Like him or hate him, Bill Simmons, aka the Sports Guy on Espn.com, has had a huge effect on the genre of sports blogging, and this page owes him something for its existence. One of his better ideas is the 5 year rule.
The Five year rule stats that if your team wins a championship, you cannot criticize management for five years afterwards. The idea being that championships are rare, and often you have to take chances that have future repercussions, so be fair, enjoy your win and lay off the guys who got it done. At least for a little while.
I think in the case of the Colts, the five year rule is more than fair. In fact, given our past history, here’s how I would apply it to key players in the 2007 WORLD CHAMPION COLTS:
Jim Irsay: Unless 20 years from now he moves the team to Columbus, OH, he remains the owner of our hearts. Ok, so he sort of held the city hostage a bit to get a new stadium. He was one cool cat all the while and helped tornado victims in Florida.
Criticism Status: Untouchable for 10 years (he’s rich, so he only gets so much slack)
Pros: 4 Super Bowl teams, built 3 franchises, a title, smart enough to avoid Ryan Leaf, 8 years of excellence in a city that used to think 9-7 was awesome, a kick-ass radio show
Cons: calls them the New England Paytrioughtts, shoves random employees from other teams (wait, that’s in the wrong column!), annoys reporters in the press box by cheering too much (again, is that really a con?)
Criticism Status: Untouchable ever. Send him to the HoF, put him on the ring of honor, he retires a Colt on his own terms
Pros: One of the winningest coaches of all time, innovator who changed the game for 10 years by inventing a defensive style, a successful line of coaches, easy to root for, a trailblazer who humbly shoved the Lombardi Trophy down the throat of several old, rich, white dudes who didn’t hire him all those years ago, best man many people know.
Cons: Hard to think of one. Lets Peyton push him around on 4th down sometimes. His lack of a SB in Tampa was as much about meddling owners firing his O.C. every year. He gets a pass for the Steelers loss because of all the stuff going on in his life.
Criticism Status: Again, untouchable. If you say a bad word about this man, you are going straight to hell. He revolutionized what GMs look for in a coach. He is a brilliant tactician. I did a dance when the Glazers fired him in Tampa, because I knew that he’d bring a title to Indy.
He said he didn’t want ‘a pass’. Ok, man. You asked for it. I admire that desire, and will honor it by comparing him to Tom Brady at every turn next year. Oh wait, I forgot, he DIDN’T want a pass…I’ll have to think of someone else to compare him to then.
Demon Zombie-man Sanders-
Pros-Amazing performance, single handedly transformed a terrible defense into a Super Bowl wining one, hard core enough to go by ‘Bob’ even tough his given name has more street cred, his eating of Rex Grossman’s brain directly led to several botched snaps and the pick to Hayden.
Cons-rumor has it that Monte Reagor’s head injuries were NOT caused by a traffic accident, but rather an unfortunate incident involving a certain cerebrum chewing safety
He’s a member of the walking undead, so there really isn’t too much that he hasn’t heard. Board up the doors and windows, because The Eraser is a permanent resident in the town of SAY A BAD WORD ABOUT HIM AND YOU WILL BE BEAT DOWN BY ALL TRUE COLTS FANS FOR THE REST OF TIME.
All in all, Simmons has it right. No matter what happens, lay off these guys. At least for five years.