A New Mann in Denver

sports

When the best player a franchise has ever had packs up his bags and sets out to go play for a different team, the reaction that we have been accustomed to seeing him get consists of the burning of his jersey, the booing of his name every time he is shown somewhere and things of that nature.

In a way, Peyton Manning broke the mold on how he handled his very tough situation in Indianapolis and how he made his ‘decision.’

It was a complete 180 of Lebron James’ famous ‘decision’ made in 2010. James was arguably the most important and loved person in the state of Ohio (let alone the town of Cleveland). He grew up there and had every chance to be a legendary hometown hero but instead he let his ego get in the way and upped and left to go down to the all star team in South Beach. In the midst of doing this he completely disrespected the franchise that made him what he was and broke the heart of every die hard Cleveland fan that thought he was the answer to their long drought of no championships.

Peyton, on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air for the sports world in my eyes- something every sports fan needed to see to make sure it still existed, loyalty taking precedent over anything that may arise in a professional athlete’s life. Manning’s career as a whole has been the epitome of a professional athlete with the utmost character who never let the fame get to him. He stuck with the team that drafted him and gave him the opportunity to be great through the ups and downs. Regardless of what kind of season they were having, Peyton Manning was always an Indianapolis Colt to his very core because of the opportunity that they gave him when they selected him with the #1 pick of the 1998 NFL draft.

Most players say they will not let the team that went out on a limb and trusted them with the future of the franchise by drafting them regret it, but a couple years down the road when more money arises somewhere else that all gets lost in translation. I’m sure Manning had plenty of opportunities to go elsewhere because of his tremendous ability, but he stuck with his team through the early losing years that were very tough for him and ended up bringing a super bowl win back to Indianapolis, and for that, I have the utmost respect for him.

He left the city on good terms, not disrespecting anyone, and had nothing but good things to say about the organization.  He only left because it was the right thing to do for the team, as hard as that was on his heart. Now that his career in Indy is over, you could argue that it is his town. He is a big reason why the new stadium has been built there and the reason why tons of things have been built in the city throughout his time there, like the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in St. Vincent.

“As good a person as he is a player, if not better,” Mike Patrick said when he found out Peyton Manning made his ‘decision.’ Those are some strong words that really stuck out to me when I heard this because Manning is arguably one of the best to ever take the field in the history of the NFL. So for a long-time ESPN commentator to say he may be an even better person than he is a player just speaks volumes about Peyton’s image.

Needless to say, the Denver Broncos really struck it rich when it became official that they had won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes on the morning of March 20th 2012 by locking up arguably the most coveted free agent of all time with a 5 year, 96 million dollar contract. The first enormous contract given to an athlete in quite some time that no one really argued the numbers because they knew whatever it was that Manning would deserve it.

Many say Peyton chose Denver over all of his other choices because John Elway, Executive Vice President of football operations of the Denver Broncos, is an idol to him. Regardless of his reasoning as to why he chose Denver, the Broncos arguably won their division the moment he signed the dotted line. The AFC West has been one of the weakest divisions in the NFL for quite some time now and with the addition of a Hall of Fame caliber player like Manning there has been a seismic shift in the landscape of this division.

Phillip Rivers and the often times talented Chargers have had strong finishes to a lot of their seasons but most of the time it has been too little, too late because of the awful starts they have managed to put together. Manning is known for starting seasons undefeated deep into the month of December so that would put the Chargers way out of contention as far as the playoffs go. The Raiders and the Chiefs, on the other hand, have basically been in rebuilding mode, and in shambles, for about a decade now.

In essence, the addition of Peyton Manning to a team that went to the second round of the playoffs last year and has an established defense to go along with a solid running game (and not to mention one of the most talented kickers I have ever seen) is going to be tough to beat. With most of the powerhouses in the AFC on the decline due to age and the tough environment to play in at Mile High Stadium, with the thin air and rowdy fans, the Broncos could be looking at another team that resembles the glory days of John Elway, bringing a championship back to Colorado.

