Posted on 22 March 2012 by Glenn Clark
Posted on 05 March 2012 by Glenn Clark
I’ll just say this up front and deal with the consequences of the comment at some other.
I know-as a fact-that at least one high profile Baltimore Ravens player has been involved with a “Pay For Play” scheme of some sort. That discovery was confirmed to me by both a current and former teammate.
This column isn’t about the details of that revelation, as I have not found the details to be particularly newsworthy. If that changes in the future, I will fully accept the responsibility of sharing them publicly. Instead I bring the note up only to make it known that such schemes are not so particularly unique and it is easy for others around the game of football to offer perspective and commentary.
I also share this to set the tone for an answer to a question asked many times since the “Bountygate” saga surrounding the New Orleans Saints and former Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams broke days ago.
“How would we react if it had been the Ravens?”
The question has been asked in the face of sharp criticism levied in the direction of Williams and company. National writers and local analysts alike have cried for severe punishment for both the individuals and the organization. Amongst the penalties suggested have been the loss of draft picks, six to seven figure fines, firings, suspensions and even the forfeiture of the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV title.
We’ll find out reasonably soon what the actual penalties will be, but the down time between the release of the National Football League’s findings and sentencing has certainly allowed for sports media driven by the NFL to run wild with questions/comments.
There don’t appear to be great numbers of supporters of the Saints’ sins, but there certainly appears to be more than a few football fans who have been willing to suggest “everyone does this” or “injuries are a part of the game” as a response.
There is a sense of relevancy at least to the latter. There is an awkward nature about every football game played at every level. Every competitor in every game lines up knowing their chances of victory would be greatly improved if their opponents’ best players weren’t on the field.
It doesn’t mean players have regularly worked to ensure their opponents left the field early, it just means the thought is always very much in their minds.
It certainly doesn’t mean it is okay for a coach/organization to pay players as a bonus for injuring opponents.
The other question regularly asked by the small group of Saints defenders is “how would you feel if it was your favorite team?” As I’ve already noted, I’ve wavered on this since first being asked.
Here’s my gut feeling. If the circumstances were either the same (or at least in some way similar), Charm City would be likely to be supportive of the Ravens. If Gregg Williams was Rex Ryan or Chuck Pagano and Sean Payton was John Harbaugh and the players involved were actually Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Jarret Johnson-we’d be much less likely to call for a death penalty-caliber punishment.
We’d be way more likely to be defensive of the persons involved, suggesting “the bounty wasn’t the reason the unit was successful” or reminding fans that bounties have existed throughout football history.
We’d do it for the same reason San Francisco Giants fans continued to support slugger Barry Bonds despite the escalating evidence suggesting Major League Baseball’s all-time home run king perhaps cheated en route.
I’m not suggesting a football bounty in any way compares to steroid use. I’m only suggesting that it is easier to support players/coaches from your own favorite team because even if you don’t agree with their methods at heart, you believe something more significant.
Those players were trying to help your favorite team win.
When a player accepted money from a Saints assistant to go after an opposing player (or for simple on-field achievement), they did so as part of an attempt to win. Not only were they successful, they were so successful they turned a perennially miserable franchise into a Super Bowl champion.
If the Baltimore Ravens were accused of something similar, it would be much too easy for us to just say “I don’t necessarily like it, but I’m glad they did whatever necessary to win.”
It does not in any way alter the actual facts.
The facts here are very simple. The New Orleans Saints broke the rules and perhaps risked permanently altering the lives of men who were friends, former teammates and simply “brothers” on the gridiron.
There is nothing that can be said that will ever make that acceptable in any way. I won’t attempt to tell you what sort of penalty that should bring with it, I will only tell you I too believe it should be significant.
I will also suggest again that asking “what would you think if it was your favorite team” is not a defense Saints fans should even consider in conversation.
I would probably be supportive. I would DEFINITELY be wrong.
Posted on 06 February 2012 by Ryan Chell
Indianapolis was crazy all last week hosting the Super Bowl, and right along with it has been the host city’s new football coach and ex-Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.
That was because Pagano-just days after the Ravens’ 23-20 loss in the AFC Championship game to the Patriots- didn’t have to wait long to get back to work at the game of football preparation because NFL teams kept calling for his services.
