5-14-17: Fitzthoughts Five: The Mother’s Day Post

 

Image result for mother's day movie
Apparently Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson made a movie last year called Mother’s Day. Not like I needed an excuse to post pictures of those two, so good timing there.  Also shows how I haven’t been to the movies since Daniel Day-Lewis starred in Lincoln, but I digress.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day from central Indiana. Good time to post for the first time since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a quick Fitzthoughts Five on what’s been going on as late (or in other words what excuses have kept me from posting besides no Indiana University coaching changes):

THOUGHT ONELIBRARY LIVING: Previous posts probably had a mention or two about dealing with my old pals at Comcast. Chalk on some computer problems and yours truly had the honor of hitting of the Hamilton East Public Library to write papers and do schoolwork that was not related to this blog. (Hard to write 15 page papers for PhD programs on Verizon Wireless LG cell phones.) While the cable is now cut off with a mysterious ending credit that has not appeared as of yet, the internet set up just now got settled to where I no longer go from work to said library in order to do 2-3 hours of homework each weeknight. Though if anyone ever asks, one can get 2 1/2 to 3 hours of free log-in time at said library’s computer lab depending on who’s trying to stay awake at their front desk. Hence sometimes I needed the library card (which of course had never been used because I usually go to said library as often as local Indiana sports teams win big games) and sometimes I didn’t. But it got the job done in order to transition to….

THOUGHT TWO-PAPER PROFICIENCY: …writing the before mentioned 15 page paper for this past PhD class at good ol’ Indiana Tech. In order to that I had to take off last Saturday from work so said paper could be thrown down. I was fortunate that it was a take home exam so I got to answer multiple questions on the rights and wrongs of whether I agreed with fictional case studies on Peru mining towns and if leadership model A was the baddest #!$^$ on the planet compared to leadership model 3. After cussing outloud for five straight minutes asking why in the $@$%! I was wasting a nice Saturday to type about said stuff as opposed to daydreaming about the summer before I went to college number one when I saw the tremendous trio of Noblesville HIgh School cheerleading stars Jenny Story, Jenny Flaugher and Keri Caswell in bikinis (details here) or anything else that did not want me to hurl the computer desktop out the window. Fortunately around 4 pm I said to $!$% with it and hunkered down to get the damn thing done before the midnight deadline. It was submitted at 9:30 pm, and I ended getting the grade needed to keep said A minus (I had a 92 when I needed a 93 for the all out A, but quite frankly I didn’t give two s—ts because the class was over). But if one wants to know how to NOT spend a nice Saturday evening, there you have it.

Leads to…

THOUGHT THREE-PISSPOOR PACER PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES: as is the case every spring since my days at said Noblesville High School (aka the Sonland) when the Indiana Pacers began to lose pro basketball playoff series with regularity, I scheduled my work and school time around watching their inevitable beatdown courtesy of ESPN’s favorite son LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. As they tend to do with the routineness of Hamilton County shucking out another piece of farmland for a subdivision, the Pacers ensured to take defeat from the jaws of victory on multiple occassions in order to get swept 4 games to zilch in losing the the defending NBA champs. Couldn’t even win a game. Of course I didn’t expect them to win the series-after all, this is an organization that keeps Donnie Walsh on the payroll to apparently fall asleep during home games because ownership considers him the modern day Einstein of NBA basketball thinking-so I looked at said beatings as a way to evaluate the team and see who I would personally prefer to be on the team’s roster in 2017-18 instead of picking up inflated paychecks to underachieve against the likes of Toronto, Boston and Milwaukee. Here’s what I found:

-the hardcore fans of the Pacers Digest message board lived up to standards as multiple individuals blamed Paul George for everything from the losing sweep to the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. (Ironically one of the posters kept calling said All-Star George a baby throughout the entire year, and unironically dude’s avatar includes Democratic Party approved tyke Stewie Griffin from Fox’s Family Guy so..GTFO on that). Dude averaged 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists a game in the series. You know who didn’t, Seth McFarlane fan? Your man Monta Ellis, that’s who. (Ellis is StewieFan’s favorite player. Shocking, I know.) Your son Ellis scored 22 POINTS THE ENTIRE SERIES. He was brought in to get the team 15 to 20 points PER GAME. Dude’s done as an NBA starter unless he goes to a bad Western Conference team and gets to jack 15 to 20 shots a game. Then again I’d have no issue with it as I’d prefer to not see Ellis play another game in a Pacer uniform again. He was that bad this year. Like the idiot I am, I watched enough games to know.

Myles Turner has a long way to go before becoming the NBA All-Star the Pacers expect him to be. Turner was Tristan Thompson’s b—- the entire series. 12 points and 7 boards a game won’t cut it in big games. However there’s a half glass full/half glass empty dynamic involved. Half glass full is dude is only 21 and hasn’t reached full potential yet. Half glass empty is your NBA team is pretty s—-ty when your second best player is 21. Which means….

-….I hope to never see CJ Miles, Al Jefferson, or Lavoy Allen ever wear Indiana Pacers uniforms again.  Miles put up 29 points combined in the four playoff losses; not surprisingly some Pacers Digest board members believe Miles is bound to be in the Hall of Fame someday, so they feel losing him from the roster would be a catastrophe. News flash: said Pacers Digest people make me feel like a nuclear physicist after reading garbage like that. (Miles is the icon in waiting that Larry Bird signed in 2014 during Bird’s offseason salary battle with Lance Stephenson; as Bird had to bring back Stephenson JUST TO MAKE THE F—-ING PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR as well as to avoid having a losing regular season record, I’d rather have Pamela Anderson’s CJ Parker from Baywatch out there on the court. Which of course led to me daydreaming about Pamela Anderson for a few moments. You’re not surprised, I know.). I’ve talked about Allen’s worthlessness before so nothing’s changed there. Jefferson? Couldn’t even get on the court during the playoff series. Hence Jefferson (the big $10 million per year addition to be the bench scorer the Pacers have been searching for since George HW Bush was in the White House) was, yes, more worthless than Allen. Enough said. Could have carted out any undrafted rookie to do what he did this year at 1/10th the cost. Then again, a Donnie Walsh team is not afraid to waste money no matter how many Indianapolis sportswriters are on the team’s payroll to tell you that the Pacers are the best franchise in professional sports……which again enforces said point about wasting said money.

TLDR: no Ellis and no Jefferson in Pacer uniforms will make me happy next year. No Allen should be a given.  And the Pacers have posted records of 38-44 (no playoffs), 45-37 (losing 4 out of 7 games to Toronto in a playoff opening round) and 42-40 (losing 4 straight to Cleveland in another playoff opening round) since deciding said CJ Miles was a key member of a championship contender. CJ Miles would not be a key member of his nephew’s latest Playstation game, so….no. Miles IS good at losing NBA games, though, as he’s been doing it for 12 years now. I’d prefer the Pacers to not overpay this individual to make it a baker’s dozen. But these are the Pacers, so I’m ready for Miles to get re-signed to a $10 million annual deal and not blink twice. It’s what they do. Which means no money for….

