Peyton Manning has a chip on his shoulder, but why?

July 25, 2012
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Peyton Manning seems to have made more noise and public appearances in his brief time in Denver than he did in 15 years in Indianapolis.

Already, TMZ has shown photos of Manning’s new Denver area mansion. He has publicly reached out to victims of a shooting spree at a Colorado movie theater. And Manning—along with Broncos Coach John Fox—were called up on stage at a recent Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw concert at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The ultra-private Manning seems to be taking the stage in a whole new way now that he’s in the Mile High City. Maybe the thin air has gotten to him.

It’s true that Manning had his Peyback Foundation and did his share of charity work during his years in Indianapolis. But I have no idea where his Indianapolis-area house was (or is) and I certainly don’t recall him taking the stage at a concert here.

More importantly, though, Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway insists Manning is ready to play at full-speed as training camp nears. Recently, Elway said Manning has "a chip on his shoulder.”

That statement would seem to say Manning has an ax to grind. That got me wondering: Who put the chip on Manning’s shoulder, and against whomdoes he have an ax to grind?

I suppose you could conclude that Manning is ready to grind his ax on all those who doubted he could play again.

But you could also conclude that Manning is sharpening his ax to take a swing at Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who cut Manning in March as he was rebuilding the team.

Although it was a slightly odd press conference when Manning and Irsay parted ways last spring, there certainly didn’t appear to be bad blood boiling between the two. Maybe I missed something. Manning seemed to understand it was a simple business decision by Irsay. (See video below, then story continues.)

After all, the Colts had the rights to the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, and it was expected that they’d use that to select Stanford’s Andrew Luck. Which they did. And just about everybody concluded that there wasn’t enough room in this town for Manning and Luck.

Manning couldn’t possibly have expected Irsay to pass on a 22-year-old passing prodigy in favor of a 36-year-old gunslinger with—at best—three shots left in his six-shooter.

But there again, maybe Manning thought after all he’s done for Indianapolis and the Colts, he deserved that sort of deference. There’s no doubt Manning has the ability to do some serious damage to the Colts. Maybe he already has, as the team for the first time in years is struggling to sell out its home games via season tickets.

By Manning merely winning in Denver, there won’t be any shortage of Colts fans bristling much more than they already have. If Manning pilots the Broncos to a Super Bowl championship, the pain for the Colts and its fans—and in some cases its now former fans—will be even greater.

That pain shall pass, especially if Luck delivers on half of what he’s supposed to. But if Manning truly does have a chip on his shoulder, believes Irsay is responsible for putting it there, and if he at some point decides to talk publicly about it, that will deliver the deepest cut of all to Irsay’s Horseshoe Kingdom.

And it won’t even matter how illogical it is for Manning to come to that conclusion. The damage in Indianapolis will be done.

If Manning follows the playbook he used in Indianapolis, Irsay should be safe. No. 18 rarely ever disclosed all publicly. But his journey to Denver has uncovered a brave new world. One in which Manning is making TMZ headlines and taking center stage at high-profile concerts.

So maybe too, Manning is ready to play for the first time like he has a chip on his shoulder and swing his sharpened ax in a public forum—consequences in Indianapolis be damned.

