The Indiana Pacers have had their ups and downs here in 2014, but three good wins in a row suggests a habit. The good “November-December” Pacers are back, and a lot of people, at least as a joke, credit their now-famous fishing trip with turning everything around. In all seriousness, there is something to be said for taking a few hours to invest in a buddy who’s having a rough time. Sometimes a small gesture, like inviting a guy to go fishing, really can make a big difference. That’s all good and pure and not something I would ever want to make fun of; we should all take more opportunities to lift up people in our lives the way Paul George seems to have lifted Roy Hibbert.
That being said, for the time being, I’m going to be a little too excited any time I see an Indianapolis area athlete fishing. For example, long snapper for the Indianapolis Colts, Matt Overton.
What kinda fish is this? pic.twitter.com/dDbj7mdMOV
— Matt Overton (@MattOverton_LS) May 10, 2014
The part of me who consumes sports as though they were comic books believes in the healing powers of Indy’s Geist Reservoir, and seeing one of my favorite athletes fishing now gives me the same sense of giddiness that I get when watching Tony Stark suit up. Because my feelings on the subject were pretty well advertised, I got this message forwarded to me:
— Discover Boating (@discoverboating) May 9, 2014
Admittedly, that tweet delighted me to no end, and at first I hoped it would happen. I liked the narrative, and I loved the idea of the team having some chill time with a guide. Imagine the Instagrams that could result from taking Lance out on a boat!
But today is not the day for fishing. Today is the day for throat stompage and for finishing off the series and acting like they’ve been there before — because they have. The Pacers were in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, and they were (almost) always expected to get there again. Today is not the day to say “it’s a long series.” Today is not the day to slide lazily back into February-mode.
They’re playing in Indianapolis. The entire city has dressed in gold for the occasion. The Pacers have already played eleven playoff games to the Miami Heat‘s seven (and Miami’s only lost once). They can’t afford the mental and physical toll of dragging this out and taking the series back to DC. They fought all year for the No. 1 seed specifically for this moment. They need to finish it — now.
And then they need to go on that totally bro fishing trip to re-calibrate for the Heat.