-…Jeffrey DeMarcus Teague who supposedly will command a salary of $20 million in the open market next year. Dude actually is a competent NBA point guard on offense (top 10 in the NBA in assists, 15 points per game on the scoring front) while kind of worthless on defense (Cleveland part-time senior citizen Kyrie Irving dropped 25 points per game on Teague in the playoffs, including a 37 point effort in the second game that ensured the Pacers would get swept). Hence you could spend $20 million more usefully….like keeping Paul George in town so you could have a reason to watch the team to begin with. So Teague’s situation will be the toughest call the Pacers front office will have to make. As the front office will now be led by the man who once drafted Greg Oden over Kevin Durant and includes indiviuals who preferred George Hill over Kawhi Leonard, not real encouraging. Hence again I’m ready for that 5 year, $50 million CJ Miles contract to get inked because Pacers.

-lastly Thaddeus Charles Young is, well, Thaddeus Charles Young: an undersized power forward with an oversized contract who is underwhelming when asked to be a starter alongside a center (Turner) who prefers to shoot three pointers because Young also prefers to shoot three pointers and not really do too much to win games. Averages of 11 points and 6 rebounds a game are not iconic for an NBA starter who made $14 million this year and cost this franchise a first round pick who could have been just as productive while NOT making $14 million a year. His one good trait in my view: not being either Al Jefferson or Lavoy Allen. Yes, I’m grasping for straws on that one.

With Larry Bird deciding to take a lesser role (read: not be the main man in charge of personnel mdecision making while keeping his hopes alive of owning an NBA team by being involved with said Indiana NBA team to possibly own one day) while Kevin Pritchard (the man who picked Oden over Durant when he was the main front office dude with Portland) takes over the lead role, the Pacers front office at least acted like they are attempting to make changes to compete and not be a mediocre POS team like they’ve been the last three seasons. But if Ellis and Jefferson are still on the roster next year doing jack s–t, then I’m not going to expect too much out of Pritchard until both those dudes are long gone. Perhaps Turner will be the next great NBA legend. Perhaps this blog will be the inspiration for an Academy Award winning movie with New York Times approved actress Meryl Streep in the lead. Hence I’m not counting on an NBA championship parade in Indianapolis next summer. Nor should I, really. 40 years of losing countless NBA games that matter will do that.

Good luck, Mr. Pritchard. If you read this you know my expectations are low, but you also know that my stupid a– will watch your team next year anyway. Win win for all involved.

Oh yeah, other points….

THOUGHT FOUR: WEEKEND WALKING– growing up in Noblesville (aka Sonland City) meant riding your bike around streets with potholes and having limited options of things to do. You had a skating rink (now torn down), a Pizza Hut (now relocated), a McDonald’s (now remodeled) and emphasis on going to high school football and basketball games (the latter in which would lead me to being your dude who sat with two clipboards keeping stats for the school teams as mentioned verbatum during senior year…which at least kept me out of having to work weekends at Shoe Carnival, so there’s that). I never figured that the adult version of me would see Noblesville not have pothole plagued streets, much less look respectable to walk around in. However tax money aplenty and modernization have led to the city actually being a place that I can handle; it also has led to a place that I don’t mind walking around in for some sort of exercise or just to stay calm during weekends where one needs a break from routines like writing 15 page papers that make you want to throw furniture or throw down a fifth of the nearest available beverage.

Hence at least once a weekend I try to go for a 30 minute walk around the area. I’ve had back to back Sundays where I got to stroll through downtown into Forest Park (which was once a place with a couple bad shelters, a baseball field, a pool and a broken down minature golf course) and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I also had no problem dining downtown at the local Subway or even going by foot to McDonald’s. It leads to memories good (like the time I won the North Elementary “Hoop Shoot” basketball contest for my grade by hitting the most layup baskets in 30 seconds, which incidentally was the most I ever got to shoot in elementary school but that’s another story) and not so good (getting hit by a car one time while riding said bike). It also leads to a kind of important memory, which will be….

THOUGHT FIVE: THE PROM DATE. I’ve only babbled about this every single time I’ve posted since starting this blog last year, but I’ve talked about wanting to recap the prom because 1) it was what inspired me to start the @fitzthoughts account on Instagram while 2) then helping me to start said fitzthoughtsblog as well as 3) being influencial in what I knew I had to do to fully improve myself with my time at the Sonland ending and my time at college number one (Transylvania University of Lexington, Kentucky, aka Transy to alums and Lexington 40508 to me) beginning.  Last week (May 11, to be exact) was the anniversary of said prom. Whether eating at a Ruby Tuesday’s in Anderson and seeing Anderson area youth decked out at said restaurant for their proms (which was a few years ago) or dealing with job training stuff (which was this year) I always seem to remember that particular date. While said Prom Date in question-one Sarah Jane Fox-probably has little concern on whether I am breathing, paying taxes or losing fantasy football playoff games on an annual basis, nonetheless it was kind of important. Considering I was a 5 foot 4, 200 pound freshman and felt like I had an uphill battle just to try to look like anything resembling a normal dude in high school (see here for examples) just going to the damn prom was a big deal to begin with, and to go with a beautiful girl made it even better.  As if the avatar photo for the blog and (as of this typing) the Instagram account isn’t subtle enough, right?

Like I said, it was pretty important. Now it’s time for me to get off my a– and write a litte about why it was important.  Or as the case tends to me, a lot.

Time to write that post then. After all, beats homework. (Plus next assignment’s not due Wednesday. Management of time in full effect.)

Thanks to any and all who read this and again Happy Mother’s Day.

Jeff

@fitzthoughts on Instagram

@fitzthoughtsblog on Tumblr

fitzthoughtsblog.wordpress.com

 

 

1-16-17: Football Fitzthoughts Five: NFL Divisional Playoffs Recap

The month of January used to be a time for National Football League playoff football courtesy of the local pro pigskin franchise headquartered on West 56th Street in Indianapolis. Previous posts have shown why that is no longer the case, and plenty of modern day warriors in the Indianapolis sports media have recently decided to play Kelly Clarkson and that Ruben dude from early 00’s American Idol to yell THAT COLTS TEAM CLOWN SHOW DUR DUH DUR NO PEY-DON BE HERE thanks to recent events of the last few days. Said recent events: NFL rumor roundup maestros Adam Schefter of the Four Letter Sons and MMA enthusiast Jay Glazer of Fox Sports noting that Diamond Jim Irsay indeed looked to add the combo of fellow Four Letter Sons/Monday Night Football color man Jon Gruden and legendary retired Colts QB P. Williams Manning to the team’s brain trust. Word was that Gruden wanted roster control (i.e.- the ability to do the job of Irsay favorite and current Colts general manager ‘Big Grig’ Ryan Grigson) and Manning wanted an equity (read: some ownership stake) of the Colts billion dollar franchise to come aboard. Irsay the elder said no to the first while The Daughters Irsay (the three female future heirs to the team) said no to the latter. Hence as of this typing nothing has changed: no public announcement from said Diamond Jim on who’s running the Colts on and off the field in 2017, and no apparent change from the 16-16 mediocrity that has come from Grigson and head coach Ground Chuck Pagano over the past two years. Meet the new Sons, same as the old Sons in other words. (EDIT ON 1/22: since posting this has now become just one son instead of two as Grigson received his walking papers from Diamond Jim yesterday afternoon. We now await Grigson’s replacement as this sentence is typed.)

