Colts raise “AFC Finalist” banner

I thought the headline was from The Onion, and that the image was the product of fairly rudimentary PhotoShop skills.

I was wrong on both counts.

The Colts have placed in the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium a banner that declares them “2014 AFC Finalist.”

While technically accurate, it’s not the typical cause for permanent celebration in a sport that values championships.  The Colts didn’t win one last year, other than the AFC South crown.

Making the gesture even more curious is the team’s direct role in sparking the #DeflateGate controversy. But as noted by TheIndyChannel.com, it’s not the first time the Colts have commemorated a loss in the Conference Championship round; they also have banners for 1995 and 2003.

But this one carries extra weight because it serves as a reminder that the Patriots (according to investigator Ted Wells) cheated in the AFC title game by using underinflated footballs for the first half. It also will serve as a reminder to the Patriots when they arrive in October that the Colts instigated the investigation and ensuing punishment.

And that alone should have been enough to persuade the Colts to stick with a “2014 AFC South Champions” banner.

112 responses to “Colts raise “AFC Finalist” banner

  1. 75% of the Colts balls were deflated in that game…. could be more, we’ll never know. Shouldnt that banner say “We played too*?”

  2. Most years, a 3rd place game in the NFL would be more entertaining than the Super Bowl.

    A Colts/Pack 3rd place game would have been great as a Pats/9ers the year before.

    Put that in there instead of the stupid Pro Bowl.

  3. That banner will actually serve as a happy reminder for the Patriots, who beat the Colts with a stick that night – just as they did the last three times before it for a combined 189-73.

    I can’t imagine the Patriots ever hanging a banner for a loss – especially as big a one as that.

  4. One word reaction: Embarassing

    Colt Nation you need to get a petition going and take that down.
    Take the other two down while you are at it.
    Or the alternative is to enjoy it FOREVER. smh

  5. Embarassing. Screams of “Carry cash in a garbage bag” Irsay needing some validation and a pat on the back, and puts it up there for his own satisfaction.

    I’m sure he’ll come up with some excuse as if it’s to “show how close we came, and what we have to do to take the next step”, but dollars to donuts, its so he can feel warm inside that 2014 was a better year on the field than it was in his personal life.

  6. I am sure the Pats will be shaking in their boots. While they are really laughing their a$$e$ off. I mean is it a third, or fourth place trophy?

  7. The Colts lost the championship game, but the other team got caught cheating. The right thing to do would have been to send the Colts to the super bowl. Now there is no incentive to play by the rules. The league really botched this one. If I were the Colts, I’d raise a world championship banner. Nobody beat them legally. I’m not one to constantly knock the commissioner. I think he’s done a good job overall. But this was uncharted waters, and he choked on this one.

  8. Whatever helps Irsay sleep at night, but he probably didn’t stop to think about how stupid this makes the team look. I can’t think of any other team that puts up a banner to commemorate a conference championship loss. It’s not something you want to remember, and especially when you get your doors blown off on national tv

  9. Tonebones… Nobody beat the Colts legally? The only person documented to tamper a ball is the Colts equipment guy. Colts is a bunch of snitchers and liars. The Patriots won the SB fair and square. The Colts can go hang. 45-7 choke on that.

  10. When your team had Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, and only won one Super Bowl, you have to celebrate bowel movements.

  11. They made their own participation trophy. A constant reminder of their failure, that’s awesome.

  12. @tonebones:

    The right thing to do would have been to send the Colts to the super bowl.

    * * * ** * * ** * * *

    So we can watch the Seahawks pound the living daylights out of a team for the second superbowl in a row? Please.

    Either send the Packers to the superbowl or the Ravens. At least those 2 would’ve stood a chance . . . . . even if the LOB really was banged up beyond all reason.

  13. “The Colts lost the championship game, but the other team got caught cheating. The right thing to do would have been to send the Colts to the super bowl.”

    Hard to have so many facts wrong in just two sentences.

    1. No, the Patriots did not get caught cheating.

    2. The Colts played with balls under 12.5 psi the whole game; the Patriots only played with balls below 12.5 psi for one half (due to natural causes per the NFL’s expert and it head referee).

