Next season could be amazing.
Indianapolis Colts fans can legitimately utter that declaration today. Last spring, not even the most optimistic Indy backers could have imagined their 2012 NFL season would produce hopes of an AFC South Division title, a Super Bowl berth, or — dare we suggest it — another Lombardi Trophy in the coming 2013 campaign. Such aspirations are now quite valid.
For those needing reminders of the adversities overcome by the Colts in the past 10 months, we’ll briefly recap the high points.
n The club chose to release Peyton Manning, the franchise cornerstone and maybe the best NFL quarterback ever, rather than pay a $28 million signing bonus to a 36-year-old healing from a career-threatening neck injury. (Manning, of course, recovered superbly and has led the Denver Broncos to the top seed in the conference playoffs, but that is now beside the point for the Colts.)
n The Colts also turned loose numerous well-known, standout veterans, and unloaded front-office mastermind Bill Polian and head coach Jim Caldwell following a disastrous 2-14 season in 2011.
n After retooling virtually the entire operation, from the offensive and defensive lineups to the coaching staff, the Colts lost their new head coach — Chuck Pagano — less than a month into the 2012 season. Diagnosed with leukemia, the 52-year-old Pagano was hospitalized and began rigorous treatments to save his life. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians stepped in as interim head coach.
Any one of those obstacles would be burdensome enough to unravel the toughest of teams. After all, just one season earlier, the loss of Manning to his neck injury turned Indianapolis from a Super Bowl threat into the least effective team in the league. And yet, the “renovated” 2012 Colts, as Pagano always put it, found success and played with inspiration. They finished the regular season with a sterling 11-5 record. When Indy lost at Baltimore in the AFC playoffs on Sunday, 28 of the 53 players on their active roster had never played a postseason NFL game, and 14 were rookies, including Manning’s replacement, Andrew Luck. With his treatments completed just weeks earlier, Pagano was back on the sidelines Sunday, pushing to the brink his doctors’ orders to take it easy, and strengthening the spirits of millions of Americans who’ve admired his courage.
More personnel changes will come in the offseason. The loss to the Ravens revealed some shortcomings, as Baltimore pass rushers swarmed Luck all afternoon, and the Indianapolis defense got stung by several big-yardage pass plays. Still, the core is solid.
Pagano painted the picture this way …
“The foundation is set, and we said we were going to build one on rock and not on sand,” he said. “You weather storms like this and you learn from times like this. This disappointment and the feelings they all have right now, that’s what’s going to propel us to 2013 and motivate us to come back and work even harder.”
We agree. Well done, coaches Pagano and Arians, staff and players.
Colts provide a real Hoosier inspiration
Next season could be amazing.
EDITORIAL: A timely call-out of NSA critics
As if it couldn’t get worse, politicians in Washington have again tied themselves in knots.
Yes, we know. What else is new?
EDITORIAL: Insisting on ISTEP quality lawmakers’ primary duty
Now that everyone, on both sides of the aisle, seems backslappingly happy to agree that this spring’s ISTEP school testing debacle was unacceptable, that at least some of the results lack credibility and that the issue carries high-stakes significance, what next?
RONN MOTT: Not hurried a bit by 21st century tech
Unlike so many of you, I do not get up in the morning and run to turn on my computer. In fact, if you need to reach me in a hurry, I would say that 19th century invention of Alexander Bell’s would be the best way. If you do email me or use some other electronic convenience, better give it a couple of days because I am not in that big of a hurry.
EDITORIAL: And now we wait for justice
It is a word we would rather never have on our front page — homicide. That we had to use it twice on Wednesday’s front page is sad, but unavoidable.
EDITORIAL: Remembering Sister Jeanne
Terre Haute is mourning the loss this week of an accomplished and beloved community activist and leader whose life’s work is an inspiration to all who strive to serve.
EDITORIAL: Embrace the value of traffic planning
Never underestimate the value of a good plan to deal with a crisis, large or small, even if the final analysis of the management of a specific crisis is, “It could have been worse.”
EDITORIAL: It’s time to assess ISTEP
Later this month, the company behind this spring’s abysmal online administration of ISTEP testing for 27,000 Hoosier schoolchildren is being called to the principal’s office.