Local media icons including Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel (whom I like, which is against the grain of most smart a– type commentators that babble incoherently on the Internet) and WTHR‘s Bob Kravitz (who famously feuded with former Colts GM Bill Polian during the team’s more successful days of yesteryear) have united in describing the Colts as having much in common with events sponsored by Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey. Fair enough: they get paid well to do so by their current employers. But I still go back to the main point that needs to be remembered in all of this chaotic lack of action when it comes to the Colts making an authoritative stance on who’s going to coach their team in 2017: as long as Diamond Jim continues to believe that his man Grigson is the cream of the NFL front office crop, then it’s going to be hard to make the changes needed to give Andrew Luck and company a shot of actually contending for the World title in the near future. That’s why I am accepting The Dysfunctional Duo as the team that will run the Colts in 2017, and that’s why I also figure that if they can’t make the playoffs for a third year in a row then the decision for Diamond Jim to change courses will be an easier one to make. Particularly when it comes to his man Grigson, a gent who for every Vontae Davis pickup (good) will counter with the likes of Laron Landry, Todd Heremanns and of course long time fitzthoughtsblog subject Trent Cole (not so good) in shaping a team that currently has more holes than the proverbial piece of Swiss cheese. Perhaps things will change in the next few days, perhaps not…..nevertheless if one wants to defend Pagano and Grigson for their past two years of mediocrity because a change was actually attempted to be made, then I’ll just throw out this GIF with the Pagano approved power running attack led by Grigson pickup and ex-Colt Trent Richardson from SB Nation:

That was to be our current franchise running back here in central Indiana. Best to move on as I go to teams that have actually done something for themselves in the 2016-17 NFL campaign via

FITZTHOUGHTS FIVE: NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND THOUGHTS:

5.) THE SON SHINES IN THE ATL:

In my fantasy football league that I have participated in for 14 years without winning first place, the gent pictured above is known as The Son Matt Ryan as most TV commentators talk about him like he is in fact their son: never making an error, never with a hair out of place, and straight out of the same neighborhood as Wally and the Beav. Problem is our pal usually doesn’t get the job done in playoff games, and so I had no issue picking against the Son’s Atlanta Falcons when they played the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night. As I watched the game, I found that proved to be a big mistake. (I went 2-2 on  my picks this weekend-find out what other game I screwed up on in a moment.) It was also a beating: the ATL 36, Seattle 20 as Ryan threw for 338 years and three touchdowns against a Seattle defense that is considered the cat’s meow with sportswriters from Tacoma to Tybee Island. Ryan and his main hombre Quintorris Lopez Jones dominated the game from start to finish, and even the Falcon defense showed up for once in a big contest by intercepting Seahawk QB and matinee idol Russell Wilson twice. The Falcons are now one game from the Super Bowl as they get to play the BJ Novak lookalike pictured below next week:

4) JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE FOR YOUNG AARON RODGERS

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (known as YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUNNNG Aaron Rodgers in said fantasy league as he was the then younger replacement of current knee pad spokesman Brett Favre) always reminds me of the smaller son who would attempt to do comedy without performing actual comedy on the late NBC sitcom The Office, one BJ Novak. (With the exception of a time when Novak cut a promo essentially telling the John Krasinski played character Jim Halpert to STFO because his ME BE SIMPLE LADIES MAN STARE CAMERA BAT EYES gimmick was too much for even Novak’s Ryan Howard to handle, I struggled to deal with said Novak on the tube even if he may have drank a beer at Harvard during the hey days of Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit. But enough about my TV critical tastes). Despite reminders of looking like each other as seen below…..

…and below…

..and because why the f— not, also below…

…this Young Rodgers can play football well enough to make NBCer Dan Patrick literally soil his pants in mid-sentence. (Don’t listen to Patrick when he talks on his radio show about Rodgers; it gets pretty bad. Actually it gets downright creepy to where I hope Patrick has some lotion near him to ease the pain.) And the evidence came last night as I watched the game and said to myself ‘dude doesn’t miss a pass.’ Since said dude was like 18 for 20 at one time in yesterday’s game against Dallas, that seemed to be the case. Final Rodgers lines for scoring and not snorting: 28 for 43 for 356 yards and two touchdowns plus a game winning drive to set up the winning Mason Crosby field goal as time expired. Green Bay 34, Dallas 31, and I get to see Rodgers and Ryan square off for the NFC title next weekend. Could be worse. Could deal with worse scenarios. After all I once watched a Rams-Bucs NFC final game in January 2000 that had a score of 11-6. Like looking at my reflection in the mirror, it wasn’t pretty.

Moving on…..ironically enough…

3) PATRIOTS BEAT TEXANS-NOTHING TO SEE HERE

Had to throw out the meme out with the late Leslie Nielsen in rare form during the midst of the 1988 comedy film delight The Naked Gun. (Sonland High Sidenote: as hopefully will be discussed in future posts, said Nielsen film was the favorite non-Sylvester Stallone starring film of the Diabolical Number 10. Don’t ask for any other choices if you went to the Top Gun video store in Sonland City-aka Noblesville-in 1990-it was Nielsen or nothing. Not surprisingly I have seen said film about four or five dozen times, so IMO the Nielsen estate owes me a free VHS or something out of the deal to compensate for Number 10 salivating over the prospect of seeing Priscilla Presley‘s stuffed beaver on most fall weekends. Not like anything was wrong with said beaver sightings, but variety can be a good thing after the 24th of 25th viewing.)

Back to topic…actually the game was not thrilling because everyone in the free world expected New England to defeat Houston on Saturday night and talking about a video store that now houses a Pizza King was actually more interesting to me. Then again New England wins every year and Houston beats the Colts all the time so that’s how life works. New England 34, Houston 16, forgone conclusion. New England’s opponent for the AFC title next weekend? Pittsburgh, courtesy of this game with this individual in red:

2) ANDY REID LOSE A PLAYOFF GAME? SHOCK.

