via

The onset of Pey-Pey’s NeckAIDS made 2011 a lost season for the Colts, filled with beer gut-wrenching losses, Curtis Painter, Don Orlovsky and a laughable 62-7 loss to the Saints. The positive upshot of this is that Indy succeeded in sucking for Luck and purged themselves of Nien Nunb likeness, Jim Caldwell. A bevy of aged vets were cast off in the off-season, making room for a youth movement for the Fat Humps. Even if movement always sounds a little intimidating for the locals.

Five Fast Facts About The Colts:

– Pat McAfee chases varnish with grain alcohol. He switches to hand sanitizer when he wants to sober up.

– Rookie tight end Coby Fleener filled in for Peter King this summer because Fleener once interviewed PK for a journalism class at Stanford. I’m totally not rooting for an injury, unless I am.

– Andrew Luck’s fist bump is just white enough not to alienate corny Midwesterns.

– New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is accusing the team’s receivers of “fiddle-farting” around. I assume this means actually running beyond the line of scrimmage instead of standing there and catching bubble screens that go nowhere.

– Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney are being converted to outside linebackers in the Colts 3-4 base defense. No worries, they’ll still make the Pro Bowl at defensive end out of reputation.

Notable acquisitions: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Cory Redding, Tom Zbikowski, Mewelde Moore, Donnie Avery

Notable departures: Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Pierre Garcon, Dallas Clark, Curtis Painter, Ryan Diem

Vegas win total over/under: 5.5 wins

KSK verdict: OVER

Fantasy player you’ll want to dig at with rusty hooks: Donald Brown

Donald Brown was the Colts’ first-round pick in 2009 and his three seasons in the league have each begun with reports of everyone being impressed with his explosiveness and that Brown being presumed to assume the starting running back role in the offense within the first month or so of the season. This, of course, never happened. Brown saw just enough action to be marginally relevant. He’s had one 100+ yard game each of the last two seasons, just occasionally freakishly productive enough to piss the shit out of everyone.

Fan forecast, by Brad Wells, the editor of one-time KSK nemesis, Stampede Blue (ZOMG! DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER! MASS HYSTERIA!):

The state of Indiana was recently elevated in the national obesity ratings, ballooning from 15th to 8th out of 50 states. Thank you, my Hoosier brother and sisters. The KSK “Fat Humps” meme is still alive and well thanks to you continuing to shove buckets of gravy and mayonnaise into your pie holes every year.

Another fun meme that has been oh-so-enjoyable to talk about during this NFL offseason is the “fair-weather Colts fan” one. You know, the one where 13% of the fanbase said “see yeah!” when it came time to renew their season tickets for 2012. The one where people actually showed up to a preseason game recently wearing authentic Peyton Manning Denver Broncos jerseys as some kind of stupid protest against the front office for purging the roster of all its old, injured, and useless players held over from a 2-14 season.

I love Indiana. I spent 18 years of my life there. It was a good place to grow up in. Not all of it is fat and stupid. But Jesus, do they make it hard to convince everyone outside of Indiana otherwise.

In order to preview the 2012 Indianapolis Colts, the mindset of the fanbase and their crazy-as-monkey-balls owner is essential. One of the biggest events in the state every year is the Indiana State Fair.

Seriously.

This state has hosted NCAA tournaments, B1G football championships, and a Super Bowl. Yet, a glorified farm show featuring barn animals and selling overpriced, processed food is THE place to be every year for Hoosiers. It’s a convention of “Fat Humps.” If they pumped the collective lard out of everyone who attends the State Fair, it would make enough Fight Club soap to clean the Earth for the next 5,000 years.

Indiana folks have a circus mentality. They like horses, cows, funnel cakes, and cheap spectacle in the same way New Yorkers love rats, tunnels, corn beef, and Derek Jeter. The circus crowd is Jim Irsay’s audience. This is why he acts like a big top clown every chance he gets and why people have such a love-hate relationship with him.

Only Jim Irsay could cut Peyton Manning, who has had four neck surgeries in two years, and come out looking like a clueless buffoon when all is said and done. The Colts had the No. 1 overall pick in 2012 after a 2-14 season created in large part because Bill Polian is a prick and his two sons (who were elevated to high ranking positions in the front office solely because they were related to said prick) were clueless and lazy at their jobs.

I’d like to say that just my opinion, but it isn’t. That’s what people who actually worked within the organization told me.

With the No. 1 pick comes Andrew Luck, and if you have Andrew Luck, who don’t sit him behind a guy who has had four neck surgeries in two years. That seems like fairly common wisdom. Yet, for reasons that still force me to put my forehead through a wall, people in Indiana are actually mad at Irsay for cutting Peyton Manning and drafting Andrew Luck.

The re-signing of aging veterans Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis was done, in large part, to placate those fans who are mad. Retaining Dwight Freeney, and his $15 million dollar cap hit, was another move to calm to mob. However, with Manning’s release, and years of Polian idiocy when it came to contract extensions and drafting, Indianapolis enters 2012 with roughly $38 million in “dead cap” money tied around their necks. This has forced new G.M. Ryan Grigson to do two things that the Polians failed to do over the last five years: Draft well and sign cheap-but-effective free agents.

The results are an incomplete team, but one that is far more intriguing than any one the Colts have tossed out there the last few years, or so. Andrew Luck looks like a 23-year-old Peyton Manning, a fact that is lost to some of the stupider members of our beloved fanbase. Getting angry at an owner for replacing your team’s 36-year-old QB with a healthier, younger version is like getting mad at your friends for buying you a new flatscreen TV. Sure, you had a lot of wonderful memories watching games on that old, rabbit-eared, boob tube that you used to have plopped in the middle of your living room, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it for sentimental reasons as the signal begins to degrade. You replace it with something younger and better, if you can. And if that replacement is basically handed to you, you don’t say no. You take it and say, “See ya suckers,” to all the Vikings, Dolphins, and Browns fans who are still waiting for their clubs to deliver them a franchise QB.

I mean, seriously! From Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck in just one year. How stupid is that! If you are a Colts fan and you are angry about that, I almost want to punch you in the face and then slap your mother for doing a poor job.

From a fantasy standpoint, keep your eyes on Austin Collie and rookies Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. Collie and Luck have developed good chemistry this off-season in the passing game, and Fleener was Luck’s favorite target in college. Allen is a beast in red zones, and the new coaching staff plans to use him there. Stay away from Donald Brown. He’ll be good for a game or two, but the five or six games where he does nothing will kill you.

I’ll use this final paragraph to thank xmas ape for asking me to do this preview, and to thank the Indiana State Fair for always being what it is. Yeah, I’ve outgrown it, and I’ve probably turned into a bit of a snob when I discuss it. Despite the silly, dated spectacle that it is, the fair (in many ways) is very much indicative of Indiana’s culture and community. It is totally unpretentious, and it sticks out as an odd reminder that, no matter where you go, if you grew up in Indiana you’ll always be a “fat hump.”