Well, it was a great game. It was raining, ball was slippery, and Manning finally got his ring. But what about the last three minutes of the fourth… Why didn’t the Colts kick the ball? For those of us who just had the urge to bet Colts ‑7 and over 47/47.5/48—that was the big question.
A couple of factors played its part on this outcome. Here’s some that I know:
- Bad weather. It was raining so the ball was a bit slippery, and it was too risky to air it out if you are Manning and facing Chicago’s defense. This is a plus for the Bears from the getgo as they’ve played in this type of weather (as most analyst thought from the beginning).
- Running the ball can run the clock out.
- Vinatieri wasn’t that automatic tonight. I doubt that he was solely to blame. First of all, Hunter Smith couldn’t get the ball in place. But he wasn’t to blame as well… it was pouring down hard for Christ’s sake. Also, laces were out if I recall correctly. Although, kicking the FG would’ve score 3 more points, and still guaranteed the Colts a win even if the Bears score a TD.
- The Mafia and their control of the Vegas/handicapping boards(?)
Meanwhile, though you might think that that decision was pretty bad (as I did in terms of straight out playing to win with exclamation, we-deserve-this mentality by the Colts), there is… the Human factor. So what factor am I talking about you say? H‑U-M-A‑N factor… like the commercial. Even though Gatorade was more likely in the Colts tonight, they were also very good sportsmen.
The sportsmanlike conduct in not trying to humiliate your opponent w/ less than three minutes left wasn’t really the first thing that came to people’s mind (those who wagered for the over for sure). It wasn’t on top my list when I was thinking about it for sure (thanks to Ces for shining light on the subject). But it was in the Colts, and especially Coach Dungy’s. Don’t forget, Coach Smith and Coach Dungy are good friends after all. Ahhh, the Human factor—one reason why I love Sports.
Now, if only the rest of us can take the positive things that we find in everyday things (like Sports) and transcend that energy to the world we live in… what a better place it would be right?
From my mind to yours, the Human factor.