Indy needs riot training 

Unfamiliarity with victory leads to no Super Bowl riots 

I’m too hung over to write even a semi-coherent column this week, so instead I’ll present some of the notes I made Sunday night before passing out face down in a bowl of semi-hardened Velveeta dip.

•    According to the overnight Nielsen TV ratings, 83 percent of the television sets in Indianapolis were tuned in to the Super Bowl broadcast on CBS Sunday night. That’s a pretty impressive number, but it begs the question of what the other 17 percent of viewers were watching. Was it the touching documentary Behind the Blank: The Match Game Story on the Game Show Network? The figure skating event on ESPN? Reruns of Diff’rent Strokes? The mind boggles.

•    This city needs better riot training. I’m not talking about the police, who did an excellent job. I’m talking about training for the citizens of Indianapolis. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re not used to winning sports championships, but I didn’t see a single car overturned, garbage can set ablaze or building looted. If the Bears had won, Rush Street would still be burning. Maybe the city can import fans from Detroit to mentor us on how to trash a city before next year’s big game.

I listened to the police scanner all night after the game and all I heard was a few noise complaints and the usual assortment of traffic accidents and domestic disturbances. Indianapolis, we can do better.

Heck, the kids at Purdue started a riot after the women’s hoops team won the NCAA title in 1999 and Indianapolis can’t manage even one looted building? Where is our civic pride?

•    The Colts may have won the game, but the real winner of the weekend was Anheuser-Busch, who sold enough Budweiser on Saturday to fill the RCA Dome. My wife wanted some chocolate Saturday night, so I ventured to the nearby Kroger. At 11 p.m., the place was as busy as the day before Thanksgiving. Seven lanes were open and the line was 10 deep in each of them. Practically every person in line had two or three 18-packs of Bud or Bud Light, which was on sale for $7.99. The store’s beer section was nearly empty.

•    In the days leading up to the game, people kept saying, “I think we’re gonna win.” Not “the Colts” will win, but “we.” If “we” did win, then I want a check for my share of the prize money. The only thing most of us won Sunday night was a hangover, a missed day of work on Monday and the right to buy exceedingly ugly Reebok commemorative shirts. They won. We got to enjoy their victory. Big difference.

•    At the two-minute warning, I got a call from my conspiracy-buff friend. “They’ve won it,” I said.
“Not so fast,” my buddy said. “The game’s in Florida. They’ll do a recount and give it to the Bears. Mark my words.”

•    Why is it called the world championship when we’re the only country on Earth that plays this sport? The CBS announcers said the game was being televised in 170 countries. If that’s the case, 169 of them were scratching their heads and trying to figure out the rules. Either that or they’re all big fans of Prince, which is much more likely. A quick perusal of London newspapers made no mention of the game, just pictures of topless chicks and speculation about the future of Manchester United.

•    Why do winning players and coaches give all the credit to God for their victories? Did God hate the Bears? If the Colts had lost, did that mean Satan would have been behind it? Just once, just once, I’d like to hear a quarterback say it was his throwing arm, not Jesus, which led his team to victory.

•    All kidding aside, the victory was a great one for the franchise and the city. More than that, it was a symbolic statement that sometimes the good guys do win. Hard work does occasionally yield results. And after treating himself to an extra helping of milk and cookies to celebrate the Super Bowl win, Peyton Manning will start making plans on how his team can repeat as champions.

Congratulations, Colts. Congratulations, Indy. Next time, at least break a window or something.


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