Colts should cool drama for a week

- By Mike Lopresti

INDIANAPOL­IS — The Super Bowl is coming to town. Excellent time for the Indianapol­is Colts to declare a cease-fire.

In case you missed any of last week’s episode of As the Colts Turn:

Peyton became disenchant­ed and told the world he was not happy. Jim was annoyed. Ryan decided Chuck would be the new head coach, but hardly anybody noticed because, at the public announceme­nt, Jim called Peyton a politician.

Peyton said he didn’t really mean to cause trouble and Jim said he didn’t either, and now they’ve presumably made up, issuing a joint communique, in the manner armies do after an armistice.

Super Bowl XLVI has landed, and just in time to notice the undeniable whiff of impending divorce in the air.

The poor Colts. How low can it go?

First, they were rolled over during the regular season like asphalt on a highway paving project, as Peyton Manning’s pain in the neck turned into a Pain in the Neck. Then came the front office purge. This coming week, they’ll have their noses pressed to the glass of Lucas Oil Stadium, watching two other teams play a Super Bowl in their building. They have to turn their practice facility over to the infidels from New England, horseshoe and all.

And now, just before the news media invasion waded ashore, the owner and the Hall of Fame quarterbac­k started to sound like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Their timing was impeccable.

The Colts are not the first successful sports enterprise to develop conspicuou­s marriage trouble. Seldom does it end pretty.

Remember when Brett Favre was the face of the Green Bay Packers, now and presumably forever?

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’neal were the unstoppabl­e duet for the Los Angeles Lakers?

Jim Tressel and his sweater vest were mainstays at Ohio State?

Tiger Woods and Steve Williams were an unshakable team on the golf course? Art Modell was Mr. Cleveland? It happens, in every sport, for every reason. Mike Leach made Texas Tech a football power and ended up suing the place.

Joe Torre won four World Series for the New York Yankees but walked away when they tried to cut his pay.

Bobby Bowden and Florida State were the perfect couple, until Florida State decided he was too old.

LSU faithful loved Nick Saban. Until the day he showed up at Alabama and became Public Enemy No. 1.

Donovan Mcnabb and Terrell Owens teamed to take the Philadelph­ia Eagles to a Super Bowl. Next thing we knew, Owens was using Mcnabb for target practice.

The dynamic relationsh­ip between the Atlanta Falcons and Michael Vick went to the dogs, literally.

Penn State and Joe Paterno. You know the story.

It’s happened in this state. Bob Knight and Indiana University remain estranged, maybe from now to eternity.

We know the factors that usually lead to divorce. Money. Infidelity. Ego. Conflict. Growing apart.

Or, as in the present day with the Colts: time.

A decade of staggering success produced the illusion that Manning might be leading playoff-worthy Indianapol­is teams forever. Time said it couldn’t happen.

Time said the fun must one day end, and it could either be planned and orderly or complicate­d by hurt feelings and hasty words. Fourteen losses took care of any chance the Colts could accomplish it painlessly, since that would require considerab­le patience.

The NFL has whistles and bells, pomp and circumstan­ce, high ratings and vast riches and full houses. What it does not allow is patience. So here the Colts are, trying to get any dirty laundry off the line before the guests arrive. A happy ending seems unlikely, but now is not the moment to be headline fodder.

Someone should misplace Jim Irsay’s Twitter device for a week. Sorry, sir, can’t find it anywhere.

Maybe the news media will shut up about it, too.

When it comes to teams on stage Super Bowl week, two’s company, three’s a crowd. It’s best for the home team to give peace, and quiet, a chance.

 ?? By Matt Stamey, US Presswire ?? What next? Peyton Manning is an icon in Indianapol­is, but his future there is cloudy.
By Matt Stamey, US Presswire What next? Peyton Manning is an icon in Indianapol­is, but his future there is cloudy.
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