Should The Colts Lose Their Last Game Of The Season On Purpose So They Can Draft Andrew Luck?
We’re pretty sure Indianapolis Colts fans didn’t expect this to happen. Two weeks ago, it was a very real possibility that the Colts could become the laughingstock of the NFL by losing their last three games and going 0-16 overall. The thought, though, was the Colts would be the one’s getting the last laugh in April when they selected Andrew Luck with the first pick overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. That was a very good consolation prize given the season the Colts have had. But then, a funny thing started to happen: The Colts started to win.
They notched their first win two weeks ago at home against the Tennessee Titans, winning 27-13 to give them a 1-13 record. The city cheered loudly like the team was en route to a Super Bowl victory as the final seconds ticked off the clock during the game. Finally! seemed to be the overwhelming response to the win. They wouldn’t go 0-16 and they were still set up to get Luck. But they didn’t stop there. Just four days later during a Thursday Night Football game, the Colts won again. This time, they bested the Houston Texans 19-16 and did it by orchestrating a last-minute drive down the field to win the game. At that point, Finally!, was no longer the rallying cry. Instead, it turned to, Whyyyyyyy!
You see, the Colts need to be the worst team, record-wise, overall in order to get the No. 1 draft pick next spring. And it looked like that was going to be pretty easy to do when they were 0-13. But as they enter their final game, they now stand to lose by winning. As in, if they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars this week and the St. Louis Rams lose their game, they’ll actually lose the No. 1 slot in the draft to the Rams. Pretty insane, right?
So, if you’re the Colts, what do you do here? Do you play to beat the Jags—or do you put in a bunch of second and third-string players and let them lose the game for you? To be honest, this game has absolutely no bearing on anything and is virtually meaningless outside of the draft standings, so throwing the game on purpose isn’t a bad idea. It’s pretty damn smart actually. But I still think that, as professional football players, you owe it to yourself, your fans, your city, and football as a whole to do everything in your power to win every time you set foot on the field. The practical thing may be to lose. But, if you’re a true fan of the Colts, a Colts player, or someone in Colts ownership, how does losing on purpose sit with you? It shouldn’t sit very well. Blowing a game on purpose isn’t the right way to build a championship team. But it is the way to facilitate a losing attitude within a franchise.
Ultimately, the Colts need to take a good long look at themselves before they play the Jags and figure out how they want to handle this. Losing gives them a chance to draft Luck. But, what if he doesn’t to join Indy? What if he demands a trade? Or, worst of all, what if Luck ends up being a huge bust? The Colts need to go out Sunday, play their best, and let whatever happens as a result of it happen. The future of their franchise is depending on it. And with a little luck, they’ll end up landing Luck anyway.