Whoever thought that Rob Lowe, best known for his directorial debut the night before the Democratic Convention, would be the medium to announce the end of one of the greatest players in NFL history.
For Peyton Manning, the beginning of the end all started with a tweet: Rob Lowe announced on twitter roughly two weeks ago that Manning would retire, and insisted he heard it from a “damn good source”. Manning, rightfully ticked off, given that Lowe is very good friends with Colt’s owner Jim Irsay, granted Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star an interview a week later. In the interview, he said, among other things, “everybody’s walking on egg shells” at the Colts office.
Jim Irsay then used a press conference scheduled to introduce the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, as an opportunity to take some shots at Manning. The worst of which, and overlooked by most of the mainstream press was when he claimed, “…there’s been plenty of eggshells scattered around this building by him with his competitive desire to win”. Think about what he is really saying with that statement. Weren’t we told the exact same thing about ex-general manager/vice president Bill Polian’ s tenure with the Colts.
Manning then took the higher ground, called for peace and love, and last Friday he and Irsay issued a joint statement about their great relationship, and how it’s based upon mutual respect and trust, and more spinning of the story then is worth repeating. The joint statement did nothing to stop the feeding frenzy that went into high gear after that one little tweet.
All weekend long, Peyton Manning, his family, and Colts fans were bombarded by stories, commentary, and pundits, debating if there was a feud between Irsay and Manning, when the Colts would release Manning, and how he would never play again. The story overshadowed the Senior Bowl, and it’s overshadowing the Super Bowl to some extent.
Sunday night, Peter King of NBC Sports dropped the bombshell that Peyton Manning was struggling with his rehab, and was having trouble regaining arm strength in his throwing shoulder.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for Manning, a clip aired on Monday, from an interview from Tuesday Night’s "Sports Center Special: NFL Face to Face" (9 p.m. ET), where Irsay states he can’t make decisions about Peyton Manning’s future on a “sentimental basis”. For Jim Irsay, “This isn’t fantasy football.” In other words, Jim Irsay has a great relationship with Peyton Manning as long as it doesn’t affect his bottom line.
Irsay, the businessman, couldn’t keep his mouth shut for one week, and let the Manning family enjoy this momentous occasion for Peyton’s little brother Eli. Instead, Irsay rather ignore the fact that were it not for Manning there would be no Lombardi trophy in Indy, no shiny new stadium and no Super Bowl for the City of Indianapolis.
One can only imagine what Manning must be going through: having to deal with the fact that his throwing arm isn’t responding like it’s supposed to be (regardless of whatever he says to the contrary), that his former friend, and boss is now treating him like chattel, and the mixed emotions Peyton has to deal with watching his little brother going to another Super Bowl.
On the one hand, he must be proud seeing his little brother Eli going to another Super bowl, yet in the big picture, Peyton Manning understands that the outcome of Sunday’s game will help decide his place in the annals of the NFL.
After the festivities of this week are over, Jason La Confora is reporting Manning will be cut sometime before the combine.
Manning will leave Lucas Oil Stadium a stranger. Left only with his thoughts of what could have been: riding out a winner like John Elway did in Denver. Instead, his last memory with the Colts will be a playoff game against the Jets, where an inexplicable time out very well might have cost him that second ring, and that ride off into the sunset.
No, there are no happy endings for a competitor like Manning. Despite all the accolades, his family, the inevitable Hall of Fame induction, the tragic way it ended in Indy is something that he will live with for a very long time.
From the local news media:
Jim Irsay just tweeted the following about Peyton's condition: "@JimIrsay: Peyton has not passed our physical nor has he been cleared to play for The Indianapolis Colts. Team statement coming on Friday."
The saga continues. I would say that the odds of Peyton playing again for the Colts are the same as the odds of Jeff George being enshrined in Canton.
It really amazes me how people worship other human beings...
Manning is a great QB arguably the best ever...certainly on the Mt. Rushmore with Elway Montana and Unitas...
It's best to have a healthy Manning for the duration of his career in a Colts uniform...
But the people in the Fanbase that would rather blow up the cap on a Manning at 70% are not interested in winning they want to be entertained.
I have followed Trudeau, Hogeboom, George, Schlicter etc...The franchise will go on without Manning...He isn't a god or an immortal and it would be stupid to give him 1/5 of the cap without assurance the nerve was regenerated
Those of you who are calling Luck a bust would burn down the Luke if they passed on him and Manning retired never playing a down while Luck is a legit franchise QB in 3 years...