Good news for fans of Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs is they kept the high powered Pittsburgh Steelers offense out of the end zone last night. Bad news: Reid’s Alex Smith led offense was pretty s—ty with bad line, worse play calling and the belief that Smith’s THROW THREE FOUR YARD PASS IN ROW persona was going to get the job done. Kansas City’s defense and running game will tend to put the Chiefs in the playoffs each year, but the Reid-Smith combo can’t get it done when it matters and it showed last night. The Chiefs had just 227 total yards on offense, failed on what would be game tying two point conversion near the game’s end, and as they usually do lost a playoff game at home 18-16 to said Steel City Sons. Reid and Smith can get you to the proverbial playoff bar, but when it comes time to throw down the big drink at playoff time I have the vision that they will tend to spill the fifths on themselves before slipping onto the spillage and knocking themselves unconscious. Per our friends at profootballreference.com here is the stat log for Smith’s 2-4 overall playoff record (admittedly spruced up by the time that the Colts’ Greg Toler made Smith look like 1985 Joe Montana a couple years back)

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/S/SmitAl03/gamelog/post/

…and for comparison’s sake, here’s Andy Reid’s career head coaching line that shows a record of 11-12 come playoff time:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/ReidAn0.htm

TLDR: I had no issue picking against the Chiefs last night, and more than likely neither did you. Not sure if they will ever break through in a New England dominated conference, but I assume the Chiefs brain trust will give Smith and Reid another five or six years to try. (Then again, they beat the Colts this year….but two words: Chuck Pagano.)

I get to root for Pittsburgh next weekend. Should make things interesting as that doesn’t always happen.

Which leads to

1  WHO TO PICK FOR THE CONFERENCE TITLE GAMES?

Admittedly still mulling that one. Had originally picked a Dallas-New England Super Bowl…that’s not happening. I’ve got six days to decide, so I’ll probably post those around Friday or Saturday (homework permitting).

Either way it’s football, and that means I’ll be watching. I’ve been doing it for 35 years. Hope to do it 35 more…and then some.

Finishing with THE FITZTHOUGHTS GIF OF THE DAY:

Yeah, I could see why that movie was a Number 10 approved classic. Fortunately for my movie viewing weekend experience, said movie stopped being seen 24-7 once said Number 10 was introduced by yours truly to the Hot Sonland Chick he would eventually date and take to prom (obligatory mentioning of The Prom Date as we got to double date with said Number 10 and other previously mentioned female of prior posts). Hoping Top Gun video had used the previous video rental monies to buy a new VHS tape as that tape got way too much air time back in the day. As in Trump gets inaugurated this week type play.

Hard to find a punch line to follow that one up with. Then again I’ll admit the GIF cracks me up. And reminds me there were some good times going to the Sonland. Not a whole $!$^@ of a lot, but some.

And some is better than none as far as I’m concerned. Need to remember that.

Thanks to any and all who may read this and best wishes for a good week out in cyberspace.

Jeff

Instagram: @fitzthoughts

fitzthoughtsblog.wordpress.com

1-8-17: Sunday Morning Fitzthoughts Five: NFL Wildcard Weekend

Sunday morning in snowy central Indiana. Seven people combined at chapel at Noblesville’s First Christian Church yet a very good service nonetheless. Good way to start the week as I await an afternoon of National Football League playoff action that won’t include the local NFL franchise as part of the proceedings.

Shocking, I know. After all there’s a nice collection of monotonous posts detailing how the Diamond Jim and the Dysfunctional Duo made that happen. But after getting an Instragram post from a Colts related fan site advising that ‘Big Grig’ Ryan Grigson approved Colts defensive underachiever Trent Cole was looking to play one more year (and comments arguing whether his season ending hit to Raiders QB Derek Carr on Christmas weekend was a clean shot or not), it made it an easy choice for me to say to myself “self, use this good energy to write another blog post on NFL football since you’re not ready to go take a morning nap.” Hence this post.

Here we go…..

FITZTHOUGHTS FIVE FOR NFL WILD CARD WEEKEND:

5) GROUND CHUCK STAYS GROUNDED, BIG BILL O’BRIEN ADVANCES: 

Don’t be surprised about me whining about there being a Houston-Oakland matchup with what would be listed as backup quarterbacks (Brock Osweiler for Houston after he lost his starting gig to Tom Savage before Savage got hurt towards season’s end; Conner Cook for Oakland thanks to said Trent Cole hit referenced earlier as well as another injury to second stringer Matt McGloin) and then watching part of said game. If I could watch the Colts job 62-7 to New Orleans back in 2011….then safe to say I tend to watch anything on the tube that has the NFL involved. Said NFL Network is made for dumbf—s like me who say ‘sure, I’ll watch those highlights of the 2006 AFC Championship Game for a 50th time’ even though I actually did attend said game in person. (Good reference for future post material as well as good reference why I added that tag line to the blog header this weekend, too.)

So, I find the game on ABC as current media man Jon Gruden cuts his catchphrases while the son of the late Boston media man Will McDonough does his employers a favor by not resorting to insulting the stadium that the game is being held in. (That Son McDonough did just that by comparing the New York metro area’s MetLife Stadium to a toaster during last month’s Colts-Jets Monday Night Football matchup. That might make smart mark bloggers and message board types squeal like teenage girls at a One Direction concert, but not too sure if I would be a smarta– about it on national television 1) SINCE YOUR EMPLOYER HAS ALREADY HAD SUPER BOWLS PLAYED THERE  and 2) with all due respect….you’re Sean McDonough. But this time the broadcasting duo actually seemed to focus on the game instead of billion dollar taxpayer financed architecture….and it ended up not being much of a game as I would be happy that the Raiders were holding the Texans offense to field goals in the early stages. That didn’t last long, and of course the Raiders didn’t get too much out of Conner Cook because you’r probably not getting much out of a rookie playing his first ever NFL game that matters on the road in the $!$^$ playoffs. So when a Texans touchdown towards the end of the first half made the score 20-7 in favor of Houston, I basically said to myself the game was over. Which it was. Final score: Houston 27, Oakland 14, and me wishing to myself that the Dysfunctional Duo of Ground Chuck and the Big Grig was off the Indianapolis Colts payroll. Maybe next year. Then again, best for me to not to think about next year just yet.

As for Houston, for some reason the Interwebs kept lecturing about their head coach Bill O’Brien and his job status. Dude has won two straight division titles. Dude just won a playoff game. I assume he won’t have any issues getting another gig if the Texans decide that he’s not worth keeping. If John Fox can stay in Chicago after going 3-13 this season, then I figure someone could do worse than have O’Brien on their staff. Then again I figured that Scottie Thurman would once be the next Scottie Pippen when he left a successful college hoops run at Arkansas for the NBA in the 1990s….and according to this Wikipedia link here, dude didn’t even make the NBA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotty_Thurman

Did learn something new today: there was a pro hoops team (ABA post 1970s version) called the Arkansas RimRockers. So there’s that.

