By Mike Chappell
Last Friday, feeling generous with a new $37 million contract and a second Pro Bowl designation, Bob Sanders took several of his Indianapolis Colts teammates out to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
One of his guests, linebacker Gary Brackett, promised if Sanders was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year — becoming the first player in franchise history so honored — the group would pick up Sanders' tab at this week's gathering."I'll be getting my money back,'' Sanders said Monday in the Colts' locker room, his sheepish smile growing.
The hard-hitting safety overwhelmingly won the league's top defensive honor, getting 31 of 50 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Tennessee tackle Albert Haynesworth and Seattle end Patrick Kerney tied for second at four votes each.
"It's a goal I set every year for myself,'' Sanders said, clearly moved by the award. "I couldn't be more excited. "This is great, man.''
Along with being the first Colt to win the award, Sanders joins Baltimore's Ed Reed (2004), Seattle's Kenny Easley (1984) and Miami's Dick Anderson (1973) as the only safeties singled out.
That's an elite group, and Sanders earned it. He ranks second on the team with 132 tackles but first in making an impact.
"He's a game-changer," Brackett said.
The ability to finish plays or compensate if a teammate misses a tackle led coach Tony Dungy to nickname the fourth-year player "The Eraser.'' Dungy noted that Sanders and the Colts' defensive scheme are a perfect fit. Not only is the safety effective when crowding the line of scrimmage, he makes plays deep in coverage.
"He's probably what you would look for if you were designing a safety for this system," Dungy said. "Every now and then you get that guy who just really fits the job description."
Sanders, who was the Colts' second-round draft pick out of Iowa in 2004, was instrumental in the Colts winning their first Super Bowl in more than three decades last February. After missing 12 games with a knee injury, he returned for the postseason and helped resurrect a defense that ranked last in the league against the run during the regular season.
It's been more of the same this season. Sanders proved he could stay on the field — he missed one game with bruised ribs — and was a key component as the Colts defense finished first in fewest points allowed and third in total yards.
"We've been known so long as an offensive team (that) for someone from our defense to be recognized … quite an accomplishment," Dungy said. "He's made a difference for us. He's a great player.''
And he's hungry for that payback. Sanders wouldn't divulge how much he spent on his teammates last week, other than to assure it was expensive.
"Just think about it,'' he said. "We're at Ruth's Chris, we have seven or eight guys and we were there for a decent amount of time."
Brackett pleaded ignorance about the bill.
"I don't ask those questions," he said. "When it's on them, you just sit back and enjoy."
It's Brackett and the others who will pay this week.
But honestly, how much can a 5-8, 206-pounder eat?
"I might not eat it all, but I can order (a lot). Whatever is on the menu," Sanders, 26, said. "I might come away with two days' worth of meals. And I'll definitely look at the desserts.
"I've got to get my money back."
Indianapolis Colts safety Bob Sanders recorded 132 tackles in the regular season. That included this hit on Titans tight end Bo Scaife on Dec. 30. - MATT DETRICH /
[Edit] [Delete] [View Comments]Subject : thingsPosted Date: : Dec 28, 2007 10:32 PMWhomever decided to market Craisins is a genius. Then to add the cherry and orange flavors - brilliant! My salads, nor life, would be the same without them.
52 on the Milwaukee Admirals sucks. The dude can't skate, has no stick handling ability and just plain should not be a semi-pro. He should go back to Ponies but can't because he's too big and WASHED UP. Can you tell I just attended an IHL hockey game. It was the Admirals vs. the Chicago Wolves and the Wolves aren't half bad. The only thing that made it a game was their goalie was the biggest sieve ever - crap they would have done better pulling him and playing 6-men the entire time.
I hope the Giants win tomorrow. Wouldn't that be awesome if Eli can break the season for Peyton and Crew. I get done working at 7 (at the boutique) and have to scurry home (hopefully it's on normal tv?) otherwise - who's up for somewhere else?
I'm tired. Between Jesus and Tiffanys' birthday week, it's been a long one.
[Edit] [Delete] [View Comments]Subject : Tackled and 10,000Posted Date: : Dec 16, 2007 9:56 AMLast night was so fun. After the working all day thing that I do, Tiffany picked me up for a night of relaxation.
We headed to Steve's where he drove us in the new-to-you Subaru with it's 4-wheel drive (since it had been snowing for about 24 hours). We went to Nick and Lisa's party in New Berlin. Enjoyed some fantastic food. Met Lindsey and Brent (who will now be coming to Tiff's b-day celebration at the Highbury) and made our way for an "ugly (Christmas) sweater" party at what we thought was Von Triers.
Tiffany conveniently forgot her ugly sweater, so I brought one for her (Pics soon to be posted).
We had to go to the bathroom bad; and stopped at the Landmark to take care of business. We couldn't leave without the Steve and Rachael challenge of Dance Dance Revolution. Steve won again, but I am increasingly getting my perfects and he better watch out because by the third round I was kickin' his butt.
We walked to Von Trier (in our ugly sweaters) to find out the party wasn't there. I didn't care, but I think the others were embarassed to be seen with me ;p Yeah, it was at the other "V" bar - Vitucci's.
We played pool all night and realized just how immature 21 year old boys are. Thanks to Wilke I got to call out one who flicked a burning cigarette off my butt. I've been known to be "thick" so I didn't actually notice. But I walked up and called the little bastard out for fun. He said, Oh I didn't mean to. So, I said, "That's a lie. Why would you flick a burning cigarette off my ass?" Again to half-assed reply, but he did apologize and told me he would buy me a shot if I lost the game due to loss of concentratation. Didn't have to worry about that because he got kicked out of dumb-assness before the outcome of the game was decided -- which was a win, yeah I hit the -ball in!)
After Vitucci's we decided to get snowballs in hand and fire at Dan as he was leaving the bar. I must have had one-to-many jack n'cokes because as he was exiting I yelled "AMBUSH" - which signified to he and Steve to get the hell back in the bar. They came out on a mission. Steve took Tiff to the snow bank and Dan tackled me on the sidewalk! Dude is 6"3 and maybe 220-230. I felt like I was flattended. Then I did a comparison and it would be like a 250lb dude getting tackled by a 465lb dude. Add the non-soft concrete side-walk turf and well OUCH!
It's okay. I'm tough so we went to Ma Fishers where again they were embarassed by my sweater. But we ran into hot Chad, his girlfriend Kelly and friend Brian. Chad put on my sweater for all to see (pic also coming).
All in all it was a good night!
Oh and the 10,000 my last blog count was 9999 so... yeah! I have almost 10,000 blog reads.