”, many around the country have taken notice of the 6-3 235lb quarterback and his skill set. Some have even tagged him a possible Heisman Trophy contender.

Prescott continued to build momentum off the field at SEC Media Days this week as more and more people are buying in to “Dak”.

Do I personally think Dak Prescott will win the Heisman Trophy?  Probably not but, do I think he can have one heck of a season and help Mississippi State climb the ladder in the SEC West?  Absolutely.

But – when a player’s name is out there like Prescott’s it’s good for the kid, the school, the brand and more.

We see this every year, where fan bases grab hold of a player or two and they become superstars.  Prescott just happens to be one of those guys in 2014 and to his credit he has earned it.

But, with big time praise comes big time criticism and typically the first place you get it is from your rival.

Ole Miss fans have moaned and belly ached since January calling Prescott a fraud, no good and screaming to anyone that will listen that he is NOT worthy of praise.

All of this will work itself out here in just a few months but, the last group that should ever criticize hype or Heisman campaign is Ole Miss.

If you looked up hype in the dictionary it would probably be painted in red and blue.  Since 1971 Ole Miss has been for the most part an average, to below average SEC football program and since the East-West merger Ole Miss is the only school in the West to not play for an SEC Championship, (Yes Texas A&M hasn’t either but, this is their third year in the league).

Yet behind all that, every year is THE year for Ole Miss and if you don’t believe them, just ask them.

Last year was going to be “the rising of the Rebels” as Seph Anderson and others proclaimed 2013 was the year of the Rebel.

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Of course we all know how last year panned out.  But we’ve seen this countless times before.

In the late nineties, Ole Miss launched a campaign  for running back Deuce McCallister for the Heisman Trophy and while McCallister ended up a New Orleans Saints great, he only produced one season of over 1,000 yards rushing while at Mississippi.

 

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In 2009 Ole Miss officially launched the Jevan Sneed for Heisman campaign and even launched a University run web site that can be seen here. 

Stickers were bought, hype was made and even Sports Illustrated jumped on the band wagon.

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Sneed finished the 2009 season with 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

And how can we ever forget about Brent Schaeffer.  Schaeffer joined the Mississippi football team after spending time at Tennessee and when Schaeffer enrolled in Oxford, you would have thought the second coming had arrived.

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Schaeffer finished his two year Rebel carrier with a modest 2,000-passing yards and 14 touchdowns while throwing 14 interceptions.

Finally there was Jeremiah Masoli, the transfer from Oregon that was going to rectify the program while winning the Heisman Trophy.

Masoli finished his Rebel carrier by throwing for 2,039-yards and 14-touchdowns and 13-interceptions.

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If there was ever a school or fan base that should never criticize another about hype – it’s Ole Miss.

Back to Prescott,  his hype and attention has been all fan and media driven.  Most all of Ole Miss hype is backed by the university.

Mississippi State has yet to officially release a website, sticker or statement backing a Prescott for Heisman campaign.

Yet still, the Prescott love is driving Ole Miss fans and media crazy.

So much so that even the Ole Miss Clarion Ledger beat writer Hugh Kellenburger got involved yesterday with a piece discrediting Prescott.  That can be read here.  You know you’ve really gotten under a fan bases skin when a supposedly unbiased news paper writes a piece, trying to discredit a rival school.

So the argument will continue for a few more weeks then the season will begin and we will see – is Prescott worth the praise or not?

One thing is for sure in all of this,  all of the Prescott love is driving Ole Miss fans crazy and I can promise you they are praying Prescott fails.

After-all, how ironic would it be for the school that lives on hype, might have to watch their rival actually have someone that lives up to it.  This is the perfect case of pot meet kettle.

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