Yes, drafting a QB first isn't the key to success. But drafting a later QB means you need to develop for several years. Luck is ready to play now. We don't know if Manning will be healthy or when until his doc gives clearance...
Peyton builds the franchise but isn't bigger than the franchise and I don't want the future thrown away on someone who may not play...If he is 100% by March 8 he should be our QB. Otherwise he wil need to go go go!
All of this Peyton built the Luke and brought a SB trophy and game to Indy is absolutely true. But he is an employee, he didn't do this for altruistic reasons or charity. He got paaaaaaid boyyyeee! 200mil or so, the NFL and sports in general is a business. A healthy Manning is worth 1/5 of a salary cap. A 70% Manning isnt...
Quit blaming Irsay. This is a salary cap issue...we have all read the articles here about the cap...I personally am sick of the media hyping this thing up we won't know Manning is 100% until he or his doc says so...hopefully that's soon but if not true Colts franchise will go on an be strong
Finally please quit projecting Luck a bust or mediocre QB. Kipper co. are not rocket scientists but do work covering college player an universally say Luck is a once in ten years prospect...he isn't a fat useless sack of crap like Jamarcus or a spoiled low IQ drug addicted ingrate like Leaf. He has all the tools brains and family background to thrive in the NFL and quick. If anything we should hope he is 2x better than Manning (which won't happen) but we should be rooting for him to lead Indy to 6-8 wins next year and get better and better...Passing on him for Case Keenum or Russ Wilsonis senseless...
It's a win win...If Manning is healthy Colts are back in the atIf hunt. If not they rebuild with a great prospect. The only way they blow this is by paying Manning 28mil and he doesn't play next year
yea know if his Doctors are saying he 100% deosn't mean it's a 100% football ready.there's a very big hole I can drive a truck thru and the two are very different. A doc saying Mannings 100% ready because of his arm strength doesn't relate to throwing the ball down the field to the right person and the right route and that's that the whole thing in a nut shell if you like .i know of nerve problems since I'm disabled because of them so it's very difficult to say a dr.. says you're 100% but maybe not 100% in football shape. Take Luck you can always trade him if you want to plus he's under contract which will help you in trading him AFTER the draft!
I'm not sure the world needed another somber and repeated article about how Peyton will not play in Indy ever again. Why not write an article examining the situation in which he would indeed play for Indy again because however unlikely that is, I would definitely give it more merit then this "No Happy Endings; a recap of all the national media's predictions on what will happen to Peyton manning in the next few weeks" It pains me to say this but please no more articles about Peyton! It's turning into Tebow mania and I'm getting sick.
@Lell87 well, let me enlighten you. The point of this article, like all others...is to express a viewpoint. To solicit responses. To perhaps invoke counter arguments, through well thought-out counter opinions, which use logic, reason, and tact in rebuttal. Sadly, these elementary basics of debate, and civility have yet to be displayed.
BBS, is that you? No offense, but rehashing all the rumors and incompetent reports isn't really adding anything.
The Manning situation will eventually be resolved. Until then... it is what it is...
Stop the Gloom and Doom!
Peyton Manning is...and always will be...the QB of the Indianapolis Colts! Now and in the Future! Here are the facts so far: FACT: Irsay has...over and over again...stated that Peyton will RETIRE as a Colt... FACT: Peyton has said...over and over again...He wants to play for ONLY ONE TEAM for his whole career... FACT: Irsay has stated the $28 Million he owes Peyton on March 8th is NOT A PROBLEM...and that his HEALTH is the ONLY thing he is worried about... FACT: Irsay has paid salaries...a few tens of millions of $!...out of his own pocket before AND he will do it again! FACT: The "Salary Cap" is NOT an absolute limit...going over the salary cap has monetary penalties paid to the NFL...I'm not sure if those penalties are paid by the franchise or the owners themselves, but here again, Irsay does not care how much he has to spend to have a team that can challenge for the Super Bowl every year! FACT: Grigson stated...obviously in agreement with Irsay...that he WILL keep players that have talent...that cleaning house just to clean house is not his style...did Peyton loose his talent somewhere??? FACT: Peyton's very existence puts FANS in the seats at LOS...and in most other stadiums throughout the NFL...what owner would want to lose all of that potential revenue...revenue Irsay will need to go way over the salary cap... FACT: Our new OC, Bruce Arians, knows Peyton from his time as QB coach...AND his OC style seems similar to Moore's when he was here...AND Christensen would most likely have taken the QB coach position because he knows Peyton IS coming back and they have a very good relationship together...why else would a coach take a demotion like that? Now I realize I used the word "FACT" throughout this post and I'm sure everyone is going to come after me with how these are not facts or have other comments...but then that is why I wrote it. I still say, no matter what, if Peyton can play, he will play as a COLT and for no one else! GO COLTS!!
