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While it seems much, much longer, it has been 3 weeks since the Ravens fell to the Colts. The loss was something none of us anticipated â€“ one many never even considered. It was as though beating the Colts was a foregone conclusion and as a result the loss morphed from shocking initially to extremely bitter.
For some the bitterness remains.
Leading into last nightâ€™s Super Bowl XLI, like so many others here in Baltimore, I dreaded the thought of Jimmy Irsay hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and the Indianapolis Colts being World Champions. The Colts as champions right on the heels of a Steelers’ World Championship campaign seemed just a little too unfair.
As the clock ticked away while Rex Grossman completed his best impersonation of Kyle Boller on his worst day and it became increasingly apparent that the Colts would win, I wasnâ€™t as uncomfortable or agitated as I thought Iâ€™d be. Was I ready to emphatically proclaim that I indeed was over it?
It wasnâ€™t like I suddenly jumped into a phone booth and emerged as a Super Colts fan. But I must admit as the inevitable approached reality, the idea of a Colts Super Bowl win to my surprise did not bother me.
The true test I thought would be when Jim Nantz and Roger Goodell presented Irsay with that Lombardi. Then I would know for sure if I was experiencing a momentary lapse of reasoning or if this lack of emotion was the result of watching a boring Super Bowl.
It was neither.
When Irsay finally stepped up upon that stage to receive the most coveted of trophies (at least in this country) and my pulse was steady and there was no noticeable tension in my body language I knew that I had arrived. I am officially over it!
I wasnâ€™t happy, I wasnâ€™t sad â€“ I felt nothing. Even had the Bears won, I donâ€™t think that I would have felt any differently. During the gameâ€™s opening kick, I only managed a mild â€œalrightâ€ as Devin Hester crossed the goal line. Indifference and apathy gripped my emotional state, perhaps still a bit numb from the disappointment of the Ravensâ€™ playoff loss to the Colts.
Besides, I reasoned, Peyton Manning in many ways the poster child of the NFL whose work ethic is matched only by his outstanding talent, deserved the chance to get that gorilla off his back. Tony Dungy, the consummate gentleman who redefines the meaning of class and dignity deserved to be called a champion.
And then there was Reggie Wayne who lost his brother and Gary Brackett who lost his parents and a brother within a span of 17 months. They too deserved to experience the thrill of the ultimate victory and in a small way curb the pain of their devastating losses.
Just last Friday in my blog, I wrote that I was sick to death of Peyton Manning. Yesterday, despite a non-Manning-like performance, I could only admire. After all thatâ€™s what winners do right? They win when they arenâ€™t playing their best.
Manning is a winner. The Indianapolis Colts are winners. And I donâ€™t even care.