EDITORIAL: Fix fraud, don’t punish needy
Waste and fraud in government programs should be rooted out vigilantly. Legislation should fix a problem with a fitting solution, not punish the needy.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news: An anniversary to honor
The anniversary we observe today is one that will forever live in the soul of America.
EDITORIAL: Highway 40 — where are you?
Area residents have been trying to come to grips with the Indiana Department of Transportation’s decision to change the official route of U.S. 40 through Terre Haute and Vigo County.
EDITORIAL: Indiana’s workforce problems require broad-based solutions
The issue of Indiana’s “skills gap” arose during a community jobs fair Thursday at Hulman Center, hosted by 8th District Rep. Larry Bucshon.
EDITORIAL: Happy trails for Hoosiers
Indiana has an abundance of natural treasures that should never be considered hidden treasures.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
While not much has been spoken or written recently about the Indiana 641 corridor through southern Vigo County, rest assured development continues and the approximately six-mile project linking U.S. 41 near Ivy Tech to Indiana 46 and Interstate 70 remains — mostly — on course.
EDITORIAL: Terre Haute Tomorrow seeks to reignite community momentum
Long-range planning that brings together diverse local interests in an effort to collaborate on community improvements often launches with a flourish but then settles onto a shelf to gather dust. That was remarkably NOT the result when the group known as Terre Haute Tomorrow emerged on the scene about 10 years ago.
EDITORIAL: Women in uniform must be treated with respect, dignity
As the nation pauses this Memorial Day weekend to remember those who have served their country, it is appropriate to reflect on the contributions of women in military uniform of the U.S. armed services. They are many, and their impact is great.
The celebration season
Spring has been a bit elusive at times in 2013, which is its nature.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news: MVC tourney an event worth having
It’s been a long time since the Missouri Valley Conference chose Indiana State University to host its post-season baseball tournament, but Terre Haute had never been more prepared for an event such as this.
EDITORIAL: Cleaning up voter rolls
It’s not a lot of money in the big scheme of things, but the $2 million designated in the recent session of the General Assembly will begin the messy but necessary process of cleaning up Indiana’s voter registration rolls.
EDITORIAL: Waging the ‘readiness’ campaign
Almost every Hoosier who starts college intends to finish. Unfortunately, those who arrive on campus unprepared in key academic areas are far less likely to fulfill that aspiration.
EDITORIAL: Insult to an independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news: Dashing finish for the Sycamores
It’s always thrilling to see Indiana State University’s athletic teams do well in high-level competition, and two specific teams rose to impressive heights last weekend in the Missouri Valley Conference outdoor track and field championships.
EDITORIAL: Better monitoring needed to prevent local environmental messes
The nasty, hazardous messes lurking in the community raise a bottom-line, red-flag question. Could these environmental problems have been monitored and, thus, prevented?
EDITORIAL: Memo to U.S.A.: You can ‘SPPRAK’ just as we do in Vigo County
Our kids, truly, are ‘Making a Difference’
Some words in praise of boring government — Indiana’s
A conservative Republican governor has super majorities in both branches of the legislature. One might suspect such one-party government leads to major changes in public policy. This did not happen in 2013 in Indiana.
EDITORIAL: Doc’s prescient prescription
Viewed through a 2013 prism, Doc Bowen’s response to the AIDS epidemic looks merely prudent, routine.
EDITORIAL: Education remains worth the cost
Within the next few weeks, each of the local colleges will have conducted graduation ceremonies. A few days later, a different Class of 2013 will don caps and gowns for commencement — the seniors at five Vigo County high schools. It is still a smart, worthy aspiration for those high school grads to replicate the achievement of those college students by earning a higher-education degree.
EDITORIAL: Good news for downtown
For decades, it seems, downtown Terre Haute has been in the throes of change
EDITORIAL: Overall, state budget step in the right direction
For average Hoosiers uninterested in political point-scoring, the budget crafted by the Indiana Legislature inspires only muted, if any, fanfare.
EDITORIAL: The lessons of organ donation
The range of emotion surrounding life-saving transplantation of a vital organ is extreme. It is the ultimate “good news-bad news” scenario.
READERS’ FORUM: April 26, 2013
• Pence’s tax cuts benefit wealthiest
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- EDITORIAL: A timely call-out of NSA critics