Are you kidding me?! Unbelievable! Incredible! Amazing! Impossible! Miraculous!
It always bothers me when media, or just people in general, use those superlatives to describe a player, or event.
Well, like it or not, all those words work for Saturday night’s Wild Card weekend comeback victory that saw the Indianapolis Colts overcome a 28-point second half deficit, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44.
It’s no wonder I found myself a little teary-eyed after Andrew Luck recovered a Donald Brown fumble (after it bounced off a lineman’s helmet, hit the surface and landed perfectly into Luck’s arms) and did his best Air Jordan impersonation by slamming the ball into the end zone for a touchdown.
After back-to-back scoring drives by both teams opened the game, the Chiefs took complete control turning Colt turnovers into scores, taking a convincing 38-10 lead early in the third quarter.
It was at this time that the disgruntled Colt fan in me, that had watched them play similar games against the Cardinals and Rams earlier in the season, thought to myself, “Maybe it was time to go home.” Except I realized it was still early in the third quarter, weird stuff happens in sports (and especially the postseason) and I wouldn’t want to be that dude, plus we have Andrew Luck.
Andrew Luck, the calm and collected quarterback that continues to scurry up my Man-Crush list. Good thing it’s not laminated. I live in the Seattle area and I know a lot of people who would swear by Russell Wilson, but there’s a reason Luck was picked No. 1 overall and, despite his three interceptions, proved why there should be little doubt that if you were starting a team you’d pick him as your quarterback. Wilson is great. He has wonderful poise, never looks to get rattled, and makes plays when you think the play is busted. Luck is the same way – except better.
Not many players can comeback from tossing an interception-turned-field goal, that puts the Colts down 41-28 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter, to two more touchdowns.
If any of you have played sports you know that if you’re down (or even if you’re up by a little) your body goes into a different mode. You’re not thinking or reacting like you did at kickoff. You know you need a big play, but you don’t want to risk the big play. Unless you’re one of those elite players that don’t seem to let things rattle you. Andrew Luck is that elite player (dare I go there and say that my Man-Crush seems to lack this uniqueness?).
It was no wonder that I found myself a little teary-eyed a second time after Luck hit T.Y. Hilton for the go-ahead bomb, with four minutes remaining. “Dad, what does T.Y. stand for?” my 9-year-old son asked after Hilton scorched the Seahawks in their Week 5 win. “Thank You, T.Y. stand for Thank You!” I was thanking him for his play on Saturday.
The teams I root for (Colts and Manning’s current squad, the Broncos) had not won a playoff game since the Colts victory over the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game in 2009. Since then I’ve had the heartbreak of a Super Bowl loss, a last second game-winning field goal Wild Card loss to the Jets, the misery of a 2-14 playoff-less, Manning-less season, the disappointing loss to the Baltimore Ravens and then the misery of last year’s Bronco overtime loss to the Ravens.
It was an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. I was excited after they tied it at 7-7, I was completely frustrated when they went down 31-10, and was about to walk out at 38-10. Then they scored, and scored again, and despite a turnover, scored again and again and then again. And then you find yourself yelling and dancing in your parent’s living room, spiking your son’s blue mini-Spalding football and surprised that your team has made an incredible comeback.
And now – thanks to the Chargers win over Cincinnati – I get the matchup I had hoped for – bring on the Patriots! Why not? You’ve defeated arguably the three best teams in the NFL this season in the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, why not bring on the fourth with the New England Patriots.
And after Saturday night’s win there’s little doubt that the Colts can come into Foxborough and take out the Patriots. If the defense plays just a bit better, if Luck plays just a bit better (he had three interceptions Saturday, nine in the regular season), then why can’t they. And defeating the Evil Empire for a chance to play in the Super Bowl … Are you kidding me?! Unbelievable! Incredible! Amazing! Impossible! Miraculous!