Category Archives: Life in Indy

Come on Peyton, Pull it Together

Last weeks loss to the New England Patriots at home was a little disappointing, but it did show that if you play your “A Game” and play the entire game, that New England is not the unstoppable juggernaut that the sports media would like you to believe. (Through the first three quarters the Patriots had one touchdown and one field goal. And not to mention their paranoid cheating allegations. Enough said.)

But in the overall scheme of things, the loss last week wasn’t such a huge deal. It only means that there’s a better chance that we’ll have to play in Foxboro in January instead of the comfy Dome.

Now to the game tonight against the San Diego Chargers…

I’ll start on a positive note as to not sound too bitter.

  • Our defense (which supposedly sucks according to all “expert” accounts) was excellent. They allowed only 10 points, all in the first half. They had two interceptions. And they recovered a fumble for a touchdown. Oh, and did I mention that they suck?
  • Our offense controlled the ball for 60% of the game.
  • We had 386 yards of total offense.
  • We only had 21 penalty yards.

Now to the more negative, the excuses as to why we lost this one that should have been another mark in the “W” column.

  • We just came off of a bad loss.
  • Peyton Manning threw a career high six interceptions. Not one. Not two. Not three. Not four. Not even five. SIX interceptions. He had four interceptions total in the whole first half of the season.
  • It was raining.
  • Peyton Manning threw six interceptions.
  • We only had 17 active offensive players (and 15 by the end of the game).
  • Peyton Manning threw six interceptions.
  • Our special teams were anything but special, allowing for two touchdowns and not realizing that a touchback, or even an out of bounds kick, is better than giving up a touchdown.
  • Peyton Manning threw six interceptions.
  • Vinny was apparently having trouble seeing where the uprights were located. Twice. (Dare I mention nightmares from our previous kicker who was also one of the NFL’s elite?)
  • Peyton Manning threw six interceptions.
  • We received the losing end of an “inadvertent” blown whistle after an interception.
  • Dare I mention for a sixth time that Peyton Manning threw six interceptions?

Say what you will about the above game killer list, but in my opinion this loss has to rest on Peyton Manning’s shoulders with the ridiculous amount of interceptions. Sure, it’s tempting to point to the special teams issues and the fact that so many players were out of the game on both sides of the ball, but you can’t really do that when your quarterback has an extremely unusual “off night”.

Yes, a few weeks ago Tony Romo proved that you can pull out the win while playing very poorly, but he was really lucky with his five picks and he knew that. And yes, we had ample opportunities to win the game and came close to doing so, but regardless if we had pulled it off, the interception issue seriously needs to be evaluated so it doesn’t happen again. (And you know Peyton is probably already watching the game film as I type this.)

Now don’t get me wrong. Being 7-2 still isn’t bad. And looking at our schedule I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose one or two more games to finish the regular season at either 12-4 or 13-3, still winning the AFC South. But my worst rational fear is that we’ll do this sort of thing in playoff game against a team that can capitalize on these sort of silly mistakes (like the Patriots or the Steelers). It has happened in the past and I’d rather not go there again.

So let me stop rambling about the past and look toward the future. We have seven games left and have a good shot at wrapping up the division and possibly even getting a first round bye for the playoffs (depending upon how the Steelers play). So there’s an outside shot at one home playoff game and a handful of really good playoff games. Another trip to the Super Bowl will not be an easy task, but it is doable. Let’s see how the rest of the regular season shapes up first though.

NOTE: If you want to leave a voicemail comment for The Trolley Dodgers Podcast, you can do so at 317-565-425.