    3. In the second half, with the Colts playing with balls below 12.5 psi and the Pats playing with balls above 12.5 psi the score was Patriots 28 – Colts 0.

    4. Teams that get beat on the field of play 45-7 in the AFCCG don’t deserve a berth in the super bowl.

  14. That’s just plain embarrassing. Every Colt fan in the nation just threw up their mouth. Test Irsay now.

  15. Pathetic. But it’s not as pathetic as hanging a banner for winning a division: “Yay! We’re division champs! We beat, well OK, only three other teams, and that’s pretty neat!” Uh, no, it’s not, especially if you finished with an 8-8 record (or worse).

    Now, if the NFL did the right thing by re-aligning to 4 division of 8 teams each, then that would be cause to hang a division championship banner. But I digress.

  16. The right thing to do would have been to send the Colts to the super bowl ??? WTH
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This is the Delusional Fantasy that Goodell has created in the minds of the weak – And there are many who BELIEVE. But let’s fix this and help out the Colts.

    AFCCG 1st half score Patriots 17 – Colts 7. But the Patriots were, of course, cheating. So let’s give the Colts ALL the Points from 1st half.
    Now we know what happened in the 2nd Half with Official Rule 17 Footballs were the Colts scored 0. YEP 0.

    OK, we give the Colts ALL the Points from 1st Half = 24 and the PATRIOTS score 28 in the 2nd Half so the final score is = PATRIOTS 28 – Colts 24

    SORRY COLTS – YOU STILL LOSE.

  17. This wouldn’t be bad if they had ONE banner that said “AFC Championship Game” and had on it ALL of the years they played in the AFCCG in chronological order, including the years that they won the AFCCG. Just not separate banners for each AFCCG loss. Yikes.

  18. ESPN is going to run with this. I just know it.

    Colts want Patriots AFCCG Victory Overturned.

    Or something like that.

    Sad part – all the Sheeple that will believe it.

  19. It should also serve as a reminder that the lead official, Anderson, stated that it was his “best recollection” that he used the gague that showed NO DEFLATION OCCURRED

    Isn’t it odd that Wells accepts ALL of Anderson’s other “best recollections” – but not his “best recollection” of the pivotal moment in the investigation – were the balls deflated?

    Despite false leaks by sources inside the NFL stating otherwise, the lead official confirmed that his memory was there was NO DEFLATION out of what would be expected for those conditions

    Tell me that there isn’t ONE FAN of ANOTHER TEAM that doesn’t think that smacks of a pre-determined investigation and might wonder if that lead official was right!

  20. We didn’t deserve to play in the Super Bowl. The better team won that game. Really they proved to be the better team twice that year. But the fact still remains, they got caught cheating. They deserved everything Goodell gave them, especially Brady.

  21. Oh god. Lets not forget that the Colts were blown out of the stadium, even more so in the second half with regulation footballs. They couldn’t have won that game in 100 tries.

    The Banner just remind the Patriots that the Colts lost.

  22. Maybe the plan is to make the Patriots players laugh so hard during the game next season that they make a mistake in coverage while looking up for the ball.

    Verrrry sly of you Indy.

  23. OMG! Dolts! LOL!

    But I’m actually now feeling sorry for Colt’s genuine fans (not the dumb trolls, who aren’t fans at all). They didn’t ask for the dumb sting, for the druggie owner or the GM etc, and now this embarrassment – and the 3rd time the Dolts have done it!

    Sorry for laughing. For what it’s worth true Colts fans – I do think Luck gets at least one SB in his career in Indy. And I hope you get a new owner soon.

  24. I love Luck and Gore, but sheesh Grigson is a horrible GM. Talk about looking for validation through technicalities. If he actually surrounded Luck with talent via draft, he wouldn’t have to cover his ass with BS.

  25. No Dolts’ banner for “Owner clean for (insert single digit number) days” banner?

  26. You really like to dig into the Colts don’t you, Florio? Evidently Irsay’s response to you (a couple of years ago) really set you on fire.

