Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Crying Colts are at it again

Posted by Bill Koch on August 30, 2010

Much like the rest of the world, we here at Ramble On are stunned to find Peyton Manning and the rest of the Indianapolis Colts crying about NFL rule changes this morning in Peter King’s weekly Monday Morning Quarterback piece for si.com.

And if you think we’re not being completely sarcastic in that first sentence, you clearly don’t know us very well.

Manning, Colts GM Bill Polian and the rest of the holier-than-thou boys from the Midwest are crying foul over what happened Thursday night during IndiaNoPlace’s preseason game with Green Bay. They’re all whining to King about the pair of false start – snap infringement penalties that the Colts were whistled for, part of the enforcement of new NFL rules that go into effect this fall.

When you watch NFL games this season, you’ll notice that there are now two officials in the offensive backfield. One of them, the referee (in the white hat), has always been there. The other official, the umpire, used to risk his life on a weekly basis while operating behind the defensive line. Umpires have been run over, stuck in the center of collisions, used as picks by wide receivers and tight ends cutting across the middle and used as shields by running backs that break through the line and try to avoid linebackers and safeties.

It was a truly dangerous job – King reports that in the approximately 100 collisions last year, umpires sustained three concussions and two required shoulder and knee surgeries. The game is simply too fast and the players are too big to have someone in the middle of the carnage that ensues when the ball is snapped. Those guys become targets who are too often hit.

Manning, Polian and the Colts don’t care about that at all. They’re worried that the full effect of their hurry-up offense is about to be weakened due to the fact that the umpire must be behind the quarterback before the ball is snapped. Umpires used to spot the ball on the line of scrimmage and retreat toward the defensive side. Now, they’ll be spotting the ball and rushing to get behind a quarterback who is usually in the shotgun formation about seven yards from the line of scrimmage.

Yes, this is going to cost Indy a few seconds. That’s a big deal in the National Football League. We won’t dispute that at all. We know that the New England Patriots will be hurt by this at some point while driving for a late field goal or touchdown at the end of a half or game. The one thing we don’t hear out of Foxboro, however, is crying and screaming over the rules. The Patriots will adjust accordingly and move on with their lives.

The Colts have been getting away with this for years. The league practically rewrote the rulebook while Polian was on the competition committee. The changes under his reign of terror mandated strong enforcement of the 5-yard illegal contact zone and made pass interference calls noose-tight, rendering defensive backs helpless and leading to the pass-happy era that we currently see every Sunday. It’s no coincidence that these changes coincided with Manning’s arrival in Indy, the Colts’ decision to use 10 of the 15 first round picks they had from 1994-2009 on offensive players (Marshall Faulk Marvin Harrison, Tarik Glenn, Manning, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez and Donald Brown) and Indy’s rise from doormat to contender. Polian’s scheme to give offenses ridiculous advantages over defenses like those crafted by The Evil Bill Belichick has worked. Polian’s crusade hit full-throttle after the Patriots’ defensive backs beat up Harrison, Wayne and the rest of the Charmin-soft Colts receivers in a series of embarrassing playoff losses by the Colts while New England’s dynasty was in full swing.

Why change philosophy? Why adapt your drafting and developing of players to try to beat your opponents when you can just change the rules? That’s clearly what Polian did and it’s what he and Manning are trying to do all over again by using King as their personal PR crusader. We wish they would STFU and realize how much change they’ve rammed down the throats of the other 31 teams already. Apparently they don’t really care about another human’s well-being as long as they can get their way, win the first 14 games of the regular season, tank games to the Jets and Bills and lose the Super Bowl because of yet another Manning choke job in a big game.

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7 Responses to “Crying Colts are at it again”

  1. […] Green Bay Packers the other night for the usual tantrum about league rules to start in the Midwest. We’ve already reviewed the situation this week and we’re not going to cover that ground again, but it needs to be noted that it took the NFL took […]

  2. Rob said

    Tom Brady. Tuck Rule. Nuff said.

    • bdowd625 said

      I don’t see how the two are at all related. The Patriots were the beneficiary of a bogus call back in 2001 – I’ll give you that. They hardly had time to piss and moan and get a ruling changed in their favor, though. That was an in-game decision that the referees made. The Colts, meanwhile, cry and complain throughout every season – and offseason, for that matter – trying to change myriad rules that suit their whiner of a quarterback whenever something doesn’t go his way.

      Apples and oranges.

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