The Indianapolis Colts have been having an incredible year. Until this past weekend, they were unbeaten and looking like they had the stuff to go unbeaten the whole year. The San Diego Chargers stopped them cold, though, last weekend, in a terrific game.
So, as the 1972 Miami Dolphins once again crack open the champagne to celebrate being the only unbeaten NFL team in history, the Colts probably were looking forward to just getting on with playing football. Likely relieved in a small way that they don’t have the albatross of going unbeaten around their necks for the remainder of the games they play.
Now, comes word of a second loss this week for the Colts. The sports pages are full of the story of Colts’ coach Dungy’s son who apparently committed suicide yesterday. We see NFL players and coaches week in, week out during the season, and even through the human-interest stories and interviews they (the pregame shows et al.) give us, the players and coaches somehow seem more iconic than human. They are more Character than they are Real. At least for me.
So when a story like this comes down, we all get reminded that these football icons are people too, and they have shit happen to them, just like the rest of us.
Coach Dungy always seems like a Good Guy. Through the years, it’s been reported that to him family and faith take precedence over football. He seems like a guy who knows what’s important. The players on his team, and pretty much all of his opponents, seem to respect him greatly, not only as an NFL coach, and not as an icon, but as a person. For his players and team, this loss of his will be hard on them too.
So, in this week where the Colts lose twice, I offer my condolences on the only loss that really matters.