TERRE HAUTE — They’re not who we thought they were.
Not the Chicago Bears. The Indianapolis Colts are not the Super Bowl favorites we thought when coach Tony Dungy’s team prepared for the season at Rose-Hulman.
The season’s not over but the demoralizing loss to Jacksonville might put an end to serious Super Bowl aspirations for Indy fans.
The Chargers are just too good on both sides of the ball — how is anyone going to stop LaDainian Tomlinson? The Ravens are still looking tough. The Bengals are even playing defense now.
With another loss Monday night against Cincinnati, the Colts might prove that they’re fourth best team in the AFC.
The league’s worst rush defense will be impossible to overcome in the playoffs.
“It’s fixable,” Tony Dungy has said.
Injuries to Bob Sanders, Antoine Bethea and Mike Doss have hurt, and Corey Simon’s early-season loss was detrimental.
If the Colts can overcome that defense, it will be because Peyton Manning has some superhuman playoff performances.
Tribune-Star sportswriter David Hughes says he could block for sports editor Todd Golden and I and we could pick up some yards against the Colts.
Hughes might be a little delirious; he is at home recovering from the effects of a surgery to repair a torn right triceps.
Hughes suffered the injury while lifting weights Dec. 6 when his triceps shredded in three places. He underwent surgery to repair the muscle Tuesday.
We’re not sure when we’ll have Hughes back in the office, but his wife Lisa said she’d be glad to give him back to us. We could definitely use him.
The 47-year-old last competed in powerlifting competition in 1999. He won three national championships in the American Drug Free Power Lifting Association.
“My serious power lifting days are probably over,” said Hughes, who is struggling to get his range of motion back and still hurting from the effects of the surgery. He will continue seeing an occupational therapist, but it could take 10 to 12 months to get back to normal.
David began power lifting back in 1978 as a lanky Indiana State student, “who onced dunked on Larry Bird.”
His absence is a jolt to our sports department. And we all wish him well in recovering and maintaining an active lifestyle.
David had plans to attend the Colts game against Cincinnati on Monday night, but now he’ll be able to stay home to monitor his fantasy football playoff matchup against this writer’s division champion team.
Our matchup will no doubt come down to Monday night as Hughes’ lineup consists of Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne in addition to Bengals’ kicker Shayne Graham.
I’ll have Carson Palmer left to help maintain my lead so I’ll root for another four-touchdown performance from Joseph Addai as the Colts win 34-28. Good luck Dave.
• Need a good laugh? — Ron Artest’s advice to Allen Iverson: “Just go out and play the game. In my case, I wanted to be traded, but at the same time, I wanted to play, and play to win.”
It’s unlikely, but Allen Iverson in a Pacers uniform alongside his good buddy Jermaine O’Neal would be a beautiful thing.
Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird are no doubt exploring it, but Philadelphia will do all they can to send Iverson to the Western Conference.
Craig Pearson can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone after 4 p.m. at (812) 231-4357.
TERRE HAUTE — They’re not who we thought they were.
- Given to Fly
GIVEN TO FLY: Come to expect new standards of excellence
Records are definitely meant to be broken; athletes today are faster and stronger than those in the past in many endeavors in athletics.
GIVEN TO FLY: ISU women have solid recruiting class
The caliber of athletes that the Indiana State women’s basketball coaching staff is bringing in is on an upswing.
GIVEN TO FLY: Major leaguers John, Dorsett meet up at tonight’s game
Terre Haute’s only two big leaguers of the last 50 years — Tommy John and Brian Dorsett — will catch up with one another today.
FOOT NOTES: Valley natives perform well on national stage
Several Wabash Valley natives continue to shine on the national track and field scene.
'Til It's Over: Sycamores ‘in a good place,’ but searching for more in MVC
Can Teri Moren lift Indiana State, last year’s seventh-place team in the Missouri Valley Conference, to one of the league’s contenders in her first year on campus?
'Til It's Over: Two sets of identical twins should keep North Central baseball a contender
The last high school baseball team standing in the Wabash Valley was the North Central, the Thunderbirds falling short 4-3 in the Class A Semistate on Saturday just one game shy of Victory Field.
'Til It's Over: Jarvis, Anderson confident Olney, hard work leads to Division I dream
Olney, Ill., population 8,000-plus and known for its population of white squirrels, might not be the dream destination for high school basketball players in Indiana.
'Til It's Over: Robinson 7-footer more focused in postseason; 6-foot Jones keeps producing
Robinson 7-footer Meyers Leonard is not going to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA some day, but his odds of reaching the league are pretty solid if his game continues to evolve as it has during high school.
- 'Til It's Over: ‘Stepping stone’ game points Sycamores in right direction Whether the win comes against a top-25 team or a conference pushover, ending a four-game losing streak is always a relief.
