By now you've surely heard the news that Peyton Manning called Indianapolis Star writer/blogger/ultra good guy Phillip B. Wilson. Some call it a public relations move, as Phil addresses, while I liken it to the handwritten letters the former Colt quarterback is known to send to those he respects. Like Phil, I don't care who believes this is a PR attempt. In the end, Manning called to thank someone and it would be incredibly presumptuous to call it anything else:
Manning is the most clever athlete in handling the media. And while his critics will suggest this was just a PR move, it doesn’t really matter. Not really. He’s gone. We all are in different stages of acceptance, or perhaps denial. I wasn’t going to write anything about the call. I didn’t want anybody to think it was about me.
But when I said it was a privilege to watch him play and write about him all these years, I mentioned my respect for his so many fans here in Indianapolis, that they touch base with me every day it seems, and so many will never accept that he’s gone.
As he expressed at his farewell presser last month, he responded, “Tell the fans I appreciated them, too.”
If I was going to pass along that message to his fans, well, you have to write about the call.
I mentioned being late to change my position on keeping him, for the longest time holding out hope he would stick around, but then realizing in the end that the money and risk were too great. He didn’t hold it against me. He said he always had the same hope that he could stay.
Was it a PR move? Absolutely. Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not. Just because it's a PR move doesn't mean that it has to ONLY be a PR move. I sent thank you notes to the people who interviewed me for a job. Was it a completely unmotivated move? Absolutely not. I want to give a good impression and get the job. Did I not mean it when I said thank you? Of course not! I meant every word in those notes; it just so happens that the notes might help me get the job. Just because it's a PR move doesn't mean it wasn't heartfelt. And a classy move by 18.