After just one season as Ravens defensive coordinator replacing Greg Mattison, Pagano apparently had built enough of a resume that the Indianapolis Colts called 1 Winning Drive and asked to interview the 51-year old for their coaching vacancy.
And they were impressed enough by Pagano’s demeanor, it only took one interview for owner Jim Irsay and new general manager Ryan Grigson to know who they wanted to replace the fired Jim Caldwell as head coach.
They hired Pagano on January 25th, making the move official.
Pagano hasn’t slept much over the last two weeks moving his life from Baltimore to Indianapolis but he did find a few minutes to join Drew Forrester, Glenn Clark, and Nestor Aparicio last Thursday afternoon from Radio Row to offer a special message to Raven Nation.
“My thanks go out to Steve [Bisciotti], Ozzie, Coach Harbaugh, the rest of the guys and all the players, all the assistant coaches, and the fans. I had four great years there and it’s really the last thing I ever expected.”
Pagano joined the Ravens in 2008 as secondary coach and quickly became a favorite of the players.
When Pagano left for Indianapolis, several defensive players took the move hard, including corner backs Lardarius Webb, Domonique Foxworth, and safety Ed Reed.
It was equally as hard for Pagano to move on, and his leave his brothers-in-arms behind.
“I felt like I had the greatest job in America,” Pagano continued. “It’s a fabulous organization and I wish nothing but the best for them.”
It was the sheer shock of getting the call that made Pagano consider the offer. Despite his success this season leading the third-ranked defense, he thought his chance was going to come after a few years down the road.
“It’s crazy,” Pagano replied. “It’s the last thing I ever expected-obviously walking in that locker room and dealing with the heartache that everybody was coming off of with that loss.”
Pagano walked into his regular meeting Monday morning after the loss to New England, and Coach John Harbaugh handed a phone to him in his office.
“Indianapolis called…they want to talk to you,” Harbaugh said.
“I was like, ‘No way-come on…tell me you’re playing with me’,” Pagano told the WNST crew. “I got on the phone with Ryan Grigson-our GM, and he asked if I would come down.”
Pagano was also equally surprised considering he had no connections to Jim Irsay, the Colts, or Grigson in the past.
“I had only spoken with Ryan a year prior about some things…it was just a surprising deal.”
But now the holiday is over for Pagano. He’s already at work formulating his new coaching staff and preparing for the 2012 season.
Both of those preparations might and have already conflicted with the Ravens off-season plans, as Pagano already tabbed Baltimore assistants Marwan Maalouf and secondary assistant Roy Anderson on his coaching staff.
Right now, it’s all downhill from here for Pagano.
“We’re still putting the pieces of the puzzle together,” Pagano added. “We’ve got three great hires with Bruce Arians coming in an offensive coordinator…and Greg Manusky just signed on today.”
Pagano admitted that he tried to raid his ex-boss in John Harbaugh of more of his assistants, but there was only so much leverage John would allow.
“I tried to raid the hen-house of coaches, but between Ozzie and John I obviously knew that wasn’t going to happen.”
Pagano said that he’s had numerous offers from fellow co-workers and coaches and ex-players to come on board.
But he quickly shot down the belief that it was because of him that he was getting all these calls. It’s about the tradition of working for a storied franchise like the Colts.
“This city is phenomenal…there’s a ton of people that want to come to this city and be part of this organization.”
Could this include several former Ravens on defense who are free agents-Jarret Johnson, Haruki Nakamura, Tom Zbikowski, etc-who loved Pagano?
He said it would be foolish for the Ravens not to anticipate that. They’ve already experienced it with the exodus of players following Rex Ryan to New York.
“I think if you look at history and you look at the coaches that have moved on from there and took other jobs, I think history tells you that’s the case. Nobody does it better than those guys now and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have my eye on a couple guys.”
But the one guy that Pagano is probably worried about-and this time as his coach as opposed to drawing up a game-plan against him-is his current quarterback in Peyton Manning.
His future remains in doubt as Colts quarterback, but Pagano isn’t worried about it. He knows and trusts in the people that are above him making those decisions for him.
