Okay, let me start by saying that, like everyone else, I like to see the Colts win. I think the Colts should do what’s necessary to win because they owe it to their fans, the city of Indy and the NFL. Without the sparkle that is the Colts, we would not have as many elite teams and players. And the Colts brought Peyton Manning to the NFL, one of the most unique talents ever. So, this post is not about being soft and suggesting considering an alternative to winning.
It’s about a concern I have regarding Pagano and the demeanor he brings to this organization. Yes, I’ll admit that Dungy was frustrating at times with his lack of emotion or fire. And Caldwell took it up (or perhaps down?) a notch from that with little passion displayed, until the very last few games.
But both of these fellow brought a level of integrity to the team that I very much admired. It allowed me to point my daughter (9 years old at first interest in the NFL) to the Colts and use them to show how winning could be done without being arrogant or “in your face”. She loves the Colts because they are likable. Dallas Clark getting a first down and simply handing the ball to the ref is a far better lesson in sportsmanship than people celebrating and doing stunts whenever they get 2 yards on a run. Marvin Harrison quietly making remarkable catches was epic in its lesson regarding humility. The “no trashing talking” from the Colts – gotta love that. Let Rex Ryan bloviate idiotically. We merely complimented the other team on being worthy adversaries. Freeney getting a sack and merely saluting the fans. Great great stuff. And the Colts community service, and Dungy’s commitment to making sure his team was seen in a positive light started with Irsay and his now famous quote to win the right way. Heck, I loved when our team was in “all white” uniforms.
Now, I read about Pagano and his “in your face” attitude. His New Gingrich-like “say whatever you have to say to evoke a response”. His calling the Raiders a prison camp. He has fire in his belly, and that’s a welcome change. But I’m not sure I want a bunch of players celebrating and “acting the fool”. Now, of course, I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not. But the “hell yeah” celebratory posts I’m seeing (mostly on other blogs) every time some new brash Pagano moment of history is revealed does cause me to pause for concern.
So again, yes winning. At all costs? No. With integrity, yes? Without it, we wouldn’t have the likes of Jeff Saturday, who lead the player discussions to an agreement, and again who now historically hugged Bob Kraft.
So, am I alone in worrying about this? What do you guys think?