Many Colts fans don't want what's best for Manning

February 7, 2012
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While Jim Irsay contemplates a place for Peyton Manning on his team’s roster and Manning himself ponders the best place to end his career, Colts fans have another dilemma.

Where does No. 18 belong in their hearts? Though I have a degree in psychology, I don’t pretend to totally understand what’s going on in the minds of the team’s faithful followers.

They profess to love Manning, and many will tell you it goes beyond his laser rocket arm and ability to rack up wins for the home team. They love him, they will tell you, as a person. They love his “Aw, shucks” persona, his humorous commercials and his charitable community work.

Yet many of those same fans—if pressed—will tell you they’d rather see Manning retire now as a Colt than take a single snap for another team.

I understand the pain of seeing your favorite player suiting up for a competitor, but I don’t understand wanting your cake and eating it too at the expense of the man who helped build this franchise over the last decade-plus.

The ideal scenario for fans of course is that Manning comes back for three more years, wins at least one more Super Bowl, while Andrew Luck sits quietly learning on the sidelines before stepping in for a seamless transition.

Read the above paragraph again and see how preposterous that sounds. No less than five dominos have to fall perfectly for that to happen.

If you really appreciate Manning the man and what he’s done for Indianapolis, why wouldn’t you be wishing him all the best in the future—no matter where that is?

If Manning had his wishes, he’d be back to 100 percent next August and would play another four, maybe even five, years. If you really like and appreciate him, you should want that for him.

Here’s the rub: If you wish that for Manning, you are basically wishing him away. Sitting the overall No. 1 draft pick a year or maybe two is plausible. Anything else, is unthinkable, and if Irsay tries it, it will cause an unhealthy situation for the team.

As much as Colts fans love to reference the Aaron Rodgers transition in Green Bay, it was a disaster. Yes, they did win a Super Bowl with Rodgers, but that was in spite of a rocky transition.

Brett Favre resented Rodgers from the beginning, probably felt pushed out to some degree, and when he tried to come back, Packers brass told him there was simply no room at the inn. Now Rodgers and Favre can’t hide their disdain for one another.

Meanwhile the Packers do a good job of talking out of both sides of their mouth. You think if the Packers had someone less able than Rodgers, they wouldn’t have welcomed Favre back—despite all his silliness—with open arms? You bet they would have.

A lengthy transition didn’t work in Green Bay with a superstar and budding talent, and it won’t work here.

So if you truly want what’s best for Manning, be prepared to say goodbye.

Look at it this way. Now you have two teams to cheer: the Colts and the team whose uniform Manning wears starting in 2012. 

Pray, of course, the two teams never play each other in a big game.

But if they do, and Indy's former favorite son defeats your favorite horseshoe-clad team, take solace in your love for Peyton Manning and know that all your best wishes for him have come true.

  • Not the same
    Hopefully this isn't the same thing as the Pack. Most of us wanted Favre gone in 2006 when he first "retired". The Pack took him back in 07. That was awful. Then he retired again. They took him back again in 08 as most of us groaned. Aaron was ready in for sure in 07. We had to live through three wasted years with him. The Colts have only endured one wasteful year of Pouten.
    Pouten's best bet is to retire now - as Favre could of done - while you all are still sharing that odd amore for him.
    Plus I'd love to see less coverage on the tv about him. Blah, blah, blah.
  • I disagree
    For me personally, and based on the respect I have for Manning, I want him to consider his long term health risks and decide what's best for him and family. Period. If it's with another team, so be it but what he's done for this city and team, that is sad but common for professional athletes. Do what's right Peyton but put your health before pride.
  • A good business decision
    I believe the Colts, Manning and Andrew Luck can have their cake and eat it through the following scenario:
    1. Manning agrees to a reassignment to a player/coach position. Here he takes a valuable slot on the roster - keeps fans in the seats, and coaches Andrew Luck as the QB for the team.
    2. Manning takes a 2 year contract and renegotiates his package to the gate, and forfeits his balloon bonus scheduled for March, 2012. He negotiates himself as a manager for the team - reducing any harm to the team with any salary cap issues.
    3. Pagano gets to hold onto the success of a man who knows how to read any (and I do mean any)NFL defensive line to register the best offensive play.
    4. The Colts have allowed Manning to make play calls without objection by the coaching staff. Are the Colts ready to change that behavior? I would say the coaching behavior this past season gives us that answer.
    5. Manning coaches Luck on how to read the NFL. Luck wants to be the #1 - give him that role. No different than when Peyton came from UT, he had the #1 position. Remember it took Peyton 2 years before he became a winning QB.
    6. Player confidence is enriched with Manning in management.
    7. Fan confidence is enriched with Manning as the QB coach.

    Who loses on this deal? No dominoes have to fall into place. It is between Irsay-Pagano-Manning and ultimately Andrew Luck.

    Peyton has a family. A new injury could be more than his family can handle. This is the safe course for all; and Manning stays in Colts Blue for life.

    This becomes a Win-Win equation from my vantage point.
  • What does this have to do with IBJ?
    I thought this was the Indianapolis BUSINESS Journal?!?!? Not the Sappy Sports Story Journal. Don't lay a guilt trip on the fans with this gibberish. We'll always love Peyton, but mostly want a winning team.
  • 18
    If I'm Peyton and see lack of talent left on Colts I'm saying "see ya"
    If he leaves the team to play somewhere else, boo on Irsay. I guess Peyton's true fans will have to buy all new jerseys!
    • I am selfish. I want what is best for me. That means I want what is best for Indianapolis, the city I love. Which means I want the best for the Colts, because their success means success for the City. That is how my dominoes fall.