Moving on…..

4) STAFFORD AND SONS FAIL AT SEATTLE

Stafford and Sons is my code name for the Detroit Lions as they are led by modern day warrior and former No. 1 overall NFL draft selection Matthew Stafford at quarterback. NBC did the honors of televising the Lions’ NFC wild card matchup with the Seattle Seahawks with Old Al Michaels saying Al Michaels things and Stafford’s offensive line being pretty damn offensive. NBC made sure to point out the Lions had not won a road playoff game since the Eisenhower Administration, and not surprisingly that didn’t change after last night. Final: Seattle 26, Detroit 6. Said pictured Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls ran for 161 yards and scored said pictured touchdown above. Dominant running games are something I don’t see on TV too often, so all props to Rawls for getting the job done in convincing fashion.

All credit to Detroit just to get to the postseason in the first place, but it will be interesting to see what they do in the upcoming NFL offseason to improve their chances for 2017. I have a feeling that offensive and defensive line help will be at the forefront as Seattle dominated the line of scrimmage all night long. Figuring Lions fan will have similar thinking.

3) SUPER SUNDAY WITH SUPER BOWL WINNING QUARTERBACKS

After two time World champ Ben Roethlisberger and his Steel City Sons of Pittsburgh play Miami in the 1 pm AFC playoff matchup, we get the honor of seeing the two pictured gents battle at (cueing ESPNer Chris Berman) DA FROZUN TONDRUH UV LAMBOW FIEEELLLLD as Young Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers host E. Nelson Manning and the New York Football Giants. As mentioned previously it’s the game I’m most interested in. No qualms as of now if either team advances to the Super Bowl, either. Just need to make sure I can put up with Fox’s Joe Buck on commentary as I tend to struggle with his presence on televised sporting events. Then again there is an invention called the mute button….so I need to not be lazy and actually use it for once.

TLDR: doubt I’ll be doing homework today. After all, football. Enough said.

2) FOOTBALL TIME IN AMERICA EQUALS HOOPS APATHY IN HOOSIERLAND

The NFL is dominating my sports television viewing these days, so I haven’t been watching too much of the local NBA franchise in part because until recently they like to lose games by playing Lavoy Allen regular minutes. In recent times  Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan has changed that as Kevin Seraphin has replaced the seemingly unconcerned Allen in the Pacers rotation. Coincidentally the team has actually started to win some games (including the one from this photo where they beat the New York Knicks last night for their fifth straight win). Also not playing the pictured Jeffrey Demarquis Teague and Monta Ellis together has been a good thing as Ellis now comes off the bench and no longer gives up 25 to 30 points to whomever he attempts to guard. To paraphrase media semi-icon Bill Simmons (currently collecting checks at HBO) on the matter, good times.

The apathy though comes with the long grind of the 82 game season and the recent mediocrity (38-44 record with no playoffs in 2014-15, 45-37 record with an opening round playoff series loss to Toronto in 2015-16) that said local NBA franchise has been dealing with while keeping the likes of Allen and Rodney Stuckey on their roster as supposed vital parts. With both out of the rotation (Stuckey’s hurt yet again) coincidentally the team has actually won some games. Referenced in earlier posts that I’d prefer to not see Allen in a Pacer uniform after this summer; hoping that this recent stretch of winning play makes that a reality. Since Stuckey will be on the last year of his contract next season, then I’ll reserve judgement for a later time. But it would be preferable for this team to actually do more than lose to Cleveland or Toronto in the playoffs if they want to keep the Indianapolis area interested in their whereabouts. One can only have so many bobble head doll giveaways…..and since the team currently ranks 20th out of 30 NBA teams in league attendance figures, IMO having Allen and Stuckey around won’t change that anytime soon. Link for attendance figures below from our friends out of Bristol, Connecticut:

https://www.espn.com/nba/attendance

Finally….

1.FITZTHOUGHTS GIF OF THE DAY:

I didn’t want to babble about Tom Crean and the underachieving Indiana University hoops team, nor cry even more about the state of the Colts. So to finish things out I’ll go back roughly a quarter century ago to the days when the before mentioned Scottie Pippen was throwing down dunks as a Chicago Bull with said GIF of him dunking against the Cleveland Cavaliers:

That reminds me of something from said 25 years ago when I was a first year pledging Delta Sigma Phi at college number one Transylvania University. That something is for my school shoes for the year I bought a new pair of Nike Air Flight Lites as worn by said Pippen. IIRC they cost in the ball park of $115-120, so if one ever wonders from previous posts the results were from me picking up trash for a summer in the Park 100 office complex….now one no longer needs to wonder. And thanks to the World Wid Web, here’s a photo of said shoes with an autograph from none other than said Pippen himself:

Time has definitely flied by. Sometimes I miss those days from college number one. Good to have something like this blog to be able to remember said days. Hope I can get towards covering them soon as I still have to get through recapping senior year of high school first. We’ll see if I can get the job done while not ranting as much about The Dysfunctional Duo in the upcoming months.

Thanks again to any and all who read this and have a good week.

Jeff

Instagram: @fitzthoughts

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1/2/17- The Colts Season Ends: The Fitzthoughts Five- Colts Offseason Issues to Address

Hello as always to anyone and everyone out in cyberspace. I have the day off as this is being Monday is being celebrated as New Year’s, so it’s a good chance to actually post on fitzthoughtsblog for a third consecutive day. And since I have the National Football League on my mind, might as well throw out some random HOT TAKES in the matter that made Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless a regular presence on our TV screens:

