The next best sports movie’s script is being written as we speak. An emotional story on the 2012 Indianapolis Colts year is sure to be the next big box office hit in movie theaters. It will bring out literally every emotion in the human body.
Go back to March 8th when the team decided it would go forward without their star Peyton Manning. That emotional day in history will go down as one of the best moves ever made. At that moment, Colts fans were livid with owner Jim Irsay’s move as they wanted to let Manning have one last hurrah in Indy for a Super Bowl. There were many tears shed that day.
Fast forward to April when the Andrew Luck era began when he was drafted first with the top pick of the draft and a new era of Colts football was made. We didn’t realize it then, but that weekend shaped the future and success of this season. All of those picks were so good they helped lay the foundation for this team.
Also throw in all the offseason moves to let go of all the other notable franchise players for rookies and a guy like Reggie Wayne to take less money and come back to build this monster.
Starting the season no one gave this team credit. They were picked to finish last among 32 teams and would be lucky to win 2-3 games. Mix all of that and starting off 1-2 facing the best team in the NFL last year Green Bay Packers after the bye week who went 15-1 in 2011 and won the Super Bowl in 2010 and they were facing a tall task.
Then, the announcement on Monday October 1st the week of the Packers game that their leader Chuck Pagano would have to take a leave of absence due to a bout with leukemia and everyone thought this season really would be shot.
Someone forgot to tell the coaching staff and this special group of 53 players.
After falling behind 21-3 at halftime, the Colts made a miraculous comeback to score a touchdown by Wayne in the closing seconds to upset Green Bay. That final half was inspired by the team fighting for Chuck and not wanting to give up. They wanted to win for their fallen leader.
Indianapolis would go 9-3 under interim coach Bruce Arians and had many special highlight cardiac moments for wins. Vick Ballard gave the Colts a huge emotional overtime victory over the Tennessee Titans for the first road win in nearly two years with a miraculous leap to the pylon.
Then, how could you forget the epic game with the Miami Dolphins on November 4th and the emotional tearjerker speech Pagano gave to the team when he visited them after the game in the locker room.
Add in the last second touchdown pass from Luck to Donnie Avery in Detroit after being down 12 points in the final two minutes to escape with the victory on the last play and you have enough there for the next tearjerker Hollywood movie.
Like every blockbuster, the script doesn’t stop there.
The Colts would go on to secure a playoff berth last week in a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and get good news after the game that their leader coach Pagano will return to his duties the next day in Indianapolis and lead this team against divisional rival the Houston Texans in the season finale at home.
No one thought the Colts would win the game with Houston as they had everything secured and the Texans had to win to get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and risk not wanting to fall out of a first round bye scenario. The Texans just beat the Colts two weeks ago by 12 points and looked like they could easily win Sunday.
That’s not in the plans for Pagano and this team though.
In an emotional beginning where tears were flowing on both sidelines and the crowd honoring Pagano, the Colts fought all game and pulled out the upset. Again could be a good ending for the script, but of course there’s more.
Now, the playoff script is better than the regular season and if it goes to plan look at how emotional and perfect for Hollywood their road to a Super Bowl in New Orleans would be.
The first game is on the road at the Baltimore Ravens. This is the same Ravens team and city that hates the Colts to this day for leaving them on that cold day in 1984 for Indianapolis. Baltimore has never forgiven Indy for that and will always hate them. That alone is a good script and add to that the Ravens have been knocked out of the playoffs by the Colts three times in the 2000s.
But, many will forget Pagano came from Baltimore as did a few of the additions to the Colts’ roster this year and will be emotional for him to return to the place where he coached and did a good enough job to land a head coaching gig.
If the Colts win, they will face none other than the Denver Broncos. It will be Manning versus his old team who let him go in March. There’s endless amount of storylines behind that game and the matchup the NFL is salivating for. It’s the kid Luck against his mentor Manning. Imagine how many tears will flow if Pagano could lead this team to a win over Manning and the Broncos.
That likely will set up a rematch with the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship Game. That’s the same nemesis for the Colts that is the hated team in Indianapolis. The Colts gave up 59 points in a loss there back in November. Once again the storylines would be endless with a Brady versus Luck winner goes to the Super Bowl game.
Can you picture the near perfect ending for this script yet?
After everything through this season and those dream playoff matchups, a Super Bowl would just fulfill the story of the saddest yet happiest movie ever made. I think I can speak for all of us to say go Colts and help this script get written to it’s rightful ending.