“It’s obvious that Mr. Irsay and Peyton…the lines of communication are there. They’ll continue to talk and as time goes on…the situation will handle itself.”
Pagano said he has too much on his mind to involve himself with that he said he’s going to assume the right things get done.
It was the same approach he had in Baltimore, and that worked well enough for him.
“I’ve got so many things to do trying to reach out to players,” Pagano said, and put a staff together. I’ve got to do the best I can.”
WNST thanks Chuck Pagano for joining us on Radio Row and wishes him all the best in Indy…when they’re not playing the Ravens! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!
Posted on 29 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
This blog was originally published two years ago. We’ll be revisiting this with a three-part series and updating these thoughts with a new 2012 WNST “State of Baltimore Sports Media” survey next week while we broadcast live from Indianapolis all week. This is Part 3 of 5: The State of Baltimore Sports Media (circa 2010).
The saddest day of 2009 for any Ravens fan was also the day that I saw the state of the world had changed for WNST.net via the instant power of our text service. On the 4th of July at 4:17 p.m. I was sitting at home watching midday holiday baseball when I got a tip from a friend that Steve McNair had been murdered.
After receiving that quick text, I jumped onto the computer and saw that every Tennessee TV station was reporting his murder within the previous five minutes. At 4:21 p.m. more than 3,900 people received a WNST Text reporting the only facts we knew: “Tennessee media is reporting that Steve McNair has been murdered. More to come…”
At 4:50 p.m., ESPN finally reported it. And at 5:37 p.m. – a full 76 minutes later, The Sun finally had it on their website.
While I was blogging feverishly, looking for any information I could get from Nashville in the first 30 minutes on a sweltering holiday summer day – monitoring all of their TV stations and newspapers and fielding a wide variety of emails, Tweets and texts – apparently the 3,900 people on our WNST Text Service had taken matters into their own hands in forwarding our message to tens of thousands of other people like a game of virtual phone booth. More than 23,000 people had visited my blog by 8 p.m. on a premier national holiday on a day when virtually no one was in front of a computer. They were all coming from the palms of theirs hands via their mobile devices.
THAT – in the previous 25 years of my media existence — would have been impossible in the old, dinosaur world of local news. And it certainly would’ve been exclusively the area of the three local TV stations and, probably, WBAL Radio. But in the new world, they were all coming to the local source of the breaking sports news: WNST.net.
But the one thing about our WNST Text Service that often goes without saying is this: when we report it, you KNOW it’s true. Through our own goodwill, hard work and credibility, we have established a reputation for never, ever being wrong on a news story. And there are now more than 5,200 of you on the WNST Text Service.
And it goes without say that “timeliness” and the element of surprise is, in fact, the essence of what makes it “news.” News is immediate. News is shareable. News is eternal.
And, clearly, not all news is good.
But the depth of our content was also apparent on that sad, summer day. Ironically, we had video of Steve McNair joining about 1,200 Ravens fans in Nashville to greet them from January of last year before the big playoff game in our You Tube video vault. It’s a really weird clip — especially given it was the last time he’d do anything with his Baltimore roots. We raised $5,000 that night last January for the Air McNair Foundation and the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House. I had given very little thought that night at Limelight in Nashville that I would never see Steve McNair alive again.
Like most breaking news stories – and all tragedies – it was completely unpredictable that Steve McNair could die
Posted on 25 January 2012 by Luke Jones
In what’s easily been the most frustrating week in the history of the franchise, the Ravens will now need to look for a new defensive coordinator as Chuck Pagano has been hired as the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
Leading the Ravens to the No. 3 overall defensive ranking in his first season as coordinator, Pagano interviewed with Indianapolis on Tuesday before being offered the job on Wednesday. The 51-year-old spent three seasons as the Baltimore secondary coach before being promoted to replace former defensive coordinator Greg Mattison last offseason.
“It’s difficult to leave the Ravens but I couldn’t pass up on this great opportunity,” Pagano said to the Ravens’ official website. “I’m just thrilled and so excited.”
Pagano was extremely popular with his defensive players and brought a more aggressive play-calling style than Mattison, helping the Ravens improve from a franchise-low 27 sacks in 2010 to an AFC-best 48 this season.