    The Colts are in a “Win Now” mode. Any fan of the NFL should celebrate that. Not many teams will publicly take that stance.

    We will always celebrate our Colts whether you like it or not.

    The Colts will be fine this year–great free agency acquisitions and a solid draft.

    Sit back and enjoy it. Attack the Colts every chance you get. Just understand that Colts fans won’t be embarrassed, because they love their team.

    You, on the other hand, might just look like the fool.

    Just Sayin’.

  27. Maybe Pagano is trying double-reverse psychology, otherwise this looks pretty silly.

    They might as well give game balls to players who manage to get their jocks on front to back.

  28. All of the Pats chumpionship banners should have the words “assisted champions” on them.
    #tuck rule
    #spygate (x2)
    #deflategate

    They cheat. It’s as obbvious and well known as the fact that water is wet. That’s why Kraft surrendered. Lol @ Brady appeal. Good times.

  29. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  30. The colts were just as guilty of cheating in the AFCCG. When the refs had the balls properly inflated the Colts were absolutely curbstomped.

    The Colts have no room for complaint or criticism. They were wooped fair and square.

  31. Only the Colts would do this…Wrecks Ryan at the height of his own delusions would think thats a bit rich! Keep plucking away Colts, We will give you all ribbons on Opening day

  32. Jimmy is becoming more like dear old dad every day. Is there a drunk airport press rant in his future?

  33. As a Colts fan, I can’t say that I’ve ever cared for the “Finalist” banners in Lucas Oil.

    As a football fan, I see that the Patriot fans are still in deep denial.

    In either case, if NE fans want the banner taken down, fine…just put an * on your Super Bowl banners and we’ll call it even.

    And we couldn’t care less what it may or may not remind Brady and company of…this story has played out before. Patriots got the best of us earlier in Manning’s career in Indy, but the later years were a different story. I’d say NE’s days of blowouts against the Colts are about over. See y’all in week 6.

  34. Patriots fan here. NE won’t own Indy forever. Things change. Might happen this year.

    Most people don’t know that the losing team in the Super Bowl gets a conference championship ring. It is, after all, a title. Usually somewhat dismissed, however.

    In that regard, this is reaching and sad. And a testament to the prevailing feeling that Colts organization has missed many opportunities to raise a real banner.

  35. That banner is not as funny as the wild card banner they have. Yes, they do have one up. Cracks me up every time I go into the stadium.

  36. Put that right next to the imaginary Heisman and Rookie of the Year trophies of their newly anointed HOF QB.

    What’s wrong with a banner saying, “ALSO PARTICIPATING”.

  37. Yes, it’s a little sad and pathetic, but not as bad as Viking fans who still claim an NFL Championship in 1969.
    Even though they lost the Super Bowl to the Chiefs a week later, they whine about the pre-merger technicality.

    And they will defend it with their dying breath.
    Did I say sad and pathetic?
    Oh, yes I did. Good.

  38. Yes making the conference championship is an accomplishment. But hanging a banner? I just don’t know what to say. Sorry Colts fans if this is the mentality and drive of your team, Your screwed. Not even the Jets would celebrate losing.

    Maybe the Patriots should hang all their banners;
    4 SB victories
    4 SB 2nd place finishes
    8 AFC Championships
    3 AFC 2nd place finishes
    16 division titles
    22 10+win seasons

  39. Whatever makes the Colts feel better is fine.

    Hopefully, the Patriots will be able to help them raise a “Game Six Finalist” banner after the 2015 mid-season game in Indianapolis — and perhaps another Playoff Finalist banner at the end of this season.

    The Colts-Pats games are likely to be more even this year, because the Colts will have home field and the Pats have lost ground in their secondary against what could be more Colts receivers. But the Colts do not look any better against the run and that, after all, is how the Patriots have beaten them repeatedly in recent contests.

