Largely I'd like to avoid linking too many Peyton Manning stories as there's little value I can add to this situation. It hurts. The future is somewhat bleak. Some of you are confused, even angry with the situation. There are a million people offering their views, condolences and prognostications. You don't need my two cents to figure this out.
You played a violent game and yet somehow held on to that southern gentility. In the middle of the worst time of your life, you took the time to write a hand-written note of sympathy last week to Fox's Chris Myers upon the death of his son.
Thank you for showing up at podiums in your shoulder pads some nights because you knew some of us had early deadlines.
Thank you for showing up to work every day, every week, season after season. You started 208 straight games -- through purple thumbs and black eyes and stomach flus that left you green. You get paid either way, so thanks.
Lastly, thank you for the way you left. Always thought you'd go out as a Colt, and go out the way you wanted, but if it had to end this way, "I truly have enjoyed being your quarterback" is as good an exit line as I've heard. You made it sound like it was an elected position, an honor, a job where you knew people were depending on you. You were right.
It's an incredibly humble look at Peyton's career and impact on the lives he touched. For a man of such incredible proportions his ability and willingness to share personal moments, humility and appreciation for the human condition is unfathomable. Those of us with no celebrity whatsoever struggle to show the kind of grace and human decency that a man who by most standards could get away with outright crimes showed in one of life's most painful professional moments. Reilly captures that side of Manning without flaw.
This article, as well as Kravitz article about Peyton's professionalism in dealing with disappointment, are both great reads.
Yeah, all of the stats, wins, TDs, etc. are nice, but you can't put a number on being the kind of representative for the team and overall human being that Manning was. There are so many negative examples out there in "celebritydom," it was truly a blessing to have a role model like Peyton represent our franchise.
Not always a big fan of Reilly, so it was with trepidation that I started reading this piece yesterday.
Obviously, I was very pleasantly surprised by how great it was.
"How many times can one man change an entire city? Well, without you there's probably no Lucas Oil Stadium. Without Lucas Oil Stadium, there's no Super Bowl this year in Indy. Without the Super Bowl, there's no brand-new, drop-dead gorgeous JW Marriott downtown. Forbes figures you improved the Colts' value by $233 million. Compared to that, $28 million to keep you doesn't seem like much, does it?"
@18to88 Reilly piece was nice but he wrote the same TY column on Shaq in 2000. Good sentiment. Lazy writing. Just bitter of late I guess..
This is why I remembered loving Rick Reilly when he was at SI.
When he's on, he's great. I really liked this piece by him.
@Rabbd I'm sorry, but the reason that Peyton's professionalism on dealing with disappointment was a great read... was because it was NOT written by Wormtongue kravitz. It was written by Chap.
@DougEngland That's funny that I put the wrong Star writer in. Thanks for pointing it out. I'm really not as "Kravitz is the Devil" as everyone else seems to be. He's a super inconsistent writer. Sometimes he hits a home run, but strikes out a lot on the way. He seems to have national aspirations of some kind and will spout out whatever will get him attention. With that said, the Star is my last stop for Colts news usually. Maybe this is because I don't live in the area and so I'm not looking there to begin with. Chap is a more humble and consistent writer.