Tuesday, February 7, 2012

.18 Colt: The Chronicles of Peyton Manning

You had to have seen this post coming from a long ways away. Don't lie, people.

He's going to play, he's not going to play. He's going to play, he's not going to play. He's going to be traded, he's staying. He's going to play, he's not going to play.


In a way, I feel like Super Bowl Sunday was not a completely shiny moment for Mr. Eli Manning. Being that they were in Indianapolis, and they were in a building with that moniker "The House that Peyton Built." Sure, he won and received Super Bowl MVP in the process, but once the celebrating was over (even before that, come to think about it), people were probably thinking this:
Heaven only knows he shared headlines with Eli the next morning on ESPN.

I will admit this: I really felt bad for Eli Manning throughout the past three weeks. The G-Men looked fantastic throughout the playoffs, and that was ultimately overshadowed by the fact that there were trading rumors surrounding his brother Peyton and everyone was wondering if this was a moment to retire or something. What? Who cares at this point? Eli's here, he's touting a pretty stellar-looking team and they could possibly win the Super Bowl. In Indy. You know, where a Manning hasn't played since the 2010-2011 season? Oh, priorities...

As I turn this cannon around from these current speculations, I'm going to point this at Peyton's career now. We're going to take a trip down memory lane and try to venture a guess as to what on this green earth is going to happen to him during the offseason. I won't lie, I'd rather hear about it now than hear it six months from now. That's the heart of the MLB season, for cripes' sake.

From his ridiculous records, to his work ethic, to his Super Bowl ring, to his neck injury, the possible occurrence of illegal stem-cell treatment, and to his career currently being thrown up in the air, we've heard a lot of hubbub about Mr. Peyton Manning since before the NFL said the word "lockout."
Anyway, it's about high time we explore this epic story that is The Chronicles of Peyton Manning...
It all started here:
Even then he hardly had any hair. Awwww.
Nah, I won't go back that far. I will admit though...he's a cute kid.

The year was 1998...human cloning was declared taboo, Google was born, the film Titanic was a big deal, the Belfast Agreement made its presence, and most of all...Peyton Manning made his debut in a Colts' uniform under head coach Bill Polian. Okay, he didn't make much of a showing that year, to say the least; the Colts' had an awesome 3-13 season, and the team underwent a lot of fine-tuning during the offseason.

For the next ten out of eleven seasons, the Colts would then become the biggest threat in the AFC South. Tony Dungy began his reign halfway through, and the Colts would never see a season with less than ten wins (the exception is 2001 when they were 6-10). Along with this, Peyton Manning would pretty much wipe up passing yards like nothing else, having seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing. In this time period, he would achieve four NFL MVP awards (the most among players), eleven Pro Bowl selections, and a Super Bowl ring in 2007 with an MVP award to boot. And the kicker is...he's only 35. GOOD. TIMES.

With all firearms, however, they all get a little rusty and worn when not cleaned regularly. Right after the Colts' organization placed their franchise tag on Manning--why they didn't do this after Super Bowl XLI is beyond me--Manning began to have complications from a neck surgery he underwent in May of 2011. He had injuries before in the past; in college he had to wear a knee brace, so how would this be any different? Well, it was, and he wound up missing the whole season for this. We all know how this ended, right? Colts go 2-14 and fire head coach Jim Caldwell in the process. Although Manning was throwing footballs back in December, he was not placed in the lineups since they were not in any playoff contention at that point.

A controversy that began to spring up around September 2011 was a story that he was spotted taking a private jet to Europe to get stem-cell treatment. I actually wrote a post about this around that time too. Is it relevant now? Probably not. Nobody's talked about it since. If anything, it might have been media filler because Manning wasn't on the field and he wasn't doing anything overly exciting. However, last month brought some of that dirty laundry that probably wasn't true either. There were speculations going around that the Colts' organization wanted to trade Peyton Manning to bolster the team after an extremely weak season. Where rumors lie, the media does a Mexican hat dance on it. Well, nobody's talked about this post-Super Bowl either, so the general consensus believes that this was a crock o' crapolla too.

The only thing we have left to figure out is this: what now?
I hope he comes back. Why is that, you ask? I want him to pretty much shatter more records and shut everyone up that's been talking about him entirely too much. I'm looking at you, ESPN. Seriously. When one is injured and going through rehabilitation, I would like some peace and quiet--not some boisterous lies that can make people's blood boil because they're so ridiculous. Besides, he's 35, and if memory serves me right, there have been quarterbacks that played until the age of 40. Am I right, Brett Favre?

Is isn't like he's declining in quality or anything. The only thing you could possibly hold against him is that the injury that has taken him out of this past season was a neck injury. I hate to put it this way, but many athletes do not come back from neck injury 100% the same as they were before. However, he's still at a half decent age where he can have time to heal and not have it completely ruin the rest of his life. Do I think he still has about five years left in him? No, more like two or three. However, he should still make a Stone Cold Steve Austin styled comeback and just stun everyone in his path. That would be cool.

But at this point, the Chronicles continue. The only question that must be answered is in Peyton's hands.
I'm getting excited just thinking about it. Not really. I have my own life to live. But anyway, let's not all breathe down his neck (no pun intended) while he ponders this decision.


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