There are three things in life that you cannot ever change my mind about: God exists, “Wonderful Tonight” is the best song ever written, and Mel Gibson’s speech in Braveheart is the best movie speech of all time.
These are non-negotiable.
The Braveheart speech has a message for us as Colts fans. “Run, and you may live…for awhile. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance to come back and tell our enemies, that they can take our lives, but they can never take our freedom!”
Would you be willing to trade it all? It’s a fact of life that the Colts will not remain elite forever. We will have years in our future where we are bottom dwellers again. Would you be willing for that day to come sooner, just for the chance at glory?
The chance at glory is always worth it.
A lot about Manning’s health is still in question, but now more than ever it is time for fans of the Indianapolis Colts to stand behind our Quarterback, to stand for loyalty and legacy over longterm competitiveness and financial security. The legacy of Manning is too precious to give up. With 1 or 2 more Super Bowls, Manning goes down as the unquestioned best of all time. With 3-4 more years of playing, Manning could secure the several records. Most importantly, Manning’s career can be completed with the type of celebration that rarely happens in sports.
But Can We Make A Run At It?
The simple answer is yes, but it requires vision, passion, and absolute dedication on the part of the Colts front office and coaching staff. The first step is making the pitch to our crucial veterans. Freeney needs to restructure, and the single best way to get him to do so is to pitch the selfless team taking a run at the next four years. Give him a fifth year that is huge and crazy, but make his first four years small, insultingly small even. Get Mathis to do the same. Even in the 3-4, the most important thing we need is guys who can rush the passer, and these two clearly can. Dallas Clark needs to be let go. Wayne and Garcon both need to be resigned on the selfless contract role. Brackett is released; as is Melvin Bullett.
The draft is clearly crucial, and the most important thing is to create a bidding frenzy on the first pick. Get yourself a first round pick, second round pick, and third round pick for the next two years, plus a cheap, raw talent at 1-2 positions. Use your two first round picks on the crucial needs of the team–Cornerback being most central as we move away from the Tampa-2. The other option is to go after D. Poe and have our NT situation in place from day 1. Using second round picks to fill out the offense (WR and OL should be addressed), you spend the rest of the draft finding defensive players with potential to fill one or many roles and play special teams.
Free agency, in the go for broke, means we fill out our defense with key guys who can play 3-4. Carlos Rogers, Cortland Finnegan, Anthony Spencer, Jarrett Johnson, and Jason Jones (if they become available), should all be looked at seriously. A D heavy on backloaded contracts that kill our future should be able to build a present that is both impressive and extremely helpful as Manning ages.
The bottom line, not everything is about logic. Sports are about glory, daring, and greatness. The thought of abandoning a chance to cheer through one more Manning Super Bowl run should shame all of us. Manning may never be Manning again, but the risk is more than worth the reward.
I will take the shot at glory every time.