Manning owes local fans exclusivity

December 31, 2008
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manningmagThere’s a simple reason why Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is spilling his guts to Sports Illustrated and ESPN this week about his knee injury and rehabilitation process earlier this year, and not the local media. That’s because Peyton, for however great a quarterback he is, is not a local guy. He never has been, and he never will be.

Yes, he helps a number of local charities, and sure, he owns a house here and collects a paycheck from a company domiciled here. But his interests are better served by staking his claims on a national platform. The SI and ESPN exposure will be consumed by almost every person with a vote for the NFL MVP. Make no mistake, Peyton is stumping. He understands well that his sponsors expect his voice to be heard far beyond the 317.

Peyton’s actions—every one of them—are a part of a calculated business plan to maximize his value. And no, Archie isn’t pulling the strings like he was when he got Eli on the first plane from San Diego to New York. Peyton learned his lessons from the master a long time ago.

This isn’t the first time Manning has eschewed local media outlets camped out at the Colts complex almost daily for national megaphones. It won’t be the last. As a journalist, it doesn’t bother me. After all, I’m a business writer, and I don’t need an exclusive from Peyton Manning to do my job.

But the fans here, that’s a different story. They’ve cheered Manning’s every move since he first donned a horseshoe. Even when he allegedly couldn't win the big one. They’ve bought his jerseys and paid for the overpriced sodas, beers and hot dogs that help pay his enormous salary. Those fans deserve at least a little exclusivity. When Colts' sales and marketing executives are asking fans to bleed blue, it bothers me that Peyton bleeds only green.
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  • That is a ridiculous post. Peyton told his story first to Peter King, probably one of the most respected nationa football writers in the country. What, he's supposed to give the story to Mike Chappel? Talk to Kravitz on Indy AM radio?

    Peyton went to King--yes, to get more exposure--but also because he is the best in the business. Your article assumes that local beat writers could handle the story as well as the national media. That's ridiculous. King's treatment of the story was A+ sports journalism. To not even acknowledge that is offensive to those of us that care about the quality of sports reporting. No one in Indy could have handled the story better. Period.
  • Levi, the post isn't ridiculous, but you are. You're argument is pure nonsense. I'd put Phil Richards up against any print journalist anywhere. And so would a whole lot of other people in the paragaph factory business. For you to put forward the idea that Peyton was looking for some kind of literary savant is laugh out loud funny. Yes, I'm sure Peyton gets all his advice on who to talk to from the English and journalism profs at UT.
  • I have no problem with what Peyton did. Sure, his base is Indianapolis. But we have to come to grips that Peyton is bigger than us. He does many great things for Indianapolis through his charities, children's hospital and foundations. Why does mean he should give our media the scoop? As a professional athlete, image is important. Nationally and locally. If he never gave one cent back to the community and spent all of his time away from Indy, then I would be peeved. But, come on. This is one of the greatest football players of all time. He's incredibly accessible to local media. His public image is squeaky clean. Give him a break. If he stops talking to the local folks, then we have something to talk about.
  • Peyton is doing what is best for Peyton and that's OK with me! I actually prefer reading my news from a source more focused on accuracy than the Star. Kravitz is fine if you want controversy, Richards is ok with the weekly game report too--but we share Peyton with his national fan club and if he wants his personal story told by a dedicated sports magazine so be it! The Mannings have allowed more than one local press person access to their homes and families and that's more than anyone can ask.
  • What bothers me is professional athletes who play for a team but don't live in the town they play for. This seems to be especially prevalent in baseball. I don't care who Peyton talks to. He is a person of national interest.
  • I agree with Boomer. Peyton is much larger than Indianapolis... and this would have been the case in any city that he would have played in (if he had not played for Indy). You can't expect him to give every big interview to only local media first. He is like the Michael Jordan of football right now... he is probably the most recognized NFL player in the league right now. His face is in almost every commercial and he is one of the best players (the best in my opinion) in the NFL. And he does a lot of things for the local community already. And I haven't heard any rumors that he ignores the local media.