Garden Ridge Headed to Indy

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Houston, Texas based Garden Ridge is going to open a store in Indy in February 2008. They’re going to be headed to the old Builders Square building on Lafayette Road, next door to where the new Wal-Mart is going to open up around the same time. This is great news for the Lafayette Square area since it has been a pretty tough place for business to stick around in the past decade. (Thus why there are local tax incentives to open up there. [See PDF])

Garden Ridge is a home décor store which sounds like it is similar to Old Time Pottery and the now defunct Waccamaw/HomePlace.  The only real competition around town is Old Time Pottery which is probably 25-30 miles away and when Waccamaw/HomePlace was located in Lafayette Square mall they seemed to do a decent business from what I could tell, so my guess is that they’ll do alright.

Being a northwest-sider, I’m looking forward to the changes in the area and will be sure to check it out when I have a chance.  And boy, does that statement make it apparent that I’m getting a bit older or what?  Getting exciting over a new Wal-Mart and a home décor store?  Wow!  Utterly amazing. I’ve got to go sit down for a minute …

Indianapolis Mayor-Elect Greg Ballard

WARNING: Political Content, Handle With Care (And a Grain of Salt)

While I’m not overly interested in politics in it’s current state (it is what it is), please humor me as I ramble off some thoughts about the 2007 Indianapolis Mayoral Election…

VOTER TURNOUT

For this “off year” election we had roughly 25% of registered voters turn out to vote.  They say that’s an average turn-out, but to me that seems kind of disappointing, especially since the vast majority of Indianapolis is registered to vote.  (Over 75% of the total population is registered to vote, and note that the total population includes children and people who don’t have voting rights.  So my guess is that of the people who have the right to vote, probably at least 90% or more of them are registered to do so.)

Anyway, it’s not as if it’s difficult to vote and in other countries people would love to have a say in who their governing officials are. My stance is that if you don’t vote and don’t have a really good reason for not doing so, you shouldn’t be allowed to complain about the government.  Wouldn’t that be like an atheist complaining about “acts of God”?

POLITICAL TERMS

Am I alone in thinking that there should be an eight year term to just about every elected office (or at the very least, eight consecutive years with a four year break)? Beyond that you can fall into “career politician” land and I can’t see how you can truly remain connected with the “real world” without living there for a while. Sure, a career politician might be the best candidate for the job, but it just seems like it would be too easy to start to think of it as a career and to begin serving your own interests instead of serving the interest of the public. This is across the board, regardless of party affiliation.

POLITICAL PARTIES

Man would I love it if our political system truly allowed for 3 or 4 true candidates/parties for each election.  Sure, they’re there as a gesture, but it’s very rare that they come into play except for “stealing” votes from one or the other main party candidates.  And that’s just tragic.

BART PETERSON

I’ll give Bart Peterson credit in that he did make some major changes while he was in office. While I don’t agree with some of them, it is good that he has something to show for his time in office (good or bad).

When it comes to the campaign, Bart was a ringer as far as all of the political pundits were concerned. From what I saw this was solely based on the campaign funding differences, which is just plain silly in my opinion. I heard the “experts” say that 95% of the time campaign contributions is what an election comes down to. But I think they missed the fact that this wasn’t a normal election. Money came into play BIG TIME, but not within their usual evaluation box. And I think that the Peterson campaign caught onto that a little too late.

The obvious major blow to Bart’s bid for reelection was the whole mess surrounding the police merger which was supposed to save us $40M but ended up costing more money, thus lead to a tax increase in order to cover the payroll. When you consider that along with the fact of the whole property tax fiasco AND the recent sales tax increase to fund the new stadium, there are a whole lot of people not too happy. Even though the other tax items can’t be solely placed on Bart’s shoulders, it is messing with people’s money and people don’t like that.

Other than that, I think the decision maker for anyone wavering one way or the other (or towards the other Peterson in the race) was the negative ads that were put out over the final week of the election. This was a clean election up until that point and these ads just made my skin crawl (I’ll spare you that tirade). I can tell you that if I had been wavering at all, this would have sealed the “no vote” for me.

