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Colts Speak Out on AFC Finalist Banner Uproar

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Despite being highly criticized by some members of the national media, the Indianapolis Colts still see no problem with celebrating last season’s playoff accomplishment with a 2014 AFC Finalists banner. Even though the team fell short of their ultimate goal of winning a championship, it still warrants such serious recognition in their eyes:

"“It’s very hard in the National Football League to win,” said Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward via ESPN.com. “Not every team gets to make the playoffs. To make the playoffs, and more so consistently, is something to be proud of. It’s an achievement to be proud of. A lot of teams would love to be in a position to recognize a playoff season regardless of how it ends.”"

While critics will argue the Colts are celebrating a loss, it’s still a fairly impressive accomplishment to be among the NFL’s ‘Final Four’ teams at season’s end all things considered. No one’s saying it’s as great as winning a championship by any means; however, it’s still something that 28 other NFL teams can’t say they did. Not only that, but as previously noted, the Colts have been doing this for years, so it’s very strange that this is now suddenly drawing ire from some members of the national media:

"“I’m very surprised at what it’s turned into,” Ward said. “This is not a new thing we’ve just started. All the visiting, all the national media — as well as media attending the (NFL scouting) combine and other major events — have all seen our banners since 1987, have known we’ve done them. So it’s interesting that it has suddenly become a news story. I know we’re not the only team and franchise in sports that recognizes in-stadium achievement that doesn’t involve a world championship.”"

An NFL team doesn’t have to win a Super Bowl championship to hang a banner. After all, the Colts seemingly hang up an AFC South Championship banner every season, but in my opinion, being an AFC Finalist is far more meaningful given the current sad state of the division.

As astutely pointed out by WTHR’s Bob Kravitz earlier, the New England Patriots of all teams have a banner commemorating their 16-0 season in 2007, even though they failed to win the Super Bowl that season:

It’s not just the Colts. 

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