    He wants to stay in the national spotlight because he is that good... and if you were that good, would you want to stay out of the national spotlight? So, to say that he owes local media exclusivity is just plain jealousy on any local media person who agrees with Anthony's statement.
  • Levi is right-- this is a ridiculous post. Although I agree that Phil Richards is an excellent writer (and so is Mike Chappel, for that matter), this is an example of the inflated self-importance that the media, in general, places upon itself. Let's face it-- local scribes are a dying breed in age when companies like Gannett own all of the so-called local newspapers. The vast majority of the readers probably don't give a rip who scooped the story anyway!
  • Boo Hoo for the poor local reporters.....
  • All one has to do is walk in the doors of the children's hospitals at St Vincents to know that this world reknown althlete is making a difference in the community where he plays ball. So many athletes like Peyton in other cities never put their money where their mouth is. You can't blame a guy for marketing himself to larger masses. Its just a good business decision, and one no doubt all of us would make if we were in his shoes....unfortunately your blog screams jealous or envious journalist! I guess if you were just looking for a reaction you obviously got it, but at what cost to those who try to follow you?
  • I don't think anyone is denying that Peyton does great charity work locally and nationally. That's not the point. And crying for local reporters isn't the point either. It's the local fans' interests that are at stake. Peyton and the Colts shouldn't forget that all of sports, like all of politics, in the end, is local.
  • Peyton makes smart decisions that just happen to be good financial decisions as well. The idea that he gave no exclusivity is of no concern to the average fan in Indy. And it shoudn't be to any good writer that should be working harder to become the recipient of that very issue he's showing concern about.

    After all, what local sports writer is in the same league as Peyton?
  • Can you blame Peyton? The local media is a joke and all they do is pick wires from other media outlets.
  • When I read about the knee surgery details revealed in SI and ESPN The Magazine I asked myself why he was telling SI and ESPN this when the local media has been asking about this for months. Peyton and the entire Colts organization has been tight lipped about this whole knee thing and it was months before either verified that there truly had been two surgeries. It is not that Peyton owes the local media the exclusive the point is how he truly is calculating and does things for the good of Peyton not Indianapolis or the Colts even.
  • It seems to me that the local fans -- those who buy the beers, hotdogs and seats -- have had the opportunity to read all about Peyton in SI and ESPN. We don't really care if it appears in the Star or is heard only on local radio / TV.

    The exclusivity angle doesn't resonate with me and sounds more like local media sour grapes. Get over it.
  • I'll add to my previous post... since some people are saying the point was about the fans, not the media. Well, quite honestly as a fan, I don't care what source the news came from, local or national. And I think most fans of Peyton and the Colts (myself included) would agree on that. So, that brings us back to the local media. The only one that seems to care is the local media themselves (maybe it's just Anthony)... or trying to spin it around, so that it sounds like they're concerned about the fans. So, I'll repeat my point that it just sounds like jealousy over the story... or a play on fans emotions to get more readers.

    And quite honestly... do you expect him to not calculate the business decisions he makes? Trying to make him out to be evil for that is crazy... when he actually does something wrong, like shoot himself with his own illegal gun while wearing sweat pants to a club... hehe, Plaxico... or when he chooses to retire, but then changes his mind at the last minute and goes off to the New York Jets (old man Brett)... then we can make him out to be evil. Until then, I'm fine with him making sound business decisions... because if he was playing for any other city, he would do the same... it's not a bash against Indianapolis. It's just that his image is much bigger than our city right now... some people may not like to hear that, but it's the truth.
  • We live in a global world. Manning is smart to think about maximum exposure. Peyton has done what few other athletes, especially those in NFL, have done. He's built himself into a brand.

    You don't take out an ad in the local paper telling the folks who already love you what you've done for them. You take it national.

    The Star has great beat writers, but it's theirs and their bosses fault for not getting the story. Simple as that. I mean have the story appear in the Star and USAToday in the same day. They're owned by the same sinking ship.
  • This whole post is ridiculous. Pretty much if Indy doesn't break the story, the local media is betrayed? Get over yourself.

    If Peyton does an interview with an international newspaper, has he betrayed America? He surely must be a communist.
  • Well, I will say if Peyton does an interview with an international news outlet, one thing is clear. His message is not targeted at a U.S. audience. Peyton and his handlers are smart enough to know this. Likewise, if Peyton is talking only to national media, he's not talking directly to Colts fans. He's talking to a national audience, which local Colts fans just might happen to be a subset of--and a pretty insignificant subset at that. Why? He has no loyalty to you. He only has loyalty to the almighty buck. Wake up Colts fans. I sure do hope SI and ESPN rush right in the next time Peyton and St. Vincent have an announcement to make. Sorry, they won't. But you can bet St. Vincent executives will be hoping and praying that the good old local reporters (print, TV and Web) show up. Peyton shows no loyalty to the locals, and someday, when his star isn't so bright, they will return the favor.

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