So Peyton has decided to hang it up, eh? This surprises absolutely nobody. It was time. And despite what GM/Prez John Elway may have said, no way did the Denver Broncos want to have to pony up another $19 million guaranteed bucks for a guy that was obviously on his last legs.
Hey, the dude's 40 years old. Young for maybe a surgeon or Supreme Court justice, but definitely long in the tooth when it comes to playing in the NFL. Like Tiger Woods of the PGA, also 40, Manning was just another injury waiting to happen. Just one small difference. Eldrick got to stroll along on magnificent golf courses with somebody else carrying his golf bag, while Peyton could get blasted on any given play by a 250-300 pound defender. The worst shot Tiger ever took was in divorce court.
To his credit, old chicken neck went out on top, winning Super Bowl 50 not long ago. But he didn't really win it. He just didn't lose it. The awesome defense of the Denver Broncos stifled the Carolina Panthers all game long. THEY were the true MVPs of the game.
Peyton set a lot of records during his long tenure in the league, but he's always played for a team that had immense talent around him. Both in Indy and Denver, there were superb offensive lines to give him "all day" to throw. And a bevy of world class wide receivers to throw to. Combine that with a couple really good running backs along the way and the light's out defense he found in Denver, and this guy has fell into rose gardens throughout his career.
But let's face it. Last year Manning threw 7 TD passes and 18 interceptions. This is the kind of ratio that often leads to a QB being cut, or at least demoted to second or third string. Especially one that has a history of serious health problems. Yet that didn't apply to Peyton. He was a "legend".
As mentioned above, Manning indeed put up some gaudy stats over his career, but mostly due to pure longevity. Hang around long enough, almost 20 years in his case, unheard of for most NFL players, and the numbers will eventually accumulate.
Is he the best ever? Not even close. His record against Tom Brady and the Patriots is 6-11, including playoff games. Peyton has won two Super Bowls. Brady four. Remember Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana? They both won more Super Bowls. Good grief, even Peyton's goofier little brother Eli won two as well. So did Bart Starr. So if greatness is about championships, Peyton Manning's record hardly puts him at the head of the list.
But there are two stats where Peyton Manning stands out from the rest. Over his career, he has likely made more money as an NFL player than anybody else before. Hundreds of millions of dollars.
And for every one of those bucks, we have to have seen at least a dozen showings of his long list of shameless commercial endorsements. This guy will hawk anything for a buck. Billions and billions of the same stupid ads being foisted upon us.
So now Peyton Manning will officially be eligible for the NFL Hall of Fame in 2021. Of course he'll get inducted on the first ballot. And the pizza guy Papa John might just be the one that presides over his enshrinement. Or maybe a rep from that insurance company. Or whoever was cutting that meat before Peyton arrived at the fast food joint. The least Buick could do would be providing him with a limo. Do they make stretch Skylarks?
On to the BS stories. As we have heard in recent weeks, an investigation is ongoing as to whether Peyton Manning can be tied to HGH (human growth hormone). Allegedly, years ago, some claim Manning's wife received some of those goodies. The logical inference would be that they wound up in Peyton's body. He has absolutely denied it, of course.
But the whole argument is colossally stupid. Even if evidence could prove Mrs. Manning, and hence her husband were at one point involved in such hanky-panky -- then what? Peyton's on his way out the door. What could Commissioner Roger Goodell and his merry band of "zero tolerance" police possibly do? Suspend him when he doesn't play any more? Fine him? Good luck trying to collect it. His pension is off-limits. So what's the point in pursuing this?
On an equal BS footing is the whole current brouhaha over what may or may not have happened regarding "sexual harassment" at Tennessee when Manning was the college QB there -- way back in the middle of Bill Clinton's administration. Peyton did this and Peyton did that, women have claimed. Well guess what? Any relevant statutes of limitations have long since run and expired over 20 years later. Trying to go after Manning now is like trying to re-open the Watergate or Iran-Contra affairs. Hire all the high priced lawyers one wants, but it just - ain't - gonna - work.
Sure, UTenn may have run roughshod over the provisions of Title IX in the meantime, and may still be doing the same. Depending on how it shakes out, the university (particularly the alpha male-dominated athletic department) could find itself with it's feet being held to the fire. And that's fine if the evidence proves it to be so. Should that happen -- bang them hard. Fire some people, and perhaps even prosecute others that were complicit.
But this has nothing to do with Peyton Manning. He's been in Indianapolis and Denver for the last 20 years -- remember?
That, and making countless stupid commercials in TV studios. If he deserves to be sued for some kind of misconduct -- let it start there. Charge him with felonious greed. Or aggravated Gomer Pyle-ishness being forced on the viewing sporting public. Maybe even nail him with a few counts of nauseating habitual self-promotion. That's not a crime? Well, it should be. And BTW, scoop up Kobe as a co-conspirator in the world of total shamelessness. Isn't he retiring too? Good. See ya. With any luck Eldrick Tont Woods will take the hint and follow suit.