“He just had an inkling for [making the right calls],” linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo told AM 1570 WNST on Wednesday afternoon. “More than anything, he wasn’t going to rely on just going vanilla and saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to beat everybody just going vanilla.’ That’s what coach Mattison liked to do.”
The Ravens sent four defensive starters to the Pro Bowl this year, including linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and free safety Ed Reed.
Pagano will be introduced to the Indianapolis media in a press conference on Thursday afternoon. The Colts fired general manager Bill Polian and head coach Jim Caldwell following a disastrous 2-14 season without quarterback Peyton Manning.
“We are so happy for Chuck, [his wife] Tina and their daughters,” coach John Harbaugh said in an official statement. “We are proud of him. Like me, Chuck grew up in the game and loves it. We will miss him and thank him for all he did for the Ravens.”
The 51-year-old will likely usher in a new era with Indianapolis primed to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in April’s draft. Ayanbadejo said the Colts will immediately take to Pagano’s infectious personality.
“He was one of those guys [where] it was like he was out on the field of battle with you and you’d never want to let him down, because he’s such a good guy,” Ayanbadejo said. “He’s also a family guy and a great person. You really felt like you knew him, and more than anything, you just didn’t want to let him down.”
Pagano had previous stints as a defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders and also coached at several colleges, including most recently at the University of North Carolina before being hired by Harbaugh in 2008.
The Ravens will also wonder what impact Pagano’s departure might have on their list of defensive players with expiring contracts. Linebackers Jarret Johnson, Jameel McClain, and Ayanbadejo, defensive end Cory Redding, safeties Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura, and defensive tackle Brandon McKinney are all set to become unrestricted free agents and could now view Indianapolis as a viable alternative to the Ravens, who will not have a great deal of salary cap space.
After former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan was hired as the head coach of the New York Jets in 2009, linebacker Bart Scott and safety Jim Leonhard joined him in the Big Apple as free-agent signings.
Baltimore will now have its fourth defensive coordinator in five years after Rex Ryan, Mattison, and Pagano all held the job under Harbaugh. The most logical in-house candidate to fill the role would be linebackers coach Dean Pees, who was the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots from 2006 to 2009 before moving on to Baltimore.
“I don’t think you’ll see any letdown if Dean Pees takes over,” said Ayanbadejo, who described Pees’ relationship with players as one based more on respect than the emotional Pagano. “You might even see a better defense if Dean Pees takes over because he likes things done a certain way, and he’s really particular about the way he does things.”
Pagano becomes the fourth defensive coordinator in the history of the franchise to depart for a head coaching position elsewhere, joining Marvin Lewis, Mike Nolan, and Ryan.
Posted on 25 January 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
As I look ahead to the Super Bowl with far less excitement than I had at this time last week, I’ll begrudgingly admit that while not as interesting as the Ravens projected to be the Patriots and Giants match up in the big game is an interesting one and worth looking forward to. It is after all a chance to revisit the defining match up of the most important season in recent NFL history (in my opinion) with plenty of other storylines to be gathered along the way.
With some of those storylines in mind I present my ideal octet for Super Bowl companionship, or the 8 people I’d most like to have in a room for this year’s Super Bowl.
I’d like to see Manning’s emotions up close as his brother goes for a second ring (or one more than Peyton has) against the rival against whom Peyton will most often be measured in Tom Brady. I wonder if there’s just a little hater in him.
Call this pick the hater in me, as I’d love to sit next to Rex (with my shoes on of course) as he watches the two proverbial bears that he poked this season compete for the trophy he once again guaranteed to deliver himself. Rex may have been right in promising New York a Super Bowl this season, but he can’t be happy about it.
Speaking of haters, why not bring Eli Manning’s biggest basher to the celebration? We’ll be serving plenty of humble pie at my fictional gathering it seems.
Posted on 03 January 2012 by Drew Forrester
In what seems like an annual occurrence in these parts, we’re all once again reminded that the folks running the football team at The Castle know more than all of us…combined.
Not sure what I’m talking about, huh?
Two words for ya: Rex. Ryan.
