The Steelers would need a little less help next Sunday if the Indianapolis Colts didn't sit their top players for the second half of their game against the New York Jets on Monday. But instead, coach Jim Caldwell decided that perfection means nothing, allowing the Jets to rally and win.
Granted, the Steelers wouldn't be in this mess if they beat Chicago, Cincinnati (either time), Cleveland, Oakland, Baltimore or Kansas City. If they miss the playoffs, it's not the Colts' fault, it's their own.
But I can still be upset. Aside from the homer mentality, I'm peeved that a coach backed away from a chance at history. This might be a stretch, but how many great things would our society be missing if people were afraid to get hurt? Or if they didn't aspire for greatness and perfection? Would we have the light bulb, skyscrapers or individually wrapped cheese slices? Hell no!
I realize that the examples above are a lot bigger to the world, but it's still a valid point. We can find examples in sports. Look at Ted Williams. Going into the final two games of the season in 1941, he was batting .39955, which would have been rounded up to .400 at the time. His coach offered, the key word here is offered, to hold Teddy Ballgame out of the lineup to preserve his .400 season. Williams said no, went 4-for-5 in the first game and 2-for-3 in the second game of the double header. He finished the season with an average of .406.
Once again, I picked an example that is somewhat different. The coach was offering for Williams' chance at history, not because he wanted him to rest for a playoff run. But still! How many Colts players wanted to sit out the second half? I doubt any of them did, and they should have been given the choice. Your team has a bye in the first round, rest then!
From another perspective; how would you feel if you were a Colts fan who bought tickets to that game for Christmas, or any reason? You think you're going to see the best team in the league, and instead you get a preseason game. Would you feel cheated? I think I would.
There is no doubt the Colts earned the right to rest, but there is no guarantee Peyton Manning would get hurt if he played the second half. He's started almost 200 consecutive games, so I think there is very good chance he would have been fine had he stayed in.
Enough ranting. I just don't understand why you wouldn't strive for perfection if it was in your grasp. I was a few seconds away from reciting some Eminem rhymes to emphasize my point, but I held back.
Al Pacino - Peace With Inches (Not a song, but I love it!)