12.29.09 8 years ago 24 Comments

I don’t know if it’s fundamentally wrong for the Indianapolis Colts to throw a game with playoff implications, but that’s exactly what they did. They threw that game. In the middle of the third quarter of their game with the Jets yesterday, the Colts became that guy in your fantasy football league that never sets his lineup. Jim Caldwell threw that game, and in doing so threw the AFC playoff picture completely off kilter, but that shouldn’t be the topic of discussion.

What should be is this: how the hell do the Colts get away with this? That’s what Colts fans wanted to know as they booed their team off their own field Sunday, and then chided Colts GM Bill Polian on his own call-in show. And the company line of “We just want to win the Super Bowl” is bunk. Does throwing away a perfect season give you a Super Bowl ring? It does not.

It doesn’t matter why Colts coach Jim Caldwell threw that game away; the fact of the matter is that he did it. They knowingly tanked a regular season NFL game. It doesn’t matter why they did it, or that they stood to gain little from winning. The league should investigate the organization, and then fine them. And then move them back to Baltimore.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has complained about the need to make some of these end-of-season games more meaningful. Here’s an idea: DON’T LET TEAMS PISS AWAY GAMES AT THEIR OWN DISCRETION. Fine teams for pulling healthy players off the field in the middle of games. I’m serious. Make it hurt the teams as much as it hurts the fans. The fans, after all, seem to be the only ones that still find these games meaningful.

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