  • The sports media declares this first day that comes at the end of each NFL season as Black Monday as it’s the day that most unsuccessful teams will decide to part ways with their head coaches and/or executives. While the local NFL franchise as of now is not making any changes (as predicted so far in this blog and by national outlets like Sports Illustrated-yep, they’re still around) nonetheless some changes have already been made both in the midst of the 2016 regular season and towards year’s end. Among those are Buffalo parting ways with Rex Ryan before their season finale against the New York Jets; the mid-season departures of Jacksonville’s Gus Bradley and Los Angeles (via St. Louis)’s Jeff Fisher; and lastly former media man Mike Riley getting ousted from his gig in San Diego. Add to that the official news this morning from that Gary Kubiak is leaving Denver just one year after taking them to the Super Bowl title and we pro football fans have a few job openings to watch out for in 2017. I apparently have already misfired on one personal prediction that John Fox (win loss record of 9-23 in two seasons) would lose his gig in Chicago, but apparently the Bears front office led by The Son Ryan Pace gave him a “vote” of confidence that says dude returns to see if can do better than their 3-13 in 2016 (which by law of averages shouldn’t be hard to do if that deems the necessary “improvement” to stay in charge when team just went 3-13). Same goes with Hue Jackson in Cleveland who will be back-for now- as his boss Jimmy Haslem gave him a vote of confidence despite the Browns finishing a league worst 1-15 this past season. On the other hand I was correct (but not going out on a limb) that Chip Kelly would not return in San Francisco after his squad went 2-14 (only the 1-15 Cleveland Browns were worse this year) For future predictions that may or may not happen, my takes are that the only place left to watch on NFL fronts is located on West 56th Street in Indianapolis. If Cleveland is confident enough to keep the leadership that took them to the worst regular season record in their team’s history, then more power to them. At the very least they won’t be paying the salaries for two head coaches next year.
  • From a personal standpoint there is little reason to be concerned or thrilled about watching the upcoming American Football Conference playoffs (of which said Colts will not be a part of for the second straight year) because the participants include two teams with histories of recent postseason success (the NBC approved New England Patriots and the Omar Epps approved Pittsburgh Steelers) while the remaining four teams-Houston, Oakland, Kansas City and Miami-have not much success in recent postseason play since the Raiders’ last Super Bowl appearance was 14 years ago and the Chiefs have not participated in said big game since the Nixon Administration. (Miami’s last postseason success was-of course-against the Colts over a decade and a half ago. And Houston is apparently starting Brock Osweiler in a playoff game against Oakland next weekend, so best of luck in that regard.)  I expect a Patriots-Steelers AFC title game with the Patriots winning. If I’m wrong, so be it. If I’m right, not like I’m Nostradamus. Hence I don’t expect to put too much time and worry in taking time out to watch a potential Osweiler-Conner Cook matchup next weekend. No amount of national sports media slobbering over the NFL can or will change that.
  • Meanwhile I’m more intrigued with the National Football Conference playoffs as you’ve got a free for all with three recent World title winners-Green Bay, the New York Football Giants and “Pistol” Pete Carroll’s sons of Seattle-are in the postseason along with a resurgent Dallas Cowboys squad that actually has a running game that could cause problems if they actually made it to the big game. So if I had to pick one game to watch next weekend it will be New York-Green Bay. As for the other two participants-Atlanta and Detroit-I’ll be surprised if they made it based on a half century of past postseason failures. Should they make it, more power and good for their fan bases. It’s nice to actually win once in a while after dealing with 4-12 seasons and failed first round draft picks (see the examples of Jeff George and Steve Emtman for the local NFL team in the early 1990’s. Safe to say Diamond Jim Irsay has been a better owner than personnel man after you read those two names out loud. But more on Diamond Jim in a moment.)  Either way there are plenty of intriguing NFC teams to watch in the Super Bowl, and that may be enough for me to watch said game in full.
  • For the final non-local NFL team hot take……..I learned a valuable lesson with fantasy football this year: I am going to have to start drafting running backs earlier and not rely on the waiver wire like I have in the past. I finished 4th out of 10 teams as I made the postseason tourney of eight…won my first round game…and then got destroyed in the semifinals and subsequent 3rd place game in part because my top running back (local NFL team’s Frank Gore) usually was replaced by his backup (Robert Turbin) when it came time for the local NFL team to run the ball in goal line sets for scoring. Turbin carried the ball 47 times this year….SEVEN OF THOSE were for touchdowns, and many games I would be cursing because he would replace Gore (who carried the ball 263 times for 1,025 overall rushing yards) and hence Gore only had four touchdowns. So should I end up drafting Turbin next year only to see Turbin get the gout and end up on injured reserve while someone else drafts Gore and gets a ten touchdown season out of said Gore, you read it here first. Main word of advice: don’t draft Brandon Marshall with your first round pick. The fictional Brandon Walsh of Beverly Hills 90210 would have been a better choice. Hence I was just happy to finish fourth as Marshall and Cam Newton both had, shall we say, pretty s—-y years in terms of fantasy football production. Not sure what I can do to follow up a Brandon Walsh mention other than to show a 90210 GIF with his boys Steve Sanders and Dylan McKay, so here’s said GIF:

And yes, that may have been the highlight of my day. I’m easy to please.

With that out of the way….

….I also did not strain too hard to predict the Indianapolis Colts would struggle yet prevail in their home finale against Jacksonville yesterday. I watched the game in full as I saw the Colts look incoherent and uninterested in spotting said Jacksonville a 17-0 lead early on. I was not surprised that the Colts would then come back to tie the game in the second half because Jacksonville (coming in with a record of 3-12) simply is not going to dominate most foes, nor was I surprised that the Colts would find ways to turn the ball over and try to give the game away. Yet fortunately for Colts head coach Ground Chuck Pagano and his pocketbook, the Jaguars failed to take advantage of the last Colts giveaway in the fourth quarter and could only muster a field goal to take a 20-17 lead with a minute and half to go in regulation time. And fortunately for Pagano and his main man Big Grig Ryan Grigson, their boss picked his gentleman in the 2012 NFL draft:

While the national media prefers to get down with Seattle’s son Russell Wilson, the gent with the ball-one Andrew Austen Luck-is the sole reason at times why I actually say to myself that it’s worth rooting for this Colts franchise in our year of 2017. Take it away, United Press International:

INDIANAPOLIS — Just when it seemed as if the Jacksonville Jaguars had upset the Indianapolis Colts again, quarterback Andrew Luck made the most of the game’s final seconds to end a disappointing season on an upbeat note.

Luck’s 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jack Doyle with nine seconds remaining gave the Colts a 24-20 victory and an 8-8 finish to an inconsistent season on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“When you’ve got Andrew back there, you’ve got a shot,” said Doyle, who triumphantly spiked the football after his decisive catch while sitting in the end zone.

The Jaguars (3-13) had won the previous two meetings between the AFC South rivals, and thought they had pulled out another victory on Jason Myers’ 41-yard field goal with 1:33 remaining.

But that was ample time for Luck. Although out of timeouts, the no-huddle Colts drove 75 yards in eight plays and took 1:24 off the clock. Luck completed all six of his passes on the drive for 70 yards.

“It felt good to get that touchdown at that moment,” said Luck, who completed 24 of 41 passes for 321 yards with two scores and one interception. “There were times earlier this year that we didn’t finish games when we had the chance in the two-minute drill or four-minute drill. So to get that one was very joyous and maybe released a little frustration.”