  40. Man if this catches on the Vikings will finally have some stuff to hang around their dump.

  41. The Colts set up a sting with the help of John Harbaugh and Mike Kensell in the NFL front office. For that alone, they should be punished. Furthermore, the ball the Colts turned in to the NFL that sparked the controversy just happened to be more deflated than the other balls. Did the Colts have a role in deflating the balls themselves? That’s all part of the sting to take down the team that has owned the Colts over the years. Jealousy, pure and simple. Way to go Colts for focusing on some minor thing that EVERY team does, according to Aaron Rodgers, rather than taking responsibility for your pitiful performance in the AFC Championship Game. The Colts will never go anywhere by whining and being obsessed with the Patriots. And they made a mountain out of a molehill by being obsessed with deflated footballs. Just pathetic beyond belief.

  42. Loser mentality. Still waiting for the SB loser banners to unfurl at other stadiums across the league.

    Great line from one of my favorite movies.

    “I didn’t know they gave medals for tenth place”

    And another.

    “you celebrate mediocrity?”

  43. Make fun all you want, but unless you are a Steelers or Giants fan, you haven’t had more success than the Colts over the past 10 seasons.

  44. read pages 44 through 48 of the Wells report. Wells does a pretty good job of scattering the details, but this is basically what it says:

    – Grigson emailed Dave Gardi & Mike Kensil that Patriots let air out of balls AFTER officials test them.

    – Gardi replies to Grigson that Kensil will be at game and will speak to game officials about his concern (the report does not confirm this happened)

    – Kensil forwards Grigson’s email to James Daniel, who forwards it to other Game Operations personnel that will be at the game. Kensil also forwarded Grigson‟s email to Dean Blandino and Alberto Riveron, both senior members of the NFL Officiating Department.

    – Both Riveron and Blandino decided that they would raise the issue with Walt Anderson,
    who had been assigned as the referee for the game. Both spoke with Anderson about following standard pregame inspection protocol, but neither mentions the content of Grigson’s email (about air being let out after the balls are tested).

    – footnote #25 on page 46 notes that NFL officials interviewed believe that standard pregame inspection protocol would be sufficient.

    in a nutshell, a team makes a complaint about tampering with footballs AFTER they are tested and is told that one Exec will talk with game officials but never did; the information is passed around to a number of people, and two other Execs that said they will speak with the game officials. Both tell the official to be sure to follow proper pregame inspection protocol, but never tell him about the complaint of what happens AFTER they are tested.

    How did the Wells investigators overlook this? (was it on the same piece of paper as Jim McNally’s ‘deflator comment’?)

    If one is setting up a sting, this is exactly what you do: tell Anderson to follow proper pregame inspection protocols….nothing more, nothing less.

  45. Come on Colts, you dont need to lower yourselves to the Vikings level with stuff like this, you are better than that. You have won championships in the past, and are likely to win another in the near future with the team you have built.

  46. Pats fans need no reminder of who started deflategate. The next banner the Colts hang is going to say “they scored how many!?!?!?!”

  47. Make fun all you want, but unless you are a Steelers or Giants fan, you haven’t had more success than the Colts over the past 10 seasons.

    I’m pretty sure 1 SB win w 3 appearances, an undefeated regular season, 10 10+ win seasons and continuous domination over the colts is more success than 1 SB win against the bears and the worst starting QB in SB history

  48. The Colts will be running up the white flag next time the Pats get a hold of ’em. They’re the scumbag organization, along with the Ravens. Can’t beat the Pats on the field, so let’s join hands with the league to try to take them down with rule changes and ridiculous investigations.

  49. kferguson2002 says:
    Jun 11, 2015 12:29 AM

    We didn’t deserve to play in the Super Bowl. The better team won that game. Really they proved to be the better team twice that year. But the fact still remains, they got caught cheating. They deserved everything Goodell gave them, especially Brady.
    ——————————————————–
    They didn’t get caught. They were set up. The actual facts prove no deflation. The referee stated he used the gauge that would have stuck the pin(see what I did there?) in the investigation. If believing you were cheated makes the pain and embarrassment less then fine. Just ignore the fact that nothing, zip, has been proven in regards to deflated footballs. Well, except for the fact the Colts balls were under inflated too.