- 'Til It's Over: Indianapolis ISU recruit rolling along in senior season As Indiana State recruit Anna Munn approached Christmas with the Decatur Central basketball team, the senior guard didn’t seem to need much of a wishlist.
- 'Til It's Over: Magic’s still there for '79 Sycamores For the former Indiana State players who visited the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in late November, the weekend was a chance to relive memories with teammates and see Larry Bird’s career with the Sycamores celebrated again.
- CRAIG PEARSON: North has strong history in cross country state finals Vigo County is home to just four IHSAA state championships in team sports. Most recently, Terre Haute South won girls titles in basketball (2002) and tennis (2001).
- 'Till It's Over: It’s been rough year but no need to break up Cubs' core Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is only in the first year of a three-year contract, and aren’t back-to-back division championships enough to keep him around despite this year’s season filled with bad luck?
- 'Til It's Over: Hansbrough, Hibbert give Pacers glimpse of future You might have heard of the Indiana Pacers’ 2009 first-round draft pick. He was on the television once in a while during his four-year career at North Carolina.
- 'Til It's Over: Bertoli, Moore put on show in abundance of events “Anthony and Erica” may not have the marketing capability of “Dan and Dave,” but neither of Indiana State’s outstanding multi-event participants had let-down performances this weekend in the Missouri Valley Conference Championships.
- ‘Walking wounded’: ISU seniors return to provide spark All three ISU seniors will graduate in May, and all three will be in uniform today as Indiana State battles Bradley in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament quarterfinals.
- Given to Fly: Northview standout runner Thacker coming to ISU Doc Brown told an old-timer in a saloon in “Back to the Future III” that despite having automobiles in the future people run for recreation.
- Given to Fly: Schilli’s Rodman-like performance aids ISU With Indiana State’s women’s basketball team ranking eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference in field-goal percentage (36.5), the Sycamores need as many shot attempts as possible to maintain their standing on top of the league.
- Given to Fly: A classic in every sense of the word What tournament director and co-founder Gary Fears had in mind when creating the tournament came to fruition Tuesday. Marshall, with an enrollment of 438 students, became the smallest school to win the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic in the ninth season of the tourney.
- Given to Fly: ISU women should build confidence off strong outing Indiana State did not pull off the monumental upset Saturday against No. 23 Kansas State, but the Wildcats are —aside from Connecticut in 2005 — the best team the Sycamores have played in the Jim Wiedie era.
- Given to Fly: ISU women's hoops team slides onto commercial radio Coach Jim Wiedie expects the Indiana State women’s basketball team to have a bit of a retro feel this season, meaning the Sycamores have the potential to get back to creating havoc with their full-court press.
- Given to Fly: ISU vets hope to prove pundits wrong Indiana State’s only two seniors were surprised to see they were picked ahead of just three Missouri Valley Conference women’s basketball teams Tuesday morning.
Footnotes: In first marathon, former Sycamore comes out a winner
Indiana State graduate Dani Prince made her debut in the event with a victory in the Columbus Marathon on Sunday.
Prince’s goal was a time under 2 hours and 50 minutes, and she ran a 2:48.56.
Given To Fly: ISU volleyball turning things around
It was an extremely busy weekend for Indiana State athletics this weekend.
- Footnotes: Here’s hoping perfect weather is still around for Nationals in November The weather made for a perfect fall afternoon Saturday at LaVern Gibson Championship Course. For what it’s worth, the Farmer’s Almanac calls for more sunny conditions from Nov. 20-24, with the NCAA Championships falling on the 24th this year.
- Terre Haute natives cherish memories of ‘House that Ruth Built’ Yankee Stadium was packed as usual on Easter Sunday in 1979. George Steinbrenner’s Yankees were one loss away from being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers to start the season. That was no way for the two-time defending World Series champions to perform, so the boss had a conversation with his new veteran left-handed starting pitcher prior to the game.
- Footnotes: Oregon men and women have strangehold on preseason NCAA cross countryrankings The Oregon men and women were almost both unanimous picks as the No. 1 teams in the nation in the preseason cross country national rankings released recently.
- Given to Fly: Bronze medalist has strong ISU ties One of the remarkable American medalists of this 2008 Olympics thus far also provided one of the most sparkling stories in the brief history of the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course here in Terre Haute.
- Former ISU QB gets back to Amarillo This week, Indiana State signed its most highly-touted football prospect in years, and former quarterback Julian Reese is ripping it up for the Amarillo Dusters of Arena2.
- Indiana State track sending strong group to NCAA regional Three sophomore women and three senior men lead a large Indiana State contingent of track and field athletes into the NCAA Mideast Regional this weekend at Fayetteville, Ark.
- More Given to Fly Headlines
- GIVEN TO FLY: Come to expect new standards of excellence