Hard to imagine a year ago that the midway point of the 2012 NFL season would be defined by the Indianapolis Colts. But it is:
-- Chuck Pagano's leave-of-absence while battling leukemia, leading to the most gripping moment of the season so far.
-- Andrew Luck fulfilling his potential as the best NFL QB prospect since Peyton Manning by setting a new single-game record for passing yards by a rookie.
-- The Colts -- who are supposed to be (and have every right to be) in post-Peyton rebuilding mode -- being entirely in the mix for a Wild Card spot in the AFC.
At the midway point of the NFL season, they are the Team of the Year. More awards:
MVP: Matt Ryan
Rookie: Luck and Robert Griffin III
Coach: Lovie Smith
More NFL: Is there anything more symbolically appropriate than Jerry Jones being locked out of the Cowboys locker room after their loss to the Falcons?
If I am Jerry Jones: I am formulating a break-the-bank offer for the suddenly contract-free Sean Payton.
BCS: Oregon hops over Notre Dame. Oregon can't play defense. Then again, Notre Dame nearly lost to Pitt. Kansas State fans are probably sure the Wildcats can beat both anyway.
Lakers win! Imagine the hysteria if they lost to the lowly Pistons. Doesn't change the fact that this team is very far from being a contender (let alone the top contender) in the West.
Tonight: Eagles-Saints, in a must-win for both teams, making it a delightfully desperate situation to watch for those of us who don't care about either team.
Fantasy: When your team sucks -- as mine does, perennially -- you take the moments when they happen. For example, my 1-7 bottom-feeders were playing the 7-1 league-leaders this week. My hearty band throttled them (and that was with Andrew Luck on my bench, sitting behind Cam Newton, who I just can't bring to sit), and my playoff-less season is made.
Don't forget to vote.