Define (Bleeping) Delete: How the 20-year anniversary of the Colts' Tampa comeback brought on unpleasant flashbacks
One minute, I thought I had the easiest night ever. It was 35-14. The column was all but done. And then it happened...
A couple of days ago, Colts.com, unquestionably one of the best team websites in sports, rolled out a 20-year anniversary video of the Colts’ ridiculous come-from-nowhere 38-35 Monday night overtime victory over Tampa Bay.
For most Colts’ fans, it was a wonderful look at a past glory, Indy roaring back in overtime after trailing 35-14 with just under five minutes remaining. For me, it produced flashbacks. And not good ones, necessarily.
This probably shouldn’t come as much of a secret, but when you’re on a deadline – and this was a Monday Night Football deadline, meaning you have to post your piece almost simultaneously with game’s end – you root for blowouts.
At the very least, you want a game that’s been settled with roughly 5-10 minutes left, giving you enough time to organize your thoughts and put a coherent top (a lede) on the story, followed by as many paragraphs as time allows.
This was gonna be a piece of cake. Game’s all but over in the fourth quarter. All I wanna know is where are we grabbing a beer after the game?
I did two things:
One, I relaxed, started re-reading and re-editing my 1,000 words on how the Colts came here for Tony Dungy’s return to Tampa (and his birthday, no less) and got their heads handed to them. It was a good piece. A little nasty, but what can you expect when you’re a contender and you get run out of the building? This was one of those litmust-test games, facing off against the defending Super Bowl champion Bucs.
Two, I took a half a Xanax. During those weird, dark times in my life, I suffered with pretty serious anxiety. I felt it coming on all day, and by the time we were in the car heading to the stadium around 6 p.m., I was hyperventilating and perspiring. As the night wore on, the beckoning deadline made it worse, and by the second half, I was a shaking basket case.
At least the football Gods had cut me a break. It was a blowout. It was 35-14. I had written about 900-1000 words and left myself a couple of ???????’s in the copy to add the final score and some statistics. Less than five minutes remained. The Bucs were kicking off to somebody named Brad Pyatt. What could possible go wrong?
No, I mean wrong.