In case I am ever too convinced of the notion that I am always right, my friend Ed has a consistent knack for putting me in my place.
Some might call Ed’s perspective a gift, others a curse.
I just call it Edology: the thought that if you have an opinion about everything, you will eventually be correct about something.
Of course, all of this is just a pre-emptive defense to cushion the impact of my latest bungled projection.
Andrew Luck is making me look like an idiot. (My wife would like to insert here that I seldom need assistance in this department, especially when home repair and directions are involved.)
But sports is a different matter. I at least like to harbor the thought that I have something of value to add. After all, I called the Giants’ World Series win before the playoffs started.
When it came to handicapping Luck and the Colts, though, I shanked it worse than my latest 3-wood attempt at Hickory Stick. This one cleared Morgantown Road on the fly.
Ed, with unusual optimism but customary bravado, told me in July that the Colts would be very good this season. This is like putting a plate of chicken wings in front of me during a game. I simply can’t resist.
Since Ed’s previous boast was that the Cubs were going to rebound and challenge for the NL Central last summer, I naturally took the opposite view with equal bravado.
“Did you hit your head on the ceiling again, big guy?” I asked. Ed is a rather tall man.
Indy will be lucky to win five games, I told him, confident in that number. After all, the Colts won just two last season and only three in Peyton Manning’s rookie season.
Even if Luck proved to be as good as the young Manning (lest we forget, something very much in question last July), a giant leap forward was quite unlikely. With most of the offensive line and receiving corps gone, this seemed too logical.
If, at the time, you told me that Austin Collie, Robert Mathis, Pat Angerer and Samson Satele would miss significant parts of the season, three wins would have appeared more likely. Throw in the absence of coach Chuck Pagano for medical reasons, and that seemed more certain.
Five was the magic number, and a case of St. Louis’ finest export was the agreed prize.
You know what happened next.
It’s barely halfway through the season, and I am today scouring Daily Journal ads looking for the best price on the payoff.
Forget five wins. Indy (6-3) looks like a legitimate playoff team going into Sunday’s showdown at New England.
Now, I don’t want to take credit for inspiring the Colts to their amazing start, but I have relearned an important lesson. Never underestimate your own team, even when you are being quite generous in that estimate.
We all have a selective memory when it comes to sports prognostications.
Our memory of being right lasts about 237 times longer than that of being incorrect, according to researchers at the University of Rationalization.
OK, I made that up, but I am sure that could be proved if the government were to give me a grant. Of course, Ed would complain about his tax money being wasted on my valuable sports research.
Instead, I will take my lumps, coupled with this public mea culpa.
These Colts have blown past expectations of even the most optimistic fans.
Credit must start with Luck, who looks less like a rookie and more like an All-Pro each game.
It goes much deeper than that, though. General manager Ryan Grigson made all the right offseason moves to virtually reinvent the roster. And, of course, the personnel he has put on the field — players and coaches alike — have melded and performed in a way that is simply remarkable.
Finally, Reggie Wayne, who could have left for more promising environs, has proved himself to be a most valuable Colts player through his locker room presence and play on the field.
Together, the season has turned from rebuilding to magic. Where it takes us is anyone’s guess. Look at lowly Jacksonville as an example of a team that is trying to do exactly what Indy is doing but is instead falling far short.
So, just enjoy the moment. And know that there are more to follow.
As for me, being wrong has never been more satisfying.
Ed, a case is coming your way.
Bob Johnson is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal. His columns appear Tuesdays and Fridays.