When it comes to professional sports, I’ve been a spoiled fan … I’ll admit it. While the Colts and Pacers have combined for just one league championship, they’ve both been winning franchises for the better part of two decades.

As an Indiana professional sports fan ... it will be time to dust off the paper bag soon enough.

As a professional sports fan in Indiana ... it will be time to dust off the paper bag soon enough.

Since 1990, the Colts have made the playoffs 11 times … the Pacers 16 times.

However, being 30, my earliest recollections of  the Colts and Pacers aren’t very good.

In the late 80s/early 90s – about the time my sports memories become clear – the Pacers hovered around .500, slipping into the playoffs each year only to get waxed by Bird’s Celtics or Ewing’s Knicks.

The Colts were much worst. They were mediocre with quarterbacks like Jack Trudeau – who is also mediocre in Tecmo Bowl – and Chris Chandler. Then they drafted Jeff George and things were supposed to change. Not so much. The Colts had four losing seasons to open the ’90s, including a 1-15 campaign in ’91.

I went to last night’s Cavaliers/Pacers game, not to cover it but just as a fan … and it became painfully clear that my sports world is about to revert to my childhood.

The Pacers will complete their third consecutive losing season tomorrow. And they will miss the playoffs for the third straight time for the first time in about a quarter of a century.

Things aren’t going to turn around overnight for the Pacers either. They are in salary cap hell for two more seasons, stuck with the contracts of stiffs like Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, and Jamaal Tinsley.

Then there’s the Colts. I know, I know … now I’m just whining. But in my crystal ball I see something. I see the end of the Peyton Manning Era. I see that coinciding with general manager Bill Polian giving up the NFL life for Mai Tais on a beach in Costa Rica. I see a small-market franchise without an identity reverting back to early 90s form.

I guess it’s been a good run for my teams. Don’t shed a tear for me. And if someone from New Orleans or Seattle beats me senseless … I probably deserve it.

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