The Greatest Season

The team had gone 13 and 0 on the season with three games remaining. And the remainder of their schedule was what you would consider “soft”. After they had pulled two touchdowns ahead, in the middle of the third quarter, the coach pulled the starting quarterback, deciding that the playoffs were more important than the remaining three games.

The coach would say that the owners had spoken with him and they decided the Super Bowl win was most important. As one of the bigwigs put it: Getting in the record books was the most important thing.

What in the world was that #&$%#&@ thinking?!?

Most fans could not tell you off the top of their head who won Super Bowl XVII or even Super Bowl XXXIII. But any fan could tell you who went completely undefeated ALL season to win the Super Bowl: the Miami Dolphins.

Zip! No one else. Bingo!

Now, what silly record book was this guy thinking about??

So, which was most important? One look at Peyton Manning’s face as he stood on the sideline and watched his team lose the lead in the fourteenth game of the season told it all.

What should have happened at that point was that the coach should have woken up and put Manning back in.

I believe they would have gone 14-0, then 15-0, 16-0, and would have been riding so high that I think they could have coasted through the playoffs to win the Super Bowl. Seeing them go undefeated after the Giants had snuffed out New England’s dream of that honor a couple of years before, would have been monumental.

And that would truly have been one for the record books.

As it was, they finished the season 14-2 and got creamed in the big game.

The owners and the coaches forgot the importance of momentum, inertia, passion.

And without passion, how can one player ever hope to elevate the game to something more?

In this season, when we have no Peyton Manning to watch, I wonder if that season ever comes to his mind. Hopefully not. The really great ones rarely look back with regrets. They remain focused on the future.

Leaving such minuscule conundrums to the fans who can only enjoy the glory through a more passive role. And dream of the Greatest Season that never happened but was once so close, so very much a possibility. But stolen by a group of suits that seem a little distant from what the game is really all about.

And I understand that too well because I am a Redskins fan.

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