I'm sick and tired of the idea that somehow winning the Super Bowl is so important that a team would risk an undefeated season for the smallest hint of an improvement in their chances of winning one. Have these people gone totally crazy?
Why play sports? Why compete? If you're any kind of athlete it's for one reason: because you love the competition itself. It's the striving to be the best, the greatest, the undisputed champions that makes the competition great. No one plays a sport with the opportunity to become an alright player. No one plays a sport to go 9-7 or 84-78. What Olympic sprinter dreams of setting the second fastest time in the history of the world?
No athlete does this. Not one. Not even the scrub wide receiver on a Class D high school football team who only got to play because the team was too small to cut anyone (trust me).
So why, why, why do professional football teams insist that winning a single season championship is worth more than being able to say that you accomplished THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN THE HISTORY OF YOUR SPORT?!?!?!??! It's absolute madness.
I just cannot get over this. A Super Bowl title is given out, well, every single year. Yeah, it's great. Yes, you strive to win one. Yes, it's every team's ultimate goal, but only because going undefeated and winning it all is so damn hard that teams don't even consider it realistic enough to make it a goal in the first place! It's like saying, "Man, my goal was to save up my money and buy a Cadillac, so I guess I'll turn down this chance to own the freaking Batmobile." Why blow it when you have the chance?
And to blow it for almost nothing! The advantage you get by resting your best players, if it even exists, is nearly infinitesimal. Yes, they might have gotten hurt, but the odds of that happening are stunningly long. And if they did, where's the shame in getting up to the podium and saying, "You know what? We had a shot at immortality, at accomplishing the ultimate feat in our sport, at being the best there ever was, and we took it. It didn't work out. But we played our best every minute of every game this year and we can walk away from this knowing that we didn't leave anything on the table."
If there is such a thing as football justice, the Colts will lose in the first round. We have simply got to start the meme that resting your players and punting on undefeated seasons hurts your football karma, because if we ever needed a good bout of irrationality, getting professional teams to actually try to reach the true pinnacle of their sport would be a good place to start.
This is a shitty, shitty day for sports fans. The Colts ought to be ashamed of themselves.