  50. I’d be more honored to hang the Detroit banner for their 0-16 perfect season then a “finalist” banner for the AFC conference championship…

  51. “Can’t beat the Pats on the field, so let’s join hands with the league to try to take them down with rule changes and ridiculous investigations”

    Yep, they have a history of running to the league and complaining about the Pats.

    After the Pats embarrassed Manning and the Colts in the 2003 AFCC game, the Colts complained and got the rules on defensive holding changed (so if you hate the current brand of “no defense allowed” football being played in the NFL, you can thank the Colts for that.

    Then in 2005, the Colts complained about the condition of the field at Gillette (before the game was even played). Seeing as Peyton Manning is the league’s golden boy, naturally, the league stepped in and made the Pats re-sod the field a few days before the game.

    Now they’re complaining about football pressure.

    Like you said, they can’t beat the Pats on the field, so they want the rules changed. What a pathetic bunch of pansies. If I were a Colts fan I would be embarrassed.

  52. kepdogg23 says:
    Jun 11, 2015 11:31 AM
    You Pats fans do realize that they hung a 16-0 Regular Season 2007 banner in Gillette Stadium?

    A big difference between raising a banner for achieving something no one else has done and raising a banner for losing the game before the pro bowl.

  53. lambeauheap says:
    Jun 11, 2015 12:53 PM

    Make fun all you want, but unless you are a Steelers or Giants fan, you haven’t had more success than the Colts over the past 10 seasons.

    I’m pretty sure 1 SB win w 3 appearances, an undefeated regular season, 10 10+ win seasons and continuous domination over the colts is more success than 1 SB win against the bears and the worst starting QB in SB history
    _________________________________
    So are you for or against the AFC Finalist banner? Sure sounds like you listed a lot of things that weren’t winning the Super Bowl.

  54. bestbitter says:
    Jun 11, 2015 2:43 PM

    kepdogg23 says:
    Jun 11, 2015 11:31 AM
    You Pats fans do realize that they hung a 16-0 Regular Season 2007 banner in Gillette Stadium?

    A big difference between raising a banner for achieving something no one else has done and raising a banner for losing the game before the pro bowl.
    __________________________________I knew some chowderhead would try to justify why a regular season banner is okay, but an AFC finalist banner is stupid.

  55. kepdogg23 says:
    Jun 11, 2015 11:31 AM
    You Pats fans do realize that they hung a 16-0 Regular Season 2007 banner in Gillette Stadium?

    A big difference between raising a banner for achieving something no one else has done and raising a banner for losing the game before the pro bowl.__________________________________
    I knew some chowderhead would try to justify why a regular season banner is okay, but an AFC finalist banner is stupid.
    ___________________________________________
    Teams lose a conference championship game every year. In fact, two of them. It’ll happen again in 2016. Show me the next team to go 16-0 in the regular season. In fact show me the last team to get to 18-0 in any single season. The Patriots bested the Dolphins 17-0 record. Well…

  56. Pats fans amaze me. You jump on the Colts for the banner (they have two others hanging in the rafters, so not sure why this one is such big news). They hang one every time they make the playoffs.

    Some say AFC Champion, some say Wildcard, some from winning the AFC South, this one just happens to show that they went further than just the wild card or winning their division.

    Now you are blown away that when Colts’ fans are given a hard time about the AFC Finalist banner, that someone would question a 16-0 “Regular Season” banner. I don’t care how often it happens, you are still celebrating an accomplishment from a season when you fell short of winning the Super Bowl.

    Either agree that your banner is stupid, or agree with me that it is no big deal for a team to celebrate a successful season.

  57. Only losers hang finalist banners , congrats colts you gave us another reason to laugh at you , can’t wait to kick your ass again next season

  58. 16-0 reg season banner. Then choked in the only game that matters. Good banner …We cheat or choke..The Patriots Way!

  59. kepdogg23 says:
    Jun 11, 2015 11:31 AM

    I knew some chowderhead would try to justify why a regular season banner is okay, but an AFC finalist banner is stupid.

    ——

    Not from Boston, not a Pats fan. Thanks for playing.

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