Intentionally Tank the 2011 Season? Colts Players Scoff at the Suggestion

Don't tell these guys they went through off-season work just to throw the season for a high draft pick. (Darron Cummings | AP Photo)

A lot of Colts fans have started to suggest that the team should simply throw in the towel for the 2011 season and not even attempt to win football games. With Peyton Manning’s injury keeping him on the sidelines for weeks and the college football hype machine crowning Andrew Luck as the best quarterback to enter the draft since Manning, its understandable that some fans would be in panic mode.

Without Manning the team has struggled mightily, and while Curtis Painter has shown improvement, no Colts fan is ready to crown him as the team’s future under center. What better time to take advantage of an opportunity to get a high draft pick than when college prodigy Andrew Luck is ready to make his grand entrance into professional football, right?

NFL.com caught up with Pro Bowlers Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis to discuss the idea. Neither player was remotely entertained at the notion.

Wayne said:

It’s ridiculous, man. We’ve got 12 games left. Who knows what’s going to happen? We don’t even know if Luck is what everybody says he is. One thing we do know is there is a big difference between college and the pros. You don’t know what’s going to happen until he makes it to the next stage. Until then, we have our quarterbacks. We’re going to go rock with them.

Mathis agrees:

You really want me to address that? You have to understand we’re professionals. We don’t go through training camp, minicamp, OTAs, offseason training just to tank a year for a college player that’s unproven. To hell with that. I’m not tanking anything. You can write that. I’m not sucking for nobody.

I have no issue at all with the attitude the Colts players have toward such ridiculous suggestions. It is a huge insult to the players who take the field on Sundays to hint at the idea that they would dismiss their own careers, take advantage of the money they are being paid by their team, and show a complete lack of respect for the fans who make the NFL great.

It should be very clear to fans, and especially writers for NFL.com, that no member of the team has showed a sign of throwing the 2011 season. Indy’s players have shown a great deal of heart in each of their first five games. No player has laid down on the team.

As much as it could be against the team’s future strength to win enough games to lose draft positions in 2012, the players deserve every win they get. They’ve earned it with their effort. No one should take anything away from them when they do win — and its very likely they will at some point this season.

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