The Indianapolis Colts need help to get into the playoffs -- but first, they need to take care of their own business by beating the downtrodden Jaguars.
In order to keep their professional football players focused on doing their jobs, the Colts are hiding scores of other NFL games involving teams Indianapolis needs to lose during Sunday's affair.
"Maybe not to all guys, but if it's a distraction to one guy, that's one guy too many," Colts coach Frank Reich said of the decision, via ESPN. "It's better not to have them up there. It's irrelevant. It can do nothing to add to what we have to focus on. It only has a potential negative effect in our view."
Fortunately for those in the stands and any interested players, this is not 1999. A curious individual need not stare at the scoreboard and wait for it to cycle to the Pittsburgh-Cleveland, Baltimore-Cincinnati, Tennessee-Houston or Miami-Buffalo games to see if the Colts suddenly have a better chance of getting to the playoffs. There's no need to flip open and extend the antenna from your bulky, largely plastic cellular phone in order to dial a friend and find out what's going on around the NFL.
This is the Information Age. There's no hiding the truth, man. Just ask Philip Rivers.
"My normal mode when we play the 4 o'clock game, I kind of flip through the Sunday Ticket on my phone. So to say I won't be doing that will be a lie," Rivers said, again via ESPN. "I won't be consumed with it, but I'll be aware. To try to pretend like you're not going to know the outcome of those games is probably unrealistic. But I don't think it needs to consume our locker room. Go through normal routine. If your normal routine is checking on 1 o'clock games, I don't know why you will change that to act like you're not interested."
Attempting to insulate a football team is nearly impossible in today's era of instant information and social media. That falls on the shoulders of the players, not the staff, who can emphasize the importance of being focused on the task at hand, but can only hope its players are as much in tune with the wants and needs of the organization as those coaching them. And if the players want to know, they're going to find out.
This is, again, their job. They get paid to attempt to win football games, and they are well aware that after losing to Pittsburgh last week, none of those other scores matter if the Colts don't first win their own game. Leave the scoreboard checking for afterward, sure, but turning Lucas Oil Stadium into closed-circuit television just seems unnecessary.