The Colts are one game away from a Super Bowl championship. But some of them realize that they could have been one game away from football immortality.
The decision to rest key players in the last game and a half of the season (and lose twice after a 14-0 start) has been chewed over by nearly everyone for the past month. Verbally, at least, all of the parties involved seemed to be on board with the decision.
But yesterday, at Media Day, Colts center Jeff Saturday sounded a little wistful about what might have been.
“The truth is that it has nothing to do with us,” he said when asked if the players wanted to go for a perfect season. “There was nothing we could do about it. I can tell you that every player wanted to play. Every player tried to play but it wasn’t what our front office and our coach decided. As players, you can’t look back because there’s no hesitation in what I did. I can assure you, I played every game as hard as I could, trying to win. You wish you would have won those games and obviously it would have been nice, to but that wasn’t our goal. That wasn’t their goal and when they set it up, that’s how they decided and you have to play for them and that’s what we’ve always done.”
Saturday (pictured getting off the team plane Monday) did tip his cap to the only undefeated Super Bowl championship team, the 1972 Dolphins. They went 17-0. The Patriots two years ago went 18-0 before losing to the Giants in Super Bowl XLIV and finishing 18-1. If the Colts win on Sunday, they’ll be 17-2. But they won’t be the '72 Dolphins.
“Every time you think about it, that is always the pedestal, the only team that has gone through this thing never losing a game,” Saturday said. “I have the utmost respect for what those guys did. I can tell you, winning 14 games seemed like a ton, so going 17-0, all of the bumps, bruises, and battles that you go through, all of the things that you go through with your body throughout the year, I have a lot of respect for what they did.”