GREG BALLARD

While I can’t honestly say whether or not Greg Ballard will be a better Mayor of Indianapolis than Bart Peterson was/is, I will say that I’m happy to see some fresh blood in there.  And if people don’t like the job that he’s done in his first term, they can go to the polls in four years and make their statement.  But I plan on giving him the time to prove himself either way, as change does take a little time.  (But please, oh, please…I’m begging here…we don’t want another commando around like our current governor…and I’ll spare you that tirade as well, as I really don’t have the time to go down that road.)

I really love the fact that Greg Ballard won the election on a such a small budget AND that he’s a political unknown. And dare I mention that he really ran his campaign as an Independent Republican?  These things have that entrepreneurial flare that just lights my fire.  It’s like rooting for the underdog and I dig that.

Back in the spring I would have told you that you were nuts if you thought someone would beat Bart Peterson in the fall election, even with the police merger stuff going on. Carl Brizzi declined to go for the Republican nomination and the Republicans didn’t have a number two guy that they were backing, so the party basically just threw in the towel (until the very last minute when they saw that Greg Ballard actually had a chance). For reasons I won’t go into, I honestly don’t think Carl Brizzi would have beaten Bart Peterson though. And I’m sure the third choice would have gained enough votes to be the difference maker.

But anyway, congratulations go out to Greg Ballard on his Mayoral victory.  I’m looking forward to finding out more about him and seeing what his big picture for the city looks like.

Aliens Abduct The Indiana Pacers

This has to be the oddest PR I’ve seen around town in sports marketing (even toping some of the Indianapolis Ice promos in the past)…

Now if only the “aliens” would abduct certain players and plant a “common sense chip” in them.

The site that this video/commercial mentions, worldunexplained.com, just takes you to the plain Pacers home page. I think that would have had some marketing potential for the season as a whole (and would be kind of fun to organize), but hey, it’s a start of thinking outside of the box, right?

(Shameless plug: we’re for hire if they need some help.)

Naptown Roller Girls 2008 Home Schedule

Here’s the Naptown Roller Girls / Tornado Sirens 2008 home bout schedule (a.k.a. “Season 2″). This coming season we’re treated to six home bouts instead of five. And while not officially announced yet, I’m assuming that the bouts are going to take place out at the Indiana State Fairgrounds again this year.

December 29 – “It’s a BOUT Time”
NRG vs. Kalamazoo Kamikaze Roller Girls from Michigan

February 9 – “Shove ‘em & Leave ‘em”
NRG vs. Burning River Roller Girls from Ohio

March 22 – “Lucky Harm”
NRG vs. Cincinnati Roller Girls from Ohio (WFTDA)

April 19 – “The Pint of No Return”
NRG vs. the Brew City Bruisers from Wisconsin (WFTDA)

May 17 – “Valley of the Brawls”
NRG vs. Pikes Peak Derby Dames from Colorado (WFTDA)

June 14 – “Hoosier Daddy”
NRG vs. Dixie Derby Girls from Alabama (WFTDA)

It’s hard to put into words the ambiance of a roller derby bout (and the crowd)…it’s just something you need to check out for yourself firsthand. I only made it out to one bout last year and was totally amazed at how much fun it was. The excitement was similar to when we had a “real” hockey team in Indy (the IHL version of the Indianapolis Ice)…and I might go out on a limb and say it’s even more exciting than hockey if you sit in the “Suicide Seats” where you’re actually right up on the track, sitting on the floor (remember, this is flat track, not that stuff you saw on TV in the 70′s and 80′s). And if you’re a fan of Arena Football, you’ll probably get into this.

I’d probably suggest leaving the really little ones at home, though there is a “family section” if you choose to bring them. That suggestion is based on your own enjoyment more than anything else…and there*may* be some things, mainly roller girls and refs “names”, that you don’t really want to explain to your kids in case they ask, or have them repeat them. Also, if you’re brave (or stupid) enough, like me, and actually want to sit in the Suicide Seating area, you do have to be 18 years old to do so.

See you there, down in front!