Jim Irsay is not the only one who has business decisions to make. At this point Peyton may be pretty sure he won't be good-to-go by the deadline, but he might be good to go by training camp. If he wants to play football again, he has to push the positives about his rehab, he has to put himself in the news, so perspective employers get a sense that he is progressing, that he is committed, that he might be worth the gamble. I just don't think it's as acrimonious as observers want to make it out to be. I don't think Irsay is being terribly callous, and I don't think Peyton Manning is sitting idly NOT planning for his future. After the eggshell back and forth both men toned it down big time. You are trying to sex-up an unfinished story. I'm confident Peyton's time in Indy will be properly celebrated.... once it's actually passed.
but, has anyone seen the way wayne is handling his contract situation? I love that dude. he's a rarity in today's sports world. so humble. so grateful.
@Lineback Hey Jackass, I know this writer personally; he's won awards for his writing, so show a little respect. In fact, what have you written? Let's compare them?
First, It's not a bad article. It's not an article at all; it's an opinion piece. He was stating an opinion, so as to create a dialogue. Rather then contribute something meaningful to it all you could do was insult him.
I'm so pissed, I just looked at my Gmail account and saw all these messages with me tagged in them from months ago.
Here's the most frustrating thing for all of us: we just need to wait and see until Irsay announces something. Yes, I'm dying, too. But until then, it's all just conjecture or leads or reality - but we can't tell which one.
First step, no Patriots win in Indy. That's job #1. Job #2 is Manning getting so healthy that Irsay believes that he can play a few more years. If that doesn't happen, it sends us in a particular direction. Job #3 is, based on Job #2, decide on the pick for 2012. Andrew or RGII or...
In the meantime, I'm trying not to think about this. I'd like to see a Giants killing of the Patriots, as in 35-14.
@buymymonkey My sentiments exactly. Wait and see what happens. I'm not looking to make wild predictions or try to connect the dots from obscure Irsay tweets.
I just don't get why everyone is so set on either Irsay or Manning making some rush decision.
Irsay doesn't really need to worry about Manning until around March 7th, then he needs to sit down with Peyton, his doctors and the training staff and discuss Peyton's progress. Then it's a pretty black and white decision based on whether or not the real experts feel that Peyton can play in 2012.
As far as Peyton goes, he only needs to focus on rehab right now, and let time take it's course. Either he is making enough progress for Irsay to pay the bonus, or he still needs to do more work.
At that point, there really is no timeline for Manning, other than just getting healthy and finding the team that is the right fit.
No reason to ruin our city's chances of future Superbowls by making this week all about Peyton. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the spectacle that is Superbowl week, at least until after the Giants win Sunday night.
Justin, love the article.
Don't listen to all of these haters. They obviously don't know the difference between a news story, and an opinion piece.
For example, does this guy Neven really think that he didn't ask when the piece where he makes the "fantasy football" comment was going to be aired?
Okay, I'm going to stop being negative like the rest of these "people", and just say that your column really put me in the shoes of a QB in his final days. How it must feel when the organization that you did so much for turns their collective backs on you. It really moved me.
Looking forward to hearing you on Sirius.
@JoanJames87 People are certainly entitled to their opinions. I was simply pointing out the fact that the Irsay interview with ESPN was taped BEFORE this little war of words started. So unless Irsay was psychic and knew that he was going to get into a public spat with Manning in a few days, I don't see how anyone could claim that Irsay was intentionally escalating the situation.
@JoanJames87 The organization hasn't turned it's back on Peyton. Both sides are playing a PR game.
Oh, good grief ....
Look, I love Peyton. I'm amazed by his talent and competitive drive, I'm impressed and eternally grateful that he's been such a great face of the franchise and ambassador for the city of Indianapolis. But Peyton is not a saint. He's not being victimized here, and he's every bit as much to blame for this recent media shit storm as Irsay is, if not more so.
* If Manning wanted to go to the media to refute the rumors that he was retiring after Lowe's tweet, that's fine. But he waited until the day that Pagano's hiring was announced. Then he called not one, but two separate reporters (Kravitz and Jady Battista from the NY Times), and gave brief interviews that not only discussed his health, but his unhappiness with the current situation with the team with his "not a good place to heal" and "walking on eggshells" comments. He should never have said those things publicly. Instead, not only did he, but he did it hours before Pagano's press conference. He ensured that his shadow loomed large over the new coach, and that Irsay (who would be talking to the media that day) would face questions about his future. Of course, Irsay didn't handle those questions well, either, so he shares some blame for blowing this up.