      I love Peyton, he has been great for the Colts, City and by definition me. If he is with the Colts next year as a mentor to Luck, awesome. If he is wearing another teams jersey, that sucks, but so goes life, more power to him. If he retires because that is best for him. more power to him. The Colts are not Peyton, just as the Pacers were not Reggie. Life goes on without those guys. Hopefully the Colts do not have to take as long as the Pacers did....and with a little Luck, I am thinking they won't have to.
    • John, did you read the article?!
      John, I think you missed the point of the article. Further, unless you know something about his condition that wasn't available to the doctors who cleared him, your position is even more detached from reality. Peyton wants to PLAY football. Luck is the #1 pick and he wants to PLAY also, not sit second fiddle to your proposed coach/player situation. (please see paragraphs 5-7 about wanting your cake and eating it to) Regarding the play calling, if you followed why the Colt's want Luck, you would understand that he's been calling the plays whilst in college with great success. He's been doing this so well that rather than getting the 3 options from the coaches and choosing which play to run (like the system Peyton has), he's was given full authority to call plays from the entire playbook. Lastly, you erroneously assume that Peyton wants to coach. There's been nothing said that would back up your brilliant idea (sarcasm). You need to begin the therapy sessions to get over the fact that the NFL is a business. Players come and go, and your fandom should be thanking Peyton for what he did for this "fly-over," small market team.
    • John, I think you may be part of the problem
      So in your scenario, you mention a "player/coach slot where he takes a valuable slot on the roster." Yet, you also mention mention he will renegotiate his contract to be a manager of some sort thereby reducing any salary cap issues. I would recommend looking up how the salary cap works, and also explain where you come up with the idea that Peyton wants to be a "manager" for the team when he's doing everything he can to play.
      Further, you ask in your scenario "Who loses on this deal? No dominoes have to fall into place. It is between Irsay-Pagano-Manning and ultimately Andrew Luck." Yet, in your second point, you mention that "Manning takes a 2 year contract and renegotiates his package to the gate, and forfeits his balloon bonus scheduled for March, 2012." I assume your discussing the $28 million dollar roster bonus. You mention this being a good business decision, but how can you rationally discuss business decisions while saying Manning would just pass on $28 million that's due to him. I would say that you don't understand how contracts work if you think this is in anyway a possibility. Lastly, seem to be assuming that unless Peyton is involved with the team, ticket sales will suffer. I think having a new first round QB, new coach, and new GM would be more than enough to market this new era of the Colts, and as such, attendance wouldn't see any negative results (just as it was when peyton was drafted).
    • wrong
      Your article reads like it was written by someone who dosen't live in Indianapolis. Not someone loves the team and city and knows how people feel about this.
    • Where do you come up with this crap?
      What's your proof for saying that "many of those same fans, if pressed, would say they'd rather see Manning retire rather than play a down for another team?" Is there some statistical survey you've done that shows this? No, there's not--this is drivel that you and Kravitz at the Star have created for who knows what reason. It's called a "straw man" that you create just for the purpose of knocking it down. Total crap, pal.
    • Spot on Article
      HDG and Joe Willie, the thesis of this article is spot on. Being an out of towner, and working here for the past 2 years, every client interaction I've had is 100% what's described as above. The selfishness involved in this "if he can't play here, he shouldn't play" is just sad. Further, I think its atroches how the Colts fans have tried to diminish Peytons contribution to Indianapolis in general. I'm sick and tired of "fans" being revolted about the stadium being nicknamed "the house that Peyton built" or being so offended when it's proposed that the city would have never received a SB without the notoriety that Peyton brought this small market team. It's amazing how quickly people forget what your Dolts used to be. Now you have "fans" wearing Luck jerseys and, as one commenter here says (Joe), proposing that Peyton not receive his $28M roster bonus and remain on as a QB coach and "stay a Colt for life" without Peyton ever mentioning he would want that, it shows true classlessness.
    • Colts
    • Correcting John
      Not sure were you get your data, but it took Peyton 1 year to be "a winning QB." In 1998 they were a mess at 3 and 13, most things outside of Peytons control. He took the Colt's to a 13 and 3 season in 1999, and to the divisional playoffs.. in just his second year as an NFL quarterback!!! Also, who in their right mind would think that Peyton would sign on as QB coach when he has gas in the tank! Do you watch football??
    • John
      John.....are you serious??? For some reason everyone seems to know whats best for Manning. how about we wait and see what Manning actually wants to do.

      Player/coach/renogatiate a lower salary....give me a break. Manning is going to move on. He's not playing big brother to Luck.
    • I'm with Peyton
      I love Peyton as a player and as a person. He obviously is a hall of fame quarterback and without him Indianapolis would have never won a superbowl, had a new stadium, or even hosted a superbowl. Peyton made others appear to be better than they actually are. I'm going where Manning goes and I'd like to tell Irsay where to go! Irsay has been so unprofessional and I have lost all respect for him. I will not support the Colts without Peyton. Luck is a great quarterback that is extremely intelligent and athletic and appears to be a good guy. He will be good for the team and the city, but it will be difficult for me to support the Colts and Peyton on another team, so I'll stick with Manning. Hopefully Irsay's actions backfire on him. That's what he deserves.

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