2007 Watch: Why the Indianapolis Colts Will Not Win the Championship
January 31, 2007
I had once again hoped that ‘designed’lateral would write this piece. I tried to call his cell phone, but it did not ring; I sent him e-mails, but they bounced back; I sent him post only to receive a notice from the Postman that Mr. Lateral would only accept mail in Latin. Finally, I called the main switchboard of Le Monde Diplomatique, where Mr. Lateral writes a weekly structuralist analysis on American Football called, “Barthes’ Barbaric Extra Point,” and they informed me that he was off the grid, trapped in the Burmese mountains trying to find the last vestige of proto-football. They say they occasionally receive notes from him via semaphore, each more brilliant than the next. We all hope he lives.
But the show must go on, and someone must explain why the Indianapolis Colts will not be victorious, why the modern monsters of the midway will defeat their rivals. There are many reasons, but, once again, here are four.
1. The Obama Factor. Is it just a coincidence that Barack Obama’s campaign has skyrocketed at the same time that the Bears have managed to crush their playoff foes? Of course not! Once the media has a theme, they stick with it. Right now Illinois is in (perhaps its time for Sufjan to record an Illinois 3?) and Indiana is out. Barack Obama is on the ascent, and Senator Lugar is on the decline, losing the chairmanship of the foreign relations committee to our beloved Joe Biden. Even if the Bears somehow lose the game, the media will somehow spin the story into a Bears/Illinois victory. I’d stake my pulitzer on it!
2. The Billy Joel Factor. Fresh off his legendary performance singing the National Anthem at game one of the 2000 World Series, Billy Joel has been invited to perform the national anthem at the Superbowl (he was not the NFL’s first choice; Radiohead had been booked, but hilarity ensued when they believed the NFL wanted them to perform their song “national anthem,” and not the well known Francis Scott Key ditty). As you may remember, the 2000 World Series was the “subway” series between the Mets-Yankees, with New York coming out victorious. While some are concerned that Mr. Joel will appear drunk, or otherwise confused, a much bigger source of worry would appear to be the little known clause in Mr. Joel’s contract that he will only perform national anthems at sporting events featuring crosstown rivals. The NFL is obviously carrying on some sort of deception involving Mr. Joel; they’ve probably convinced him that the Bears are playing the Chicago Cardinals. They only way to keep the elaborate ruse going is to have the Bears win…
3. “Naptown.” Lo, the power of nicknames! Would people have really respected Michael Jordan if his nickname was “pony” and not “his airness?” Would people have respected the Dude if he wasn’t also known by “His Dudeness” or “El Duderino” if you aren’t into the whole brevity thing? Chicago, Chi-town, the Windy City, The Paris of the Prairies, has many fine nicknames. Indianapolis has Naptown. While some believe that the name derives from indiaNAPolis, there is also the highly regarded theory that it is called Naptown because there is nothing to do there. We here at the Salad believe it is called Naptown because of the sleep epidemic of aught 3, when the Yawner, in another ingenious ploy to steal the Rich fortune, put the entire town under a yawning spell. This is reflected by the fact that Indianapolis hispanics call the city, “city of siestas.” (not a joke.) Regardless of its origin, the fact remains that the city is at a severe disadvantage in the nickname department, a sure sign of defeat.
4. Whither Screech? While Chicago has been home to many sitcoms, Indianapolis has been sadly left out as a setting for situation comedies. One notable sitcom to have been based there, however, was “Good Morning Miss Bliss,” the forerunner of the much more popular “Saved By the Bell.”
But hard times have befallen our Baysiders. Since Elizabeth Berkeley (unfortunately, not the Duchess of Beaufort) decided to bear all in the worst Paul Verhoeven movie, her career has run dry; she was last seen IN THE AUDIENCE of “Dancing With the Stars” cheering on Mario Lopez. Mark Paul Gosselaar has proved to be Steven Bocho’s bad-luck charm, appearing in the final seasons of “NYPD,” and only seasons of “Commander in Chief,” and “Over There.” And who can forget Dustin Diamond, broke star of a possibly fake sex tape? Given the world’s desire for parallel storylines, it’s hard not to see how Indianapolis will win, how they can be anything other than a parallel manifestation of the decline of the “Saved By the Bell”-ians. On the plus side, a Colts victory can only mean one thing: reunion specials!