Indianapolis Colts Forfeit Game Against Buffalo - End Season 14-2
by Joe Tracy (copyright, NEWSdial.com - Dec 29, 2009)
Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian announced today that the Colts have officially forfeited their game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in order to rest the starters who have become tired from winning.
The news stunned the NFL community as there has not been a forfeit in the NFL since the 1920s.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was shocked to receive notice, via overnight Collect On Delivery, that the Colts were refusing to play Buffalo.
"We're stunned," said Goodell. "It's just as rare for a team to forfeit a game as it is for one to go undefeated in a season."
The Colts players were told this morning, by coach Jim Caldwell, of the decision to forfeit the Buffalo Bills game. When cornered by reporters after the meeting, all the players, in unison, said "we support everything our coach and team president tells us to support. We question no one. We are loyal followers." The players then went to another room to watch the 1975 movie, The Stepford Wives followed by the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives.
"They love those movies," said Caldwell. "However, the sequel isn't quite as good as the original."
When criticized for forfeiting the game, Polian stated, "We only have one goal every year and that is to rest players before the end of the season so that they can lose in the playoffs. After all, the last time we didn't rest our players in a final season game (2006/2007 season), we went on to win the Super Bowl. We're trying to avoid that scenario again."
Colts fans are irate over the forfeit, coming just days after the Colts president and coach ruined a perfect season by pulling starters in the third quarter with a slim lead against the New York Jets. After that game, which the Colts lost due to the starters being benched, their coach defended his choice to sit players.
"The Colts are not interested in acheiving historic greatness by going undefeated in the regular season and the playoffs," said Caldwell. "All we want to do is beat the Chargers in the playoffs. Had we gone for a perfect season in route to a Super bowl victory, we would have forever been revered like the 1972 Dolphins. But we don't care about how history remembers us."
Caldwell and Polian referenced injury and age of starters as a primary concern for sitting them.
"Peyton Manning is getting up there in age," said Caldwell. "He needs two weeks rest before a playoff game these days."
In response, Manning said, "I support whatever the coach says. After all, I may have sprained a pinky and it could have knocked my QB rating down by one tenth of one percentage point and that may have been enough for us to only win by 14 points instead of 17 against any given opponent."
Former Colts coach Tony Dungy is also defending the decision to sit players.
"Who wants to achieve memorable NFL immortality when you can just win a Superbowl that no one will remember three years from now? It's all about short term thinking, not long term historically significant accomplishments that take a lifetime to achieve, if ever. Why would a team want to have a perfect season and win the Superbowl when you can just try to win a Superbowl? Compare it to running a marathon. More runners would do better and win if they sat down and rested for 20 minutes before reaching the finish line. How can people not get this?"
The negative reaction from Colts fans to the decision to throw a game in order to supposedly keep starters from getting injured hasn't fallen on deaf ears. Polian promises things will be different next year.
"Next year our plan is to throw the first game of the season so that this controversy doesn't arise again."
After the announcement, 31 NFL teams petitioned the NFL to play the Colts in the first game of the 2010 season.