I have a confession to make.
I don't hate the Indianapolis Colts.
I haven't had this game circled for months. I don't view it as a revenge game. I don't consider this game some kind of payback for what they set in motion regarding Deflategate. I want the Patriots to win, and will be rooting for a blowout only because I always root for a blowout because it's just way less stressful for me that way, but at no point since last January have I looked over Indianapolis's way and angrily sneered as I cracked my knuckles and sharpened my teeth. I have yet to speak to anybody in Patriots Nation who isn't salivating at the thought of a 70-10 shellacking in which Luck throws six interceptions, Chuck Pagano goes crying into his office at halftime, and Jim Irsay cleans out his amply stocked medicine cabinet in order to try and erase the memory of this historic beatdown from his already pill-addled brain. All of that sounds like a lot of fun, and a great way to make an already key matchup even more meaningful. After all, the Colts do their talking off the field; time to do our talking on it.
So why don't I feel the same way?
It might be because I was never too emotionally invested in Deflategate until very late in the offseason. I've always believed it was a league and media constructed narrative to keep the NFL relevant for the entire year and a diabolically genius way to make everyone care about football, whether they wanted to or not. Because of that, I opted not to pay too much attention to Deflategate and just enjoyed my championship offseason instead
since I'm a delusional Patriots fan who is just so blind to the obvious facts that have so definitively proven Brady is guilty that you'd have to be a complete moron to believe anything else and thus I decided to bury my head in the sand like a sheep. It might be because the Colts players themselves had pretty much nothing to do with anything went down this year, and their roster is comprised of players I actually really enjoy watching - Andre Johnson, Frank Gore, T.Y. Hilton. It might be because the Pats have won so handily over the past few meetings that it's hard to really hate them at all. It's obviously a conference game, which is big, and there's a small chance it could have playoff implications (although I doubt Indy finishes with a better record than New England), so I absolutely care about the matchup and the outcome, but my investment in this game starts and stops with the 2015 season.
And to be honest, I'm a little bummed about it.
I kind of feel like I'm missing out here by not getting all kinds of fired up over some revenge. Believe me, I've tried to buy in here, but I just can't. My take on this week is that if the Patriots win, I'll be as happy as I always am after a victory. If they lose, I'll be bummed out, but again, no more than usual. Ultimately their hot start indicated that they can actually afford to drop this game without really missing a beat, and so a lot of the pressure is off them from an implications standpoint. And that's kind of it. The sad truth is that when the I Hate the Colts Express left the station, I was stuck in line at Sbarro's waiting for my pizza to finish congealing. If that makes me less of a fan, then so be it, but all I see when I look at New England's Week 6 opponent is another AFC team the Patriots need to beat if they want to defend their title. Everything else surrounding this game just falls a little flat.
A little deflated, if you will.
More probable than not I'm at least generally aware that I'm possibly the only Patriots fan to feel this way.