February 21, 2018

Peyton, Out of Place

Imagine Magic Johnson wearing a Celtics jersey, or Yogi Berra playing for the Dodgers.  How about Walter Payton with a “G” on the side of his helmet or Richard Nixon skinny-dipping at the Kennedy Compound?

More strange sights, actual ones, are ahead now that Peyton Manning is leaving Indianapolis to play for the Jets?  Dolphins?  Jaguars?  Chiefs?  Broncos?  Seahawks?  Pride of Southland Band?  Old number-18’s departure from the Colts was inevitable and it’s the right move for Indianapolis.  Only the late-great Al Davis would give a $28 million roster bonus to a soon-to-be 36-year-old quarterback with a bad neck and possibly no chance of growing a mustache.

The Colts might not be better off this season without Manning but, in the long-run, it had to happen.  If Indy only owed the four-time MVP, say, $10 million, and two potentially great quarterbacks weren’t available in the draft, and if the Colts didn’t have the number one pick, and if Curtis Painter didn’t have that cool hair well, then, Peyton should be staying put.  But things are far different.  It’s sad, it’s tough, but it’s necessary.  If Manning plays another three or four years or more at a Peyton Manning-level then the horse shoes will look like a horse’s ass.  But what are the odds that a guy who has been in the league since the Clinton years can continue to excel into Rick Santorum’s first term? (Joke! Just a joke! We all know Ron Paul is going to win.)

So where does Mr. Manning and his 54,828 yards, 399 touchdowns, fragile vertebrae and bruised ego go?  Do you think he’ll call Ryan Leaf for advice?  Maybe Peyton’s father, Archie, can engineer a deal with the Giants.  Whoops, too late, that was the deal for the other son and a damn good one for both Eli and New York.  So maybe, Archie convinces little Peyton to go to the other New York team, the Jets.  Is New York big enough for two Mannings? (Plus one Jeremy Lin?)  Next season’s Super Bowl will be played in New Orleans, which is where Eli and Peyton grew up.  The year after that it will be held at the Meadowlands.  A Manning v. Manning Super Bowl on their home turf.  Wow!  Chris Berman is already excited and the rest of us are already nauseated.

Speculation as to where Peyton will go will get more attention over the next few weeks than Ann Romney’s Rolex collection.  But whatever happens, it probably won’t feel as funky as we fear.  In 1973, the Colts traded Johnny Unitas to the San Diego Chargers.  In 1920, Babe Ruth went from the Red Sox to the Yankees.  Khloe Kardashian used to be a man.  Things change.  People move on, old storylines die, new ones emerge. And, just so long as Gregg Williams isn’t mad at us, we’re all going to survive.




  1. How ’bout Wilt Chamberlain in a Celtics jersey? That might be the strangest scenario I can think of. After all, he went against them as a Warrior, a 76er, and a Laker.

    When the Redskins let John Riggins go in the Spring of ’86, I didn’t want him going ANYWHERE. It didn’t matter that he began his career with the Jets. Theismann had just gotten hurt–I was at that game in November ’85 when LT and Harry Carson put him out of commission–and there was speculation of him going to Atlanta, one of the Los Angeles teams, or another unidentified team in the West. We all thought he’d played his last game, though.

    That was real strange, in the Spring and Summer of ’86, knowing Theismann and Riggins would be gone.

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