I'm guessing if anyone tried to pitch this script, they'd get laughed out of the room. (Then again, nobody's writing any scripts these days. Right?)
Let's see, this football team flamed out in the postseason, replaced its coach, then started the next season 1-3. The public screamed, demanding accountability or at least a scalp or two. Yet this team fought back to 5-5, then reeled off a winning streak. And in its biggest game of the year, the star running back and the star quarterback were injured, on the road, against the defending champs ... and the little-used backups saved the day.
Nah. Totally unbelievable. Too Disney. Too trite, too corny, too ... true?Face it, the only way the Chargers can improve on this script is to go into New England and beat the undefeated Patriots, then go to the Super Bowl and win, and then sign that stadium deal with Chula Vista.
It can't happen. Can it?
* * *
Incidentally, I was struck by one thing in particular in Indianapolis Sunday afternoon, as the favored Colts saw their chances of defending their Super Bowl title go down in a blizzard of incomplete passes.
Walking downstairs to the locker room level, I was surrounded by a gaggle of Colts fans, all wearing some sort of team gear. They were disappointed, of course. They'd hoped for and expected better. But there was no anger, no finger-pointing, no looking for someone to blame.
I don't know. Maybe that's manifesting itself on the call-in shows back there today. But Colts fans struck me as being very much like St. Louis baseball fans, and maybe it's just a trait of the heartland. They love their team, win or lose, and rather than looking for scapegoats or demanding changes, they take a "get 'em next year" approach.
That's good, because it shows an uncommon perspective. Of course, I wonder if that also makes it easier for a player to fail, knowing that he's not going to be on the same hot seat as he might be in, say, New York or Philly? (Or even, to a degree, Los Angeles.)
Gee, you think Peyton and Eli Manning compare notes on what they hear from their respective fans? Peyton's going to be living off his accomplishments and his championship for a long time in Indy. Eli is in the quintessential "what have you done for me lately" town, and I'm not sure even winning feeds the beast in New York. I'm sure his performance, even in victory, is being picked over pretty well today.