Though his qualities faded with time as his hips crumbled to dust (that's a medical term), fan zeal never waned.
So now that Colt's been cut, the Cult of Colt needs a new cut. But who can fill the emptiness? Who can adequately fill those considerably inadequate shoes?
Allow us to help.
Based on how the Cult found Colt, several rules must apply: The player must be a rookie. Fans didn't take a season before taking a liking to Brennan. No, this love affair was forged in the fire of pre-season glory, which titillates equally irrationally and spectacularly, and burns bright enough to withstand coming reality.
Secondly, the player has to have accomplished things in a program that doesn't matter, so that deficiencies can, for a time, be masked by the carryover promise of what was when things were easier. Colt Brennan set NCAA records at Hawaii. Though common sense dictates that means nothing -- Hawaii! -- Brennan showed just enough spark that fans believed it could actually mean something.
Thirdly, he's got to have been lowly valued in the draft. Brennan, selected in the sixth round, barely squeaked in. How little the entire NFL valued him meant nothing (and should still) to Redskins fans.
Out of a handful of Redskins rookies, few of them rate. Trent Williams is a first-rounder, we're supposed to love him. He's out.
The undrafted Selvish Capers is an option -- his name is Selvish Capers! -- and "Cult of Capers" has an excellent ring. But the depth chart doesn't give him much chance to dazzle us for a while.
Perry Riley's there, and what's lovable if not a linebacker? But he lacks a little je ne sais quoi. Same with six-rounder Dennis Morris -- fullbacks aren't really the stuff of stadium squeals.
That leaves...yes. Yes, this is the one: Brandon Banks. Standing just 5'7", he's as long a shot for a productive NFL career as Brennan's wonky mechanics promised him. Check!
Banks was also undrafted, and went from JUCO to Kansas State. Appropriately terrible!
And best of all, he's just the sort of electric return specialist that can rip off a few pre-season stunners -- that 98-yard sprint against Nebraska comes to mind -- and make you forget all of the above as you gaze, love light in your eyes, at his tiny retreating back.
Word out of training camps is that Banks has already shown coaches his ability to break tackles, and we we already knew he's speedy. If he hangs around long enough, we might get a Colt-ish pre-season display of brilliance worthy of the Cult. Whether or not he actually hangs around is another matter -- what matters is the initial spark.
Consider this a set-up.