Colts Authority reader matt_has wrote a piece that offers a different perspective regarding Peyton Manning's future with the Colts. This is another excellent piece we thought readers would enjoy on the front page.
Preface: I can see both sides of the Manning/Luck debate, but I expect Manning to be cut. With that expectation in mind, this is primarily a therapeutic release for myself.
Some moments in your life stick with you forever, locked into an pseudo-picture frame for years. Collecting mental dust in the archives of your mind to be retrieved and shared every so often. Detail by detail. You can describe the minutiae of the moment to your audience as if they were there with you, breathing it all in.
When Baghdad was being lit up like a Christmas tree (the first time), I was at a party with my best friend. We were the only two down in the basement watching the footage. Wood paneled walls, and the TV was on a milk crate.
Michael Jordan retired in January of '99, and when I saw it on ESPN I was visiting a musty fraternity house in West Lafayette. And I was devastated. The Bulls were not the Pacers, but Jordan was still 'my guy' ... as much as he was to any young man who grew up in the Jordan era and knew how special #23 was. I still remember the pattern of that couch that I turned around and slumped down on.
I was riding in a work truck with "Dirty Steve" in Indy when it came across AM radio that Jerry Garcia had died. I remember trying to process the news when Steve hit me right in the gut with "Who's Jerry Garcia?" The fence that we built at our next job stop? A 42" picket. I can even see the yard right now if I close my eyes.
I believe that the details are important. I believe that we assign them as a way to forever bind these moments to our lives, to our personal histories, for fear that we'll never be there again. That we'll never see anyone like Jordan run the court. Or Garcia on guitar.
Or Manning in a horseshoe.
For several weeks now, I've been wondering how I will adjust to that. Bottom line - I don't know. What I do know is that there is no amount of gentle steering or even blunt force facial trauma will be able to emotionally prepare me for seeing the headline...the tweet...the news scroll across the ticker. Overly dramatic? Who knows? After all, I'm a grown man – wife, kids, a mortgage and many more important things to worry about. But I'm confident that I'm not alone when I say Peyton's inevitable departure from Indy will, years from now, be filed right up front in my mental archives. What details will I lock in with the news? Where will I be? What sights, sounds and smells will I remember?
The significant moments in our lives become the stories we tell our children, the stories that have built our personal history. I've tried to explain to my kids the talent of Michael Jordan, but maybe they need to be older. Jerry Garcia? OK – much older. But they've watched Peyton on sundays, and a Manning jersey hangs in my son's closet as well as mine. On some level, they know of the impact of #18. They just may never fully understand it until they get older
And when they get there, they'll have "moments" of their own. Here's to hoping that my childrens' "moments" are built on stories of men and women even half as impactful as Peyton Manning.
I live in North Carolina, have my whole life. But I've never once been a Carolina Panthers fan. Football has no legacy here, and no one seems to care, not even the owner of the team. No, my heart has resided with the Indianapolis Colts since I've been old enough to really understand professional sports, and it's because of Peyton Manning (I'm only 25, so you'll have to forgive me if I'm unfamiliar with the years before then; the guy's been around a while). Manning and all of his greatness drew me in to the organization, but everything else has made me stay.
I will forever be a Colts fan, even after Manning, no matter how much it may hurt for a while. But if the organization isn't committed to Manning (if he's healthy) and isn't willing to give him the shots he deserves at glory for the next couple of years, I'd rather him get a chance elsewhere. After all he's done for the Colts and us fans, all the loyalty he's given us, I think he deserves the chance to get another shot or two at a Super Bowl and "clear his name" so to speak, and silence his critics, however foolish they may be. As much as it may hurt to see him play for another team, I think it would hurt worse for this neck injury to end his career and force us to forever hear ESPN (God, how I hate them) and every other idiot wrongfully rank him behind the likes of Brady and perhaps even Roethlisberger and Eli.
But I hope it doesn't come to that. I hope Irsay wakes up and, if Manning is healthy, trades the Luck pick to rebuild around the greatest of all time. There'll be another "Luck" in a few years.
“According to sources who were involved in the Colts’ GM search, the organization was planning to move on from Manning weeks ago, well before this public squabble between the quarterback and his owner,” La Canfora said. “So Friday’s joint statement won’t be changing a thing.”
Don't know if this is legit or not, but if it is...
A couple of weeks ago, I decided drastic measures were warranted. So as soon as I got home from work on Friday afternoon, I would change into one of my Peyton jerseys and then would alternate between home and away for the rest of the weekend. Every time someone would ask me why a grown man was wearing a football jersey in public I would respond, "it's a karma thing. I am willing the Colts to keep Peyton Manning."
But then something even worse became apparent to me... that no matter what, the Colts were going to use the #1 pick on a QB. This totally crushed me... as now if I wanted the best thing for the Colts and Peyton... that meant the release of #18. If Irsay was too stupid to see that Manning and Luck could not co-exist, I certainly could.
Now, I have an image in my mind that is even worse than Tom Brady holding another Lombardi trophy. And that would be Peyton Manning, head down as always, trotting on to the field at Lucas Oil Stadium... in another team's jersey.
Well written. Nice work. The sentiment is outstanding. I have those moments too. Larry Bird was one for me. 9/11. Dale Earnhardt. Peyton Manning will be huge.
i dont know how loyal manning has been to the colts. we will see that in the coming months. there wont be another luck in a few years.
I agree that would be nice if he can stay for at least a year or two. I agree, there'll be another "Luck" in a few years (great way to put it). People forget about all the other mega-hyped "pro-ready" QBs we've seen (Matt Ryan, Rick Mirer, Tim Couch). Some of them were good. Some not. None of them were Peyton.
@AnythingButHockey Irsay tweeted last night that is not true. Jim Irsay, "No he hasn't been released nor was the decision reached weeks ago."
@DougEngland My only hope would be to start a twitter/ downtown campaign to make the message loud and clear that we want Manning, not Luck. The cheering for Larkin worked (in a completely different scenario), but there is part of me that would be willing to lose it all, as long as we did it with 18.
@DougEngland Ugh.. I can see it already. As much as I want him to play every last snap he possibly can, the idea that -- if he can still play -- they'll be with another team is just...
And you know, the kicker to your image above is that if and when he does, it's almost guaranteed that some miscreant in the crowd will boo.
I think I dreamt last night that he went to free agency and got picked up by Baltimore. And they won rings. Plural.
@coltsauthority Thanks - I appreciate that. The sentiment is real, and honestly reigned in a bit. I stopped short of admitting what, in all likelihood, could be my reaction hearing the news...
And yes, 9/11 should be a universal one.
@keep_the_eraser Wish I still trusted Irsay enough to believe that...
@matt_has Great post, matt_has. Thanks for sharing. I like the comparison to Jordan; I think even a very casual sports fan would get that. Bill Simmons compared Manning to Bird the other week, which was flabbergasting, but fitting. When even his biggest detractors are starting to come around, I think that says something.