So what is the state of the Colts nation? It’s not very good. I have had interactions with many people whom I know are die-hard Colts fans who would much rather give up on this team than try and defend them any longer. I can’t say I’m far from that, but I’m not quite there. I have heard and read that people call us “spoiled” fans because our team is having a bad year. To that I say, “Yes, we are spoiled.” We have been fortunate enough to see our team go to the playoffs and have winning seasons more than many of the other fan bases around the NFL. We have had the luxury of having back-to-back franchise quarterbacks in this city in which both brought a winning culture with them. If that makes us spoiled then call me a spoiled fan all you want. They are calling Colts Nation spoiled fans because so many people are jumping on and off the train based on how the Colts played that week. They call Colts fans spoiled because of the way we act when things don’t go the way they should. They call us spoiled because we complain about having a bad season. You’re damn right we do. We are used to watching our boys in blue make it to the playoffs every year. We are used to watching the Colts win the AFC South every year no matter how good or bad the division is that season. These are things that we all expect. When things sway from the norm people get pissed. That’s what is happening to this fan base right now. People are pissed and I can’t blame them.
Now for older Colts fans who remember the days of Jack Trudeau and Jeff George, like me, we are grateful for what we have. We are grateful to have watched Peyton and Andrew lead our team to things we hadn’t seen in the early 90’s. In 1995 we had a taste, but that was it. The “old-school” Indianapolis Colts fans know what it is like to have a terrible season and have a team that you have a hard time getting behind. We remember the blackouts from the NFL because the Hoosier Dome didn’t sell out yet again so we would have to listen to it on the radio. I remember many of my friends and their families being so excited when the Colts drafted Marshall Faulk that they were crying. Same thing happened when Peyton was drafted. Did that happen when Luck was drafted? Nope. Why? Because we were all used to the winning tradition that now many Colts fans refer to the 2011 season as “the season” and that is it. That season is treated like Voldemort.
I’m not calling the new generation Colts fan ungrateful by any means, but those fans don’t know what it is like to have multiple bad seasons back-to-back. Yes, there were bad seasons before “the season”, but it was a short lived nightmare. I remember going to games when I was younger and seeing Colts fans with bags over their heads. I remember it was shameful to be a Colts fan and not a Cowboys or 49ers fan.
The state of Colts Nation isn’t good right now and it’s understandable. The expectations were set so high that when the castle walls fell it seemed like this team was sent back to square one. That isn’t the case. Will they make the playoffs this season? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean this team is all bad. There are a lot of pieces missing that will HAVE to be put into place by the start of next season to make this team the giant we usually are.