  • Peyton / Chesney
    You find it odd that Peyton was called on stage at a recent Kenny Chesney concert?! Well, this isn't anything new since the two are pretty good friends. YouTube is a wonderful thing, try searching for videos of these two singing together.
  • stirring the pot
    You're trying to stir up controversy as usual. Peyton used to get onstage with Kenny Chesney all the time in Indy. Lots of people knew the location of his home here. So what if he has a chip on his shoulder? He wants to prove Indy made a mistake in letting him go and that he can still play at a high level. I look forward to seeing him try.
  • Concert
    Peyton is also friends with New Orleans band Better Than Ezra and reportedly took the stage at the Vogue after a Sunday afternoon victory a few years ago and tossed some footballs out into the crowd.
  • Peyton's competitive chip
    Why go this negative "expectation" direction with your article? Peyton's work while in Indy stands on it's own and he is well within rights to write a new chapter in the form he chooses within Denver. "Chip on shoulder"??? He is the ultimate competitor and the most probable context is his desire to prove himself on the playing field. Maybe you are a TMZ wannabe employee cuz your sentiment surely tilts in the direction of that type of yellow journalism.
  • Really??? IBJ?
    So, Elway says Manning has a chip on his shoulder. I know this is *just* a blog (let's not hold it up to any journalistic light) but everything after paragraph five is just noise and self-driven frenzy. Oh, and I'm pretty sure Peyton lived in Williams Creek on the North side of town - perhaps we just better respected his privacy than others do now.
    • Oh, Please
      As IU Hoosiers mentioned, Peyton Manning has taken the stage with Kenny Chesney more than once. That is nothing new. I knew where his home was located, and I am a nobody. Blame the Denver home photos on a loudmouth who had access to the listing information - I do not recall that this was a "release" by Manning. And, good for him to reach out to the shooting victims - that is a continuance of the good work he has always done off of the football field.
      • re: Chips
        Oh, and of course he has a chip on his shoulder. He's a professional, and he's driven, and he knows he can compete again. Irsay is Irsay and went with the "safe money" bet. Let's not forget, the Colts (all professional sports) aren't about the fans, they're gladiators who earn large paychecks and larger paychecks for their owners.
      • Really??
        Clearly, if he has a chip on his shoulder, it's to show that he can still play; not that Irsay was a jerk for releasing them. Huge difference. To IBJ - where the **** did you get this guy??
      • so what
        as others said. Peytons home address is no biggy. the fact that he made a trip to see some of the victims at the hospital is not that big a deal because anyone that is in the vicinity and is relatively well known i.e. Peyton is going to show up. Its good for local publicity, his manager will tell you that. Besides for the most part him being a nice guy he is a business man and savy in that respect. As for him buying a mansion well he has the bucks. The question is did he sell his house in Indpls?
      • Lots of emotion over Peyton
        Wow, there sure is a lot of emotion behind these remarks coming from authors who claim all of this is much ado about nothing. Let's face it, there's lots of Colts fans who are still upset about the Colts release of Peyton Manning. Really upset! If you know anything about Manning you know he wants to show up Irsay. He wants to show Irsay and the world how big a mistake the Colts made. That's his nature. With Manning, it's not just about winning another ring. It's about pay backs and vindication. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Manning's new public persona in Denver is all part of that plan to stick it to Irsay. Because he certainly never showed his face around Indianapolis much. Now if his wife Ashley surfaces in Denver, we'll really know something strange is happening.
      • 'Pey'back in 2013
        The Colts host the Broncos in Lucas Oil Stadium in 2013. Do you think Manning has that noted on his calendar; a chance at some 'Pey'back? Talk about a tough ticket to that game!!
      • Tacky Article
        As most of the comments given have indicated this article has no merit what so ever!!
      • Peyton
        Along with the others, I don't find it odd at all that Peyton got on stage with Kenny Chesney. Also, how do you know Peyton and Ashley WANTED the picture of their house displayed? Is it really even their house? They are very private people and I doubt that got on the internet with their permission.
      • Peyton's private life
        I concur with Scott and the other comments...I know where Peyton lived but not sure that anybody cares...I saw him on stage with KennyChesney and recently was with him for the opening of the JW Marriott and fundraiser for the PM Children's Hospital...what is so odd or out of sorts about ehat he's doing now? Seems like an extension of his past life in Indy
      • Who?
        Peyton who?
      • This clown (Anthony) could not post an article...
        ....if he was prohibited from using the word 'if'. Nothing here but pure speculation by someone who is apparently under orders to post regularly. What a waste of time.
      • wrong again Anthony
        In similar fashion to the post you did on LArry Birds departure Anthony - you got this all wrong.Does the editor check your work before it goes out or are you simply relied upon to fill some space every now and again. Poor, a little distasteful and jsut simply not true ....... again!
      • Anthony gets a beating from the IBJ readership.
        Anthony...the Penn State article yesterday was a good one...this one does seem to be a bit of an attempt to manufacture controversy...I realize these are bad days for sports a couple of days you will have training camp and the Olympics to write about, and then the pennant races will heat up after that. In the meantime, I guess you will have to take your verbal beating from all those who are not responsible for a "column a day". Ces't la vie...
      • Enough
        Schoettle continues to write willfully ignorant items like this that flaunt their lack of facts, lack of direction, and lack of class. The IBJ deserves better and at some point, they'll have to look to the high-class of bloggers like Nate Dunleavy to find a replacement. Soon, please.
      • Lay off the messenger
        It must be a slow time for complaining posters as the majority of the posts here waste everyone's time by criticizing Anthony instead of saying anything relative to the subject of today's column. Here's an easy solution. If you don't like what Anthony writes then quit reading him and go elsewhere online with your predictable negativity.
      • C'MON...
        Chip on his shoulder...c'mon....all Peyton wants is another Super Bowl Championship. His focus is on winning not revenge, it's not his style...he is too much of a Class Act!!!
      • Really?
        When will you all realize that Peyton leaving was a joint decision between Irsay and #18. Peyton is smart enough to see that the Colts, who got very old and injury-prone in a hurry the last two years, need to be almost totally rebuilt, and with at best only a few years left in his career, why not leave for greener pastures? As far as Irsay was concerned, the timing was perfect to get the highly-touted Luck and move on. It all makes perfect sense.
      • Yet another bad column...
        Yet another poorly researched and poorly thought out column from Anthony. I've never even been to Kenny Chesney concert (and you couldn't pay me to go) yet I know that Peyton has appeared with him on stage multiple times before even here in Indy. Pretty much anyone in town that remotely cares knows where Peyton's house is on the north side just as it's easy to know where the President lives. That's a hint for you on the location if you want to see it Anthony. Finally, Peyton has always done charity work here and would have done the same thing if Indy had a tragic shooting as just happened in Denver. Sure, I'm guessing anyone let go by the only team they have played for has some degree of a chip on their shoulder (Hello, Captain Obvious) and wants to prove that the old team should have kept them but the concert appearance, house photo, and touching base with people impacted by a tragedy in the hospital just sound like you are reaching with no sense of what Peyton's life was like in Indy. I've seen Peyton at other concerts in Indy and out doing things. It's not that unusual.
      • journalism?
        This is journalism? No, it's a pathetic attempt to create an issue about a beloved figure, when there is no real controversy.
      • The obvious
        He really shouldn't have a chip since he is smart enough to realize this was a good move for him. And it was the right move by the Colts, and here is why: Would Denver trade Peyton right now for Andrew Luck? Without question.
      • Worthless Commentary
        This was perhaps the worst piece of journalism I have ever seen from you Anthony. Must have been a slooooooow news day. Please stick to factual reporting and don't try to make something up that's not there. Peyton is one of the most competitive people I have ever known. Of course he will want to try show Jim he made a mistake even though we all know it was a tough but correct decision.

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