The polite way to put it: quarterback is the least of the Colts’ concerns right now. In concluding this post I’m going to also be polite, not throw furniture, try to limit the whining and note what I personally think the Colts need to do in order to get back into the postseason and rise up from the mediocrity that has been the staple of this franchise for the past two seasons. Hence the

FITZTHOUGHTS FIVE: COLTS ISSUES TO ADDRESS BEFORE THE 2017 SEASON:

Most are going to be obvious, but these are going to be listed in the mindset that both Pagano and general manager Grigson will return next season to earn their keep in cashing Irsay’s paychecks. Should they do that, consider this free advice from a lifelong fan who has followed the Indianapolis version of said Colts since their 1984 inception (meaning I have seen a lot of s–tty play as well as a lot of success during the Peyton Manning/Tony Dungy era and appreciate the good seasons more because they aren’t always going to take place in a 32 team league):

5.REPLACE THE UNFANTASTIC FOUR

Media men were thrilled that Robert Mathis got a quarterback sack that forced a fumble which the Colts recovered to keep them alive in said game yesterday. I was thrilled because Mathis could end his career on a positive note and the team could then be able to move on with their need to replace said Mathis this offseason. Yesterday I profiled Mathis’s lack of on-field production in 2014, 2015 and 2016 so I won’t lecture about that now. Instead I simply state that if the Colts defense does not want to outright s–k again in 2017 (their 2016 ranking: 30th overall in the area of yards per game given up to opponents; only Cleveland and San Francisco were worse) I feel the team needs to part ways with these four individuals that play at linebacker (the team’s arguably worst position) and defensive line (which is not much better since your defense is one of the worst in the league yet again):

-Mathis (per sportac.com he counted $5 million against the team’s salary cap this season)

-defensive lineman and Pagano favorite Arthur “Soul Train” Jones ($3 million against the cap, suspended for the first four games of 2016 due to using performance enhancing drugs, played all of eight games this season-including the two losses to Houston that cost the team the division- with 30 tackles and no quarterback sacks )

-inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson ($4.5 million against the salary cap, suspended for the final four games of 2016 due to performance enhancing drugs)

-and finally the much mentioned man of Grigson one Trent Cole ($5 million against the salary cap, 16 tackles in just seven games played, only one quarterback sack).

If you went off on-field production (not good), production per salary earned (again not good), overall games played in 2016 (horrendous as you have eight combined games missed due to suspensions with two of the dudes missing half of the season and another being suspended when the team actually still had a chance to make the postseason)….with Mathis retiring, why would one want any of the other three back? This is where Pagano and Grigson have really screwed the proverbial pooch because per said sportac.com as of now the Colts are on the hook for some THIRTEEN MILLION DOLLARS in salary between just Jackson and Jones next year. Should both leave the franchise after June 1 of next year, their cap hits go down to under $3 million combined. With Cole and Mathis both not listed as part of next year’s group, the Colts brain trust have to decide whether or not the Jones-Jackson combo can continue to give negative returns as they have not exactly been Pro Bowl material in their Colts tenures. You can tell I hope they look elsewhere. In short I feel you need four new defensive starters AT A MINIMUM in the front seven of the defensive alignment Pagano likes to run (preferably anyone to play tackle that replaces Jones and anyone else who plays inside linebacker to replace Jackson, plus two new outside linebackers to replace Mathis and Cole.) Without addressing that, I see the team at best looking to go for a three-peat of finishing with said 8-8 record. Hoping this gets looked at and is the main priority of Grigson if he’s still holding court as Diamond Jim’s executive of choice.

Won’t be too verbal on the other four, so here goes:

4) YOUR OFFENSIVE LINE STILL NEEDS WORK. 

The late Ray Charles could see this, but I am afraid that Grigson’s emphasis on drafting offensive linemen in the 2016 collegiate draft (including center Ryan Kelly in the 1st round, tackle Le’Raven Clark in the 3rd and multi-position playing Joe Haeg in the fifth round) will lead to the organization saying THAT BE ENOUGH and assuming that those three will join Ohio State sons Anthony Castanzo and Jack Mewhort to make up the team’s offensive line for the next decade. I strongly disagree. The team still has trouble protecting their franchise quarterback Luck as Luck was sacked 46 times in 2016 (only four teams in the league were worse in that regard according to NFL.com) and saw Luck miss a game due to a concussion that the Colts-of course-would lose to Pittsburgh when every game counted to make the postseason in late November and December. Castanzo in particular, well, it’s best to not say anything other than he’s digressed badly since 2014 and does not look like the icon that the Colts pay him to be (only Luck has a higher salary cap hit for next year’s squad). And the team still has issues running the ball up the middle like Pagano and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski insist on doing for marginal results (hence 8-8 records a go go). Suggestion: you’re stuck with your first round pick at center and with Castanzo in the lineup, so they’re there. However every other position-particularly both guard spots-need to be improved on, and I also would prefer to never see Joe Reitz start at offensive tackle again. TLDR: three new linemen to go with Castanzo and Kelly, and if Mewhort can’t recover from his injury plagued 2016 then you’d better have someone to step in that’s not part of this draft class because they probably aren’t going to be enough to keep Luck from being hospitalized again. I’m afraid that they will keep the same group that ended 2016 with Mewhort taking over at one of the guard slots and Haeg teaming with Clark on the right side of the line….and I’m not too excited about that. If the Colts organization feels that those dudes are ready to win the World title……then the Colts organization is a lot more optimistic than I am. Hoping that gets addressed because this line is NOT good enough to beat Houston right now……and if you want to make the playoffs, you kind of need to actually beat Houston to do so. Hence I suggest they don’t get thrilled about squeaking out a game against Jacksonville and assume ALL BE WELL BAWH SON with one of the team’s major weaknesses.

Oh, the other three:

3) LINEBACKER LINEBACKER LINEBACKER!. Per a man called “Horse” on the coltfreaks.com message board….See number five, but basically if the team is going to be successful they need to have NFL caliber linebackers on their NFL roster. Jackson and Cole ensured that was not the case in 2016.  I’ll simply post the link to their draft thoughts as I agree that the team needs to look at linebackers far and wide in this coming NFL draft:

http://coltfreaks.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2679&sid=3d1a59e7c73c6253e4539edf9765048d

I suggest no Adam Morrison or Josh McNary in the 2017 starting lineup. I also suggest you don’t break the bank to overpay Erik Walden…..so if Walden gets a $10 million/per year contract, don’t be too shocked because I won’t be. Nevertheless if you’re going to run a linebacker based defense like Pagano wants to (his 3-4 package he favored while coaching in Baltimore) then you’d better have some competent linebacker play. As of now, the franchise does not. Hope that changes soon.

2) THE RETURN OF THE MISSING MONCRIEF:  The Colts’ strength and bread and butter is supposed to be their passing game. While offensive coordinator Chudzinski apparently believes that consists of only throwing 30 times a game to T.Y Hilton (more in a moment) the team is supposed to be stocked at receiver and tight end so Luck has plenty of capable pass catchers to throw to. We know the deal with Hilton: he led the league in receiving yards this season with 1,448 yards and hence he earns his huge paycheck (he’ll cost $10 million against the salary cap next year). However the inability to have a second wide receiving threat to go with Hilton-exemplified by the mediocrity of Grigson approved 2015 first round draft pick Phillip Dorsett who’s scored three touchdowns in two years) leads me to wonder out loud if the organization can afford another year like the one they received out of a man who couldn’t stay on the field due to injuries throughout 2016: Donte Moncrief.  And when he was out there……..it wasn’t pretty.