* The Irsay interview on ESPN was taped before the whole Manning/Irsay war of words, though it didn't air until after it. It wasn't Irsay intentionally poking Manning. AS well, I fail to see what is so incendiary about saying that a decision about Manning's future can't be decided on a "sentimental basis" and that "this isn't fantasy football." That's not picking on Manning; that's the truth. If Irsay picks up Manning's option and he can't play to his old level of excellence, or if Manning retires early (and accelerates the cap hit from his signing and option bonuses), it would set the Colts back YEARS.
* Manning didn't take "the higher ground, and called for peace and love." He and Irsay jointly came together for that decision after their little tiff blew up so quickly in the national media. Point in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it was Irsay who pushed harder for it, since he's trying not to have this story upstage the Super Bowl while Indy is hosting it. And why would I think that? Because of the next point, which is:
* Mere days after they hugged it out and jointly announced that they were done talking about this until after the Super Bowl, Manning goes to the media AGAIN, for a two-part (thus getting him exposure for not one, but two days) interview with ESPN!!!
Irsay should never have called Manning a politician publicly, but that doesn't make it any less true. Manning is a politician, and a good one.
And don't misunderstand me -- I don't hate Peyton, nor do I think what he's doing is wrong. But for all those fans that think he's a super nice "aww, shucks" goober, he most assuredly is not. He's an incredibly intelligent and fiercely competitive businessman, and he's waging an effective PR campaign against his owner in an effort to force him to pick up his contract option.
And the idea that Irsay is somehow treating Manning like "chattel?" Please. Irsay has made Peyton the highest-paid player in the history of the NFL ($175M in career salary, and counting). He paid Peyton $26M last year, knowing that he would miss some or all of the season. Irsay has always taken care of Manning.
@Neven Look you moron, Irsay had to pay Manning whatever he wanted; he was beholden to him. Before Polian came, and drafted Manning, the Colts were in a morbid (go look it up) state to say the least.
To my point above, it wasn't out of love that Irsay took care of Manning. Manning and Polian resurrected that team. Manning made Irsay tons of Money, brought a Lombardi trophy to Indy, and last, without Manning there would be no Lucas Oil Stadium.
When he thought the cash cow couldn't produce anymore, he got rid of him. Oh by the way, Irsay paid Manning for 2011 not because "he was taking care of Manning": he was contractually obligated to. Do you think he would have paid him if he knew he wasn't going to play, and he didn't have to?
I'm only responding to this so late because I saw this in my email account.
@muncie_in_this Hey, this guy looks familiar.
@muncie_in_this Haha, you'll learn soon enough not to take me too seriously.
@muncie_in_this People don't get hurt in tornadoes? Someone's been watching too much Wizard of Oz. :P
@muncie_in_this I really have no clue why, but I don't dislike him like everyone else (it seems). But I agree with you in regards to the actual writers on the site.
@ninpojames its weird to read colts news without some unveiled insults slathered all over the post. its almost like the writer forgot to call peyton a stinkerface and fans who don't agree cultists, which i guess is kind of nice haha.
my complaint is that i haven't seen enough omahacolts around here yet, but i'm sure he'll pop up
@muncie_in_this Yeah, I've heard some great things about this site, like how the articles are usually very well-written and the maturity level is... well, acceptable. It is the internet after all.
I had to check my address bar to make sure I was not at another site which shall go unnamed.
Listen, Irsay and Manning are both human beings who are under a great deal of stress right now. Let's not forget Irsay is hosting the single largest one-day sporting event in the world. Cut them some slack and let them go through their processes whatever that may be. I think Manning would shake his head at a piece that paints him as a victim. HE IS ANYTHING BUT A VICTIM. I recall the press conference he gave 2 seasons ago during that slump when he threw all those picks, how the media was talking about he was on his way down etc. When asked about it he said it was not even on his radar! He is a champion, not a victim. I think of that press conference whenever I might start thinking that I'm inferior or somehow I got dealt a poor hand. WWMD What Would Manning Do? Strive for excellence and move past the victim B.S.
Some folks just have to jump on the emotional bandwagon and get a piece of someone else's pain and perceived drama. I anxiously await the answer to the question "Will Manning be a Colt next year?" That answer will come from Irsay, Manning, or Pagano or some such person. Not Rob Lowe, Adam Schein, Dr. Wells, Peter King, Madonna at halftime on Sunday, Trent Dilfer, you get the drift.