Four years ago – right around this time, in fact – people in Baltimore were clamoring for Rex to be named the Ravens top man. Players wanted it. Rex campaigned for it, on my show, in fact. The national media assumed Ryan would be the perfect fit for a Ravens club that was in dire need of having its swagger restored.
Fortunately, those in charge at 1 Winning Drive were smarter than everyone else.
All you have to do is look at what’s happened in New York this season to know how smart the Ravens were back in 2008.
They had a chance to hire Ryan, but decided instead to go with John Harbaugh.
Four playoff appearances later, we should all just say “Thank You…and go on our way” (that’s from A Few Good Men, in case you didn’t know).
The predictable meltdown at the Jets headquarters in the wake of their humbling 8-8 campaign rests squarely on the shoulders of their head coach, who – and I can’t believe I’m quoting our resident nutjob from Indianapolis, Merton – is clearly “all bluster and no muster”.
Did you see how the Jets handled losing on Sunday in Miami? Players sulked on the bench, players bad-mouthed teammates to the media, players refused to meet with the press, players gave people the finger and stormed out of the locker room.
What a classy group.
All led by their head coach, of course, who champions that kind of behavior as some sort of merit badge for grit and toughness.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the Ravens can put their feet up for a few days and rest before feasting on one of the playoff appetizers at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15.
If you’re not keeping count, I’ll do it for you: Four years — and four post-season appearances from the Ravens under the guidance of John Harbaugh. And while we’re at it, let’s tighten the knee pads a little bit and remind everyone that only ONE team in the entire NFL has made the playoffs four straight seasons. Yep, the Ravens. And John Harbaugh. And Cam Cameron. And Joe Flacco.
It should come as no surprise that the players in New York followed Rex’s lead and basically behaved like 5th graders at recess. That’s how Rex thinks “men” should be treated. Hell, that’s hell Rex himself behaves half the time. It’s a frat house in New York. All they’re missing at the Jets practice facility are bongs and Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” and most of the players would think they were back in college.
Meanwhile in Baltimore, the players are held ultra-accountable by everyone from the owner on down. The last guy to REALLY step out of line in the Harbaugh era was Chris McAlister. Remember him? He lasted exactly five games with John before the new coach sniffed him out as a malcontent back in 2008 and shipped him off to an early retirement.
Rex Ryan is getting precisely what he deserves right now. Chaos.
John Harbaugh is getting precisely what he deserves, too. A chance to go to the Super Bowl for the 4th straight season.
And football fans in Baltimore should once again thank the Ravens for knowing more about hiring people than all of us.
Posted on 02 January 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
The end of another NFL season and the beginning of a new calendar year is sure to bring change as unfilled goals and promises demand accountability. Continue Reading
Posted on 26 December 2011 by Glenn Clark
You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
15 Positive Observations…
The ESPY Awards are an annual event put on by ESPN that you’ve never watched from start to finish despite the fact that the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” promotes them for about 6 months.
And since you likely won’t be watching next July, I’ll prevent the suspense. Jerome Simpson’s TD catch for the Cincinnati Bengals against the Arizona Cardinals Saturday wins SOMETHING.
As our own Brian Billick said on FOX, “you don’t get style points in the NFL but that oughtta be worth eight.”
Oh, and don’t look now but Cincy is playing great football just before they welcome the Ravens to Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday with the fate of the AFC North hanging in the balance. I don’t want to talk about that right now though. Perhaps never.
As someone who roots for a baseball team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1997, I know a thing or two about what it must have felt like for fans in the Music City to watch their team clinch a Wild Card spot in the final moments of their win over the San Diego Chargers Saturday night…
The Bolts were finally eliminated from the playoffs, which you would assume will lead to Norv Turner’s firing. They may or may not have already interviewed Bill Cowher for Turner’s job, and Jon Gruden may or may not be next.
In the meantime, if you’re going to lose at least do it with amazing hair like SD DE Antonio Garay…
It was the final win of a record-setting career for the Broncos quarterback, it was just really unfortunate it happened in this venue instead of in a BCS bowl, as America would have enjoyed watching them play a team that actually gave a s**t…
The win came as rumors swirled that Penn State was interested in hiring BSU coach Chris Petersen. In a related story, I am interested in being hired by Saturday Night Live.