Here’s his stat line in 2016 from the Interwebs:

Game stats
Game
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
YDS
AVG
12/24
@
2
30
15.0
24
1
12/11
vs
0
0
0.0
0
12/5
@
4
26
6.5
10
1
11/24
vs
6
45
7.5
12
1
11/20
vs
4
37
9.2
17
1
11/6
@
3
55
18.3
39
1
10/30
vs
4
41
10.2
15
1
-1
-1.0
9/18
@
1
9
9.0
9
0
9/11
vs
6
64
10.7
32
1
Regular Season
30
307
10.2
39
7
-1
-1.0

Yes, the first thing most people will do is say HE SCORE TOUCHDOWN because basically all dude did in 2016 was take advantage of other teams double teaming Hilton when the Colts were in red zone (read: inside the opponents’ 20 yard line) situations. However….dude couldn’t stay on the field, and when the team needed him the most-that one Houston game listed that he did suit up for-no production whatsoever. While dude has caught 13 touchdown passes in two years (he had six overall in 2015) nevertheless he has not been able to provide the team with the ability to be the Reggie Wayne to Hilton’s Marvin Harrison. The Colts also went 3-6 in games Moncrief played while 5-2 when he was not in the lineup. Not the sign of a man bound for Canton, Ohio unless it’s to play in a preseason game. And 307 overall receiving yards pales in comparison to the before mentioned Hilton. For this team to actually attempt to run a vertical passing attack that can be Super Bowl worthy, it has to get more out of Moncrief…or find someone else who can replace him and do better. As of now, that’s not Dorsett. And judging from Moncrief having a case of the drops throughout recent times by only catching 30 of 56 passes thrown to him in 2016 per ESPN.com, it very well may not be Moncrief. Meaning Luck more often than not focuses on Hilton said 30 times a game because the other wide receivers probably aren’t going to catch it; go to this link below to see the Colts rank seventh overall among NFL teams in dropped passes in 2016:

https://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/team-receiver-drops-percentage/2016/

For the Colts to contend and beat Houston, another capable receiving threat has to show up from the wide receiver position (especially when they play said Houston). That was not the case in 2016.

Last of all..

1-NO MORE OFFENSIVE THUD FROM PAGANO AND THAT SON CHUD

When Pep Hamilton was let go as the team’s offensive coordinator after the Colts got off to a s–t start in the middle of the 2015 season, fans like myself were happy that Chudzinski got the nod to replace Hamilton as we felt anyone-ANYONE-could do better. Problem IMO was two fold…and the two serve as the team’s head coach and offensive coordinator. The issues:

-Pagano teams like to RUNSONRUN by  seeming to favor running up the middle 20-30 times a game to set up the 70 yard pass (which usually is aimed for Hilton, and many a time does not work if Hilton is being covered by multiple defensive backs). We found it matters not who the offensive coordinator is…Pagano wants to go away from the team’s strength (aka his franchise quarterback Luck and the passing game) while emphasizing the likes of running backs Turbin, Jesse Ferguson and Josh Robinson as the focal points of the team’s offense. As of now all three gents have as much chance of winning the NFL rushing title as the 40 plus year old man typing this sentence. And where the team has started two or three rookies at times at the three offensive line positions that need to be strong for said running game to work (center, left guard and right guard) that strategy has not been a successful one…in fact I say it’s downright s—-y. The Colts ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing during the 2015 season…and this year only ranked 23rd. If you’ve got the Dallas Cowboys‘ offensive line (Dallas was 2nd in NFL rushing this season) or a stud running back like Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy (the Bills were 1st) then said strategy may work. The Colts have neither. Be it the blame of Grigson, Pagano, Irsay or The Iron Sheik in not getting the personnel to run the ground game approved and dictated by said Ground Chuck, nevertheless the organization wants to play a style of football that is not suited for its franchise player (quarterback Luck)…and when your quarterback is often your best runner then it points to failures across the board between coaching, personnel, strategy and team philosophy. And the coaching failures fall onto Pagano and His Son Chud in failing to capitalize on having a No. 1 overall draft pick and franchise quarterback that is ready to enter his physical prime.  Hence you’d better find another plan of attack to make this work-like one not relying on Ferguson to be your best option to go to on fourth down when a game is on the line (which what That Son Chud apparently called when the Colts lost to Jacksonville earlier in the year. Again, not good).

The other issue…

Pagano and That Son Chud are unable to defeat these two gents pictured below.

Those gents are media favorites via Boston Romeo Crennel (defensive coordinator with sheet of paper hanging around his neck) and Bill O’Brien (head coach) of the Houston Texans. Before Hamilton got sacked in 2015, the Colts were able to beat Houston 27-20 in a nationally televised game. Since That Son Chud took the reigns of calling the team’s offensive plays, the Colts are 0-3 to said Houston as they have lost games by the scores of 16-10, 26-23 and 22-17. The Colts average roughly that 17 points a game from the final contest when Chud calls the shots….simply put right now Chud vs Crennel in a battle of wits is a man with a slingshot against a man with a 44 Magnum. In two of those losses (losses one and three) Gore ran for a combined 85 yards. That’s not going to get it done, yet Chud and Pagano have yet to figure out a way to successfully game plan against this duo even when their star defender (famed commercial pitchman JJ Watt) is off the field. Simply put Chud and Pagano are either going to have to compose the stud running game via running back and offensive line that Pagano seems hell bent on producing (which a That Son Chud offense cannot do) or find an alternative way to actually defeat these two dudes in a regular season NFL game when a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback and receiver are part of your team. Since said Texans dudes are only 15-14 when playing against the rest of the NFL these past two seasons (including getting blanked 30-0 by Kansas City in last year’s playoffs) it shouldn’t be a lifelong struggle. Yet the Pagano/Chud duo hasn’t gotten the job done against O’Brien and Crennel, and the result has been two years away from the postseason with mediocrity reigning supreme.

From the looks of things we’ll know more in a half hour (Pagano has a press conference scheduled for 1:30 pm and it’s currently 1 here in central Indiana) if the Pagano/Chud combo gets two more shots at beating the Twin Texans powers that have handled them successfully the next two years. Should they get that chance, for the franchise’s sake the results will need to be different. But if the organization continues to send out bad linebackers, bad offense lines, unproductive wide receivers and lastly base their offense around coaching ideals that are at best mediocre…….then it could be another mediocre 2017 to go with 2015 and 2016 for the organization ran by Diamond Jim Irsay.

Hence you’ll know what I’ll be doing at 1:30 pm. The question is whether Irsay and company know what they’re doing in order to get this team back into playoff contention.

As always….your move, Diamond Jim.

Thanks to all for reading.

Jeff

@fitzthoughts

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