Training camp begins in nine days and preseason is less than a month away. So why isn’t anybody talking about the Indianapolis Colts?

The triplets are ancient history. Will the fan base be history when the winning stops?

The triplets are ancient history. Will the fan base be history when the winning stops?

This is typically a time of excitement and anticipation for Colts football, yet the city seems apathetic. The question is why.

Perhaps with just one triplet remaining, the beloved Tony Dungy gone, and the city’s newspaper writing more about Indiana’s WNBA team than the Colts, there just isn’t much for fans to get fired up about.

Could it be that Colts fans have become as accustomed to winning as they had become to losing in the team’s first decade in Indianapolis? In nine of the last 10 seasons the Colts have won at least 10 games and made the playoffs.

Or, maybe the fans are simply losing faith in the team’s postseason prowess. Aside from their Super Bowl run in ’06, the Colts were one-and-done in six of their last eight playoff runs.

The Colts’ new home hasn’t helped matters. Lucas Oil Stadium is a state-of-the-art facility, but it doesn’t have the same feel as the Dome. It’s not as loud, not as intimate, and not as intimidating for visiting teams.

Additionally, finding a half-way decent seat for less than $70 is virtually impossible and the nose-bleed seats are horrendous. At the Dome, virtually any seat put you on top of the action.

Whatever the reason, the local buzz for this team has dwindled.

But while the massive coaching overhaul will be an issue and the triplets are down to one, Colts president Bill Polian has quietly done one of his best jobs this offseason.

The Colts had to let Marvin Harrison walk, but despite having little salary cap room they were able to resign all of their other major free agents — Kelvin Hayden, Jeff Saturday, and Freddy Keiaho. In fact, 21-of-22 starters from last year’s playoff roster will return.

After years of ignoring the gaping hole in the middle of the defensive line, Polian added three 300-pound defensive tackles to the roster this offseason – free agent Ed Johnson, USC’s Fili Moala (second-round pick), and Michigan’s Terrance Taylor (fourth-round pick).

The Colts’ running game was pathetic in ’08, but starting left guard Ryan Lilja returns after missing the entire season to injury and the Colts used their first pick in the ’09 draft to take running back Donald Brown, who should add some fire to the team’s backfield.

The bottom line is that the Colts have one of the best managed franchises in major U.S. sports and there is a lot to be excited about.

Imagine if the Browns, Lions, or Bears had a decade like the Colts have put together … it would be pandemonium. The argument is constantly made that those are traditional football cities and Indianapolis isn’t. But 2009 marks the 26th season for the Colts in Indianapolis … when does that excuse go away?

Regardless, I have a funny feeling that when No. 18 hangs them up in a few years, we’ll be hearing some crickets in big ol’ Lucas Oil Stadium. In the meantime, this team may have a few more title runs in them — let’s just hope the city stays behind them.

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