Go For It
The Indianapolis Colts are 13-0. They've also secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They now face a decision that's the water cooler talk across this continent this morning. Do they rest their stars in preparation for the playoffs or do they play to match the 1972 Miami Dolphins who are the only undefeated, untied championship team in NFL history.
I've given this a lot of thought and I've decided the Colts should do whatever it takes to go 19-0 this year. I didn't immediately arrive at this conclusion and the route I took to get there is sort of interesting. At first, I adamantly believed they should rest their stars because with home field clinched throughout the playoffs the next game that matters is three games away. Winning the Super Bowl is the primary goal and the only goal that matters. Why risk injuries or having tired first stringers for the opening round?
Without a strong emotional tie to the Colts, it's easy to think this way. Then, I thought about the passionate Colts fan. What if I had fire in my belly for the Colts the way I do for the Leafs or Jays? I'd want them to go for 19-0. I'd want them to match the '72 Dolphins and reach that rare, immortal plateau. Opportunities like this come so rarely in the NFL it would be a damn shame to sit Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison et al. Even if the Colts win the Super Bowl having finished the regular season 15-1 because they didn't put their A team out there people will wonder forever "what if?".
I hope Tony Dungy goes for it. How often does NFL immortality knock at your door? It's worth the gamble, and if Manning blows out his knee in the last game of the season going for 16-0, Colts fans will be forgiving. They know the risks...
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