Your weekly weekend wrap-up, featuring a two-hour stretch from Sunday that was as good as any sports moment this year.
This was no ordinary weekend. No, we had visitors! The Nesbitts traveled from Kansas City (with the Belfords also traveling here, but staying with the Heberts) for the Missouri-Indiana football game Saturday. There were plans to attend the local high school football game Friday, but rain ruled that out. 1
Saturday we cruised down to Bloomington for several hours of excellent tailgating and then the big SEC – Big 10 matchup. 2 Fortunately for those of us who weren’t terribly interested in the outcome, IU made it a game for a little while, and then MU pulled away at the end of the third quarter so that we could leave a bit early. These 8:00 kickoffs are rough for old folks with sitters watching the kids 90 minutes away.
It was great to have good friends visit and to enjoy absolutely perfect weather for football on Saturday.
Sunday was a soccer day for us, and we got the ideal schedule, at least from the parents’ perspective. Three games, all at the same time. S. had to do some shuffling around to catch glimpses of each girl, but I was tethered to L.’s field as a coach. She scored two goals, and seemed a bit down on herself for just scoring that many times. Never mind most of the kids in the game didn’t come close to scoring and the competition was a little better than last week.
I was able to swivel my head and see C.’s field, but missed her scoring her first goal of the year. By the time we got to M.’s field, after the two younger sisters had slapped hands with their opponents and gathered their post-game snacks, we got to see the last 4-5 minutes of the U-10 team’s game. And they were clearly either up big or down big because M. was playing forward. Turns out her team won easily and she was happy, so it was a solid day all around.
Race home in time for the Colts game. As I’m watching their bruising first touchdown drive, I’m following the Royals game on my phone. When Eric Hosmer doubled to lead off the tenth, I turned the TV down and toggled the audio on MLB. Bases loaded, no outs, became bases loaded two outs. The Royals seemed to be Royaling the chance to win away.
3-2, two outs, and, well, many of you know what happened next.
Justin Maxwell ends the home season with a swing that will never be forgotten, no matter what happens over the final week of the season. It’s a shame the Royals aren’t just a game back and Cleveland was playing someone difficult this week. Because Maxwell’s home run could be like one of George Brett’s three home runs against California in that epic September 1985 series, when the Royals won three-of-four and leapfrogged into first place on their way to the World Series title. But, even if it’s not perfect, that was a pretty amazing way to end the final home game of the year, clinch a winning season, and send a capacity crowd home happy.
By the time I listened to all the post-game stuff on the radio, got the kids inside, and began getting dinner ready, the Colts were up 10-7 at halftime. Surely the 49ers would make adjustments at the half and take control of the game in the third quarter. But the Colts’ defense kept containing them and forcing them to punt while the offense missed a couple chances to increase the margin.
A missed Colts field goal seemed to set the Niners up to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but the defense held once again and the offense put together another long drive, with Andrew Luck running the bootleg to put the Colts up 17-7. A Colin Kaepernick fumble followed by Ahmad Bradshaw’s second touchdown gave the Colts two scores in 72 seconds, and a huge road win.
As I wrote last week, I thought the trade for Trent Richardson was a great move for the Colts. I was a little surprised that so much of the national reaction was mixed. When I read Bill Simmons’ reaction Sunday morning, I started to get worried. This line was especially sobering.
After the Colts lose in San Francisco this Sunday, they’ll be 1-2 with a home-and-home against Houston, home games against Seattle and Denver, and road games at San Diego, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Arizona and Kansas City remaining. They won’t be favored in any of those nine games. It’s true.
I mean, wow. I hadn’t thought of that at all. And, as Simmons wrote, if Luck gets injured this year the season is completely shot and they traded away a top quarter of the draft pick for a running back with serious questions.
Turns out the Colts didn’t lose Sunday, though, and who knows if San Diego, Tennessee, Arizona, and the Chiefs will be as dangerous when the Colts play them as they are now.
I still don’t buy all those questions about Richardson. We’ll have to wait and see how he fits in in Indy. And who’s to say that if the Colts do suck this year and they would be in position to draft in the top five next April, the guy they picked then would be any better than Richardson? I still say it’s a perfectly reasonable risk to take given the rest of the roster.
And, more importantly, I’m hoping this new level of toughness the defense showed on Sunday is a regular thing going forward and not a one-week fluke after last week’s loss. They shut down a very dangerous offense, on the road. Keep that effort up and life should become much easier for Luck, Bradshaw, Wayne, and Richardson not needing 30+ points to win. Now, if they can just find a way to protect Luck better. He can only take that beating for so long.
Between the walk-off grand slam and the Colts terrific performance in San Francisco, Sunday afternoon was a great capper to a fantastic weekend.