The post-Peyton Colts have 3,000 season tickets available, even after going through their waiting list. Which gives the term “waiting” a far different meaning.
After a 2-14 season in 2011 and in recognition of the reality that the Colts were 3-13 in Peyton Manning’s rookie season, Colts fans aren’t waiting for the ability to buy tickets. They’re waiting for a team that gives them a reason to.
Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star is “shocked” (and possibly perplexed) by the availability of season tickets, and he thinks those who are choosing to wait for a winner will regret their decision, in time.
“We’re not a football town or a basketball town; we’re a winners town,” Kravitz writes. “More specifically, a Peyton Manning town. You win, people show. You lose, people go to the movies instead.”
Or maybe watch the Broncos game.
“My guess is that the people who gave up their Colts tickets are going to rue the day they made that decision, one I’m guessing was more emotional than economic,” Kravitz concludes.
He could be right, but the dynamics in Indy aren’t uncommon. Other than Green Bay, where fans gladly will invest thousands per year to participate in an open-air religious experience at Lambeau Field even if the team is 0-16 every season, fans want to believe that there’s a chance they’ll experience the thrill of victory, more often than not. If the odds point more heavily toward defeat, it makes more sense to watch the home team from the man cave, while also keeping an eye on the Red Zone channel and whatever games come before and/or after the game that otherwise would be witnessed in person.
Those who are choosing to take a respite from renewal notices are also taking a calculated risk. If Andrew Luck becomes Peyton Manning, the only part of Lucas Oil Stadium they’ll see is the brick façade.
Until the next time the team is transitioning from one franchise quarterback to another.