Petersen obviously is not interested in replacing Joe Paterno in State College. And if you were living as large as this dude is, why would you take ANY job?
In the Carolina Panthers’ win over the Bucs Saturday, Newton broke National Football League records for rookie passing yards (Peyton Manning) and quarterback rushing touchdowns (Steve Grogan). He did it in pretty spectacular fashion…
Things couldn’t be worse for the Bucs. Head coach Raheem Morris apparently “sent home” DE Brian Price after getting a 15 yard personal foul call and the team’s freefall continued on toward what looks more and more likely to be Morris’ ultimate firing.
I kinda feel bad for them. Perhaps I should offer some of my mom (the great Karen Clark)’s holiday stuffed shells…
Kick rocks, ham.
Akers broke the record with FIVE field goals in the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Seattle Seahawks, moving the Niners a step closer to clinching the Number 2 seed in the NFC.
The Seahawks’ slim postseason hopes may have disappeared, but Marshawn Lynch HAS THE GREATEST PAIR OF KICKS I HAVE EVER SEEN…
Perhaps Foster the People has a follow up ready?
But as amazing as they are, perhaps Under Armour & Brandon Jennings did one better with their “Rudolph” inspired kicks…
Okay…synthetic fur? I HAVE to get back into the shoe game.
Matt Barkley returning to Southern California is confusing because we know he would have been a potential Top 5 pick in the NFL Draft, but we also know what could be ahead. Heisman Trophy, Pac 12 & BCS Championship hopes and bevies of hot chicks.
I mean, the guy can play Jason Mraz on the guitar. He must be dodging panties every day he walks around Los Angeles. Tough life there…
Of course, he’s also been filmed doing this…
With the Pats trailing the Miami Dolphins 17-0 at halftime Saturday, Facebook and Twitter were alive in Charm City with hopes of the Ravens still having a shot at the #1 seed in the AFC.
I however looked at my executive producer Ryan Chell and said “when Tom Brady decides to start playing I think they’ll be fine.”
They were. The Pats charged back from the halftime deficit to beat the Fins and are now a win away from clinching the #1 seed in the AFC. Apparently none of that is enough for owner Robert Kraft to get a high five…
Also, this looks like a good holiday film/way to make sure you don’t struggle in the red zone…
Of note for Miami, Reggie Bush remarkably ran for 100+ yards AGAIN in the defeat and we learned this weekend his mom does not want him to get back together with Kim Kardashian. That’s fine, I think Catalina Otalvaro would be a better catch anyway…
(Continued on Page 2)
Posted on 20 December 2011 by Thyrl Nelson
Week 15 of the NFL season brought about a heavy dose of perspective and a number of reality checks for teams that rightly appeared to be primed for the playoffs just a week ago. While frustration, part and parcel to any NFL season, isn’t easy to accept, it’s still far better than the alternative…apathy.
Sometimes seeing your own favorite team regularly and up close and for all its warts and blemishes makes it tough to mesh that perspective with the “bird’s eye” view that we get of most teams through highlights and limited national TV exposure. That said, fans in cities from Green Bay to Indianapolis are up in arms over the weekend’s action and could all probably use a healthy dose of perspective.
While the Ravens are far from perfect or infallible, they’re the devil we know, and for that I’m both happy and hopeful. As for the devils that we don’t know, here are 10 of the most interesting NFL storylines that I’m glad to be seeing from the bird’s eye view, as they’re undoubtedly entertaining for fans, but probably best appreciated from afar.
Here are the Top 10 NFL Storylines That I’m Glad Are Playing Out in Someone Else’s Back Yard.
Storyline #10- Suck for Luck
For the first 5 or so weeks of the season there were anywhere from 5-10 interested and interesting looking candidates in the Luck sweepstakes. By mid-season it was down to 2, and as Matt Moore and the Dolphins tried against hope to rally around coach Tony Sparano, only Indianapolis was left in the Luck conversation. That invited a number of other conversations regarding Luck’s potential and Peyton Manning’s future with the Colts. Last week’s win by Indy may have reignited hope in both St. Louis and Minnesota as potential Luck destinations.