When the best player a franchise has ever had packs up his bags and sets out to go play for a different team, the reaction that we have been accustomed to seeing him get consists of the burning of his jersey, the booing of his name every time he is shown somewhere and things of that nature.

 

In a way, Peyton Manning broke the mold on how he handled his very tough situation in Indianapolis and how he made his ‘decision.’

 

It was a complete 180 of Lebron James’ famous ‘decision’ made in 2010. James was arguably the most important and loved person in the state of Ohio (let alone the town of Cleveland). He grew up there and had every chance to be a legendary hometown hero but instead he let his ego get in the way and upped and left to go down to the all star team in South Beach. In the midst of doing this he completely disrespected the franchise that made him what he was and broke the heart of every die hard Cleveland fan that thought he was the answer to their long drought of no championships.

 

Peyton, on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air for the sports world in my eyes- something every sports fan needed to see to make sure it still existed, loyalty taking precedent over anything that may arise in a professional athlete’s life. Manning’s career as a whole has been the epitome of a professional athlete with the utmost character who never let the fame get to him. He stuck with the team that drafted him and gave him the opportunity to be great through the ups and downs. Regardless of what kind of season they were having, Peyton Manning was always an Indianapolis Colt to his very core because of the opportunity that they gave him when they selected him with the #1 pick of the 1998 NFL draft.

 

Most players say they will not let the team that went out on a limb and trusted them with the future of the franchise by drafting them regret it, but a couple years down the road when more money arises somewhere else that all gets lost in translation. I’m sure Manning had plenty of opportunities to go elsewhere because of his tremendous ability, but he stuck with his team through the early losing years that were very tough for him and ended up bringing a super bowl win back to Indianapolis, and for that, I have the utmost respect for him.

 

He left the city on good terms, not disrespecting anyone, and had nothing but good things to say about the organization.  He only left because it was the right thing to do for the team, as hard as that was on his heart. Now that his career in Indy is over, you could argue that it is his town. He is a big reason why the new stadium has been built there and the reason why tons of things have been built in the city throughout his time there, like the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in St. Vincent.

 

“As good a person as he is a player, if not better,” Mike Patrick said when he found out Peyton Manning made his ‘decision.’ Those are some strong words that really stuck out to me when I heard this because Manning is arguably one of the best to ever take the field in the history of the NFL. So for a long-time ESPN commentator to say he may be an even better person than he is a player just speaks volumes about Peyton’s image.

 

Needless to say, the Denver Broncos really struck it rich when it became official that they had won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes on the morning of March 20th 2012 by locking up arguably the most coveted free agent of all time with a 5 year, 96 million dollar contract. The first enormous contract given to an athlete in quite some time that no one really argued the numbers because they knew whatever it was that Manning would deserve it. 

 

Many say Peyton chose Denver over all of his other choices because John Elway, Executive Vice President of football operations of the Denver Broncos, is an idol to him. Regardless of his reasoning as to why he chose Denver, the Broncos arguably won their division the moment he signed the dotted line. The AFC West has been one of the weakest divisions in the NFL for quite some time now and with the addition of a Hall of Fame caliber player like Manning there has been a seismic shift in the landscape of this division.

 

Phillip Rivers and the often times talented Chargers have had strong finishes to a lot of their seasons but most of the time it has been too little, too late because of the awful starts they have managed to put together. Manning is known for starting seasons undefeated deep into the month of December so that would put the Chargers way out of contention as far as the playoffs go. The Raiders and the Chiefs, on the other hand, have basically been in rebuilding mode, and in shambles, for about a decade now.

 

In essence, the addition of Peyton Manning to a team that went to the second round of the playoffs last year and has an established defense to go along with a solid running game (and not to mention one of the most talented kickers I have ever seen) is going to be tough to beat. With most of the powerhouses in the AFC on the decline due to age and the tough environment to play in at Mile High Stadium, with the thin air and rowdy fans, the Broncos could be looking at another team that resembles the glory days of John Elway, bringing a championship back to Colorado.