RICH JAMES: Colts can pound sand, we prefer Bears

2013-08-31T22:32:00Z 2013-08-31T22:33:09Z RICH JAMES: Colts can pound sand, we prefer BearsBy Rich James
August 31, 2013 10:32 pm  • 

Quit whining, Speros. We are tougher than that in Northwest Indiana.

You sound like the skinny guy on the beach who just had sand kicked in his face.

Oh yeah, I guess it was sand that got you in such a snit in the first place.

We are talking about Speros Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.

What had Speros all worked up was that the Indianapolis Colts went to Saugatuck, Mich., to have the team’s cheerleaders pose on the beach for their annual swimsuit calendar.

What about our beaches in Indiana, Speros moaned.

“The decision … is an affront to Hoosiers throughout our great state,” Speros said in a letter to Colts management. “It is an even greater insult to those of us in the northwest corner of Indiana.”

Speros also said he is a bit miffed the Colts didn’t even ask him about having the cheerleaders do the photo shoot along the Indiana shores of Lake Michigan.

I’m not sure, but I think we have a bit of a bruised ego. It’s that “what-about-me” syndrome.

I appreciate the work Speros does for Lake County. As he puts it, his job is “to put heads in beds.”

That means he is to lure softball and soccer tournaments to the area. That’s great. It sends dozens of kids scurrying to fast-food restaurants and area motels. And I bet those soccer moms fill up at local gas stations.

But the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders? We can live without them, Speros.

Speros said it was a missed opportunity for the Colts, who could have developed more of a fan base in the region.

There’s one problem with that. The National Football League rules prohibit the Colts from pushing season tickets or having fan fests in this corner of the state.

That’s right, this is Chicago Bears country. We don’t need the Colts trying to worm their way in here or having their cheerleaders sashaying across West Beach.

Yeah, Speros, this is Bears country, and we don’t even need cheerleaders.

Bears fans would prefer a calendar with shots of Bill George, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Walter Payton and Da Coach.

The Colts play in an indoor stadium because neither their players nor their fans want to get wet.

The Bears play without a roof along the lakefront where howling winds, blowing snow and freezing temperatures make a game fun.

Yeah, Speros, we don’t need the Colts or their cheerleaders hanging around the region.

Founder George Halas and the Bears are what pro football is all about. The Colts, on the other hand, slipped out of Baltimore under the cover of darkness.

We’re Region Rats, Speros, and we don’t whine.

Rich James has been writing about state and local government and politics for more than 30 years. Email him at The opinions are the writer’s.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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