Is The Colts And Patriots Rivalry Really Back On?
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INDIANAPOLIS – Chris Ballard had fielded the final of 29 questions thrown at him on Wednesday morning.
He appeared to be done, having paused for a few seconds after his final answer in which he thanked the media in attendance.
But Ballard had one more thing to say.
“The rivalry is back on,” Ballard said.
Those 5 words sent all the feels through his fan base, in a line that is half cheesy, but much-needed for a fan base desperate for any life right now.
The Indianapolis Colts are suffering through a period unlike any other in franchise history.
Their star quarterback remains broken, having barely picked up a football in 13 months.
They are the only NFL team without a head coach, after Josh McDaniels stuck his middle finger at them and returned to the team Indy so much despises.
Is the rivalry---the on-the-field aspect of it---actually back on?
But the hatred for the New England Patriots is still alive and well in the city of Indianapolis.
The latest installment came earlier this week.
Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick swayed Josh McDaniels to stay in New England, after the Patriots offensive coordinator went back on his word of agreeing to become the new head coach in Indianapolis.
In Ballard’s eyes, he did not feel betrayed by McDaniels’ decision, nor does he think this was New England trying to twist the dagger into the Colts one more time.
“Josh called me, made a decision he’s not coming,” Ballard said of the Tuesday night phone call. “I don’t deal with New England. I have no idea what they’re thinking.
“People make decisions. People tell people ‘no’ every day. That’s his prerogative and that’s his choice. And he chose not to be an Indianapolis Colt. That’s okay. We’ll move forward.”
But Ballard still couldn’t walk away from that podium on Wednesday without dropping those 5 words that were turned into a t-shirt less than an hour after the press conference was over.
Football wise, the Patriots have been the Colts’ daddy for nearly a decade now.
New England has won 7 straight games over Indianapolis, by an average of 19 points.
The Patriots have scored at least 31 points in all of those meetings.
The 2009 season was the last time the Colts beat the Patriots. Josh McDaniels was the head coach of the Denver Broncos then. Adam Vinatieri is easily the only Colt still on the roster from 2009.
Of course, after a rare two-year hiatus from playing each other (Indy and New England had met in every season from 2003-15), the Colts and Patriots will meet this season in Foxborough.
Well, after the last few days, we know of one definite primetime game coming for the NFL in 2018.
Let’s see if the Colts can do their part on the field to get this rivalry truly ‘back on.’