In today’s episode, J-Dub talks about how Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s arrest for driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance has morphed from a story about a man and his demons to a pointed commentary on how America has a huge problem when it comes to addiction and how we as a nation view it. This podcast was inspired by a piece posted on Sports Blog Movement by J-Dub’s regular collaborator Ryan Meehan.
For all the media-generated bluster that has happened today over Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s comments about his former quarterback, one thing that has bee largely forgotten is that everything Irsay said is true. In case you missed it, here’s what he said in an interview with USA Today Sports. The context is Irsay is lamenting the fact the Colts had only one title to show for all their success with Peyton Manning.
“[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these [Super Bowl rings],” Irsay told USA Today. Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated. You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the ‘Star Wars’ numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne]. Mostly, you love this ring.”
So, what Irsay is saying is a) the NFL is all about winning Super Bowls, and b) Peyton Manning is a horse-shit “big-game” quarterback.
Don’t even try to tell me that the first one isn’t true. Winning a Super Bowl is like becoming a Yokozuna in Sumo Wrestling. Once you have the ring, you are always a grand champion and no matter what, they can never take it away from you. The fact that Tony Dungy has one is the only reason anybody bothers to listen to the crap spewing from that little bat-faced, moralizing asswipe. I’ll come back to him in a minute.
You can try to deny the second point is untrue; doing so is to ignore a few crushing facts.
FACT: In three years at Tennessee, Peyton Manning never beat main rival Florida.
FACT: Peyton Manning owns a 9-11 playoff record as a starting quarterback.
FACT: In 8 of Manning’s 12 career playoff appearances, his team has failed to win a single game.
FACT: Manning is tied with Brett Favre for the most playoff losses by a starting quarterback in NFL history
The following sentence gives us the “pussification” part.
The Colts pre-season starts this weekend. There are some new security policies in place but one thing remains the same. Behaving badly at Lucas Oil Stadium can get you booted and banned from returning.
That may be true, but it seems there is a wide gulf in the definition of “unruly behavior.”
It’s people who are unruly, yelling, screaming, standing up in front of you and getting obnoxious, the normal stuff that happens when people drink too much.
OK, football fans.. if I were to ask 10,000 of you which team has fans who get completely out of control, the number who said “the Colts” would be somewhere between “zero” and “are you fucking kidding me?” This stupid-ass article even admits that.
While Colts fans are known for being among the best-behaved in the league, some do get out of control. According to the Capital Improvement Board, which runs Lucas Oil Stadium, last season 64 fans were ejected from the stadium with nine arrested.
Let’s run those numbers, shall we? Between the exhibition and regular seasons, the Colts had ten home games in 2012. The capacity of Lucas Oil Stadium is 67,000 fans. That means the number fans that were kicked out equals .00095% of the total. That’s less than 7 total per game. That means the Indianapolis Police Department could transport all of them with one full-size van. Let’s contrast that with Philadelphia, where the conversation about how big to build the in-stadium jail at Lincoln Financial Field took such a dominant position in the construction planning they fucking forgot to put in drinking fountains. The Eagles literally had to hand out bottled water while that problem was fixed. Think about that for a moment…in a stadium in a city where the fans are notorious for throwing batteries, they gave them two-pound bottles of water which could cave your skull right in when tossed from the upper deck.
What’s the biggest problem they have in Indianapolis? Did somebody throw a Steak N’ Shake wrapper? For those of you who don’t know, let me describe the typical Colts’ fan to you. Take the whining nature of a Minnesota Viking fan, combine it with the football knowledge of an Amazonian tribesman, sprinkle in some slavish idolatry for Tony “Bat-Boy” Dungy, and cover it all with a 6XL Peyton Manning Denver Broncos jersey hiding at least three sets of those giant, blue-veined, unisex rain-gutter titties they all have and you are pretty much there. The sports talk radio station in Indianapolis is the only one where you can actually hear somebody getting the Heimlich Manuever live on the air and nobody seems surprised.
Miss Indiana 2010 after she had gastric bypass surgery.
Let’s face it. Of course Colts’ fans are well-behaved, because 90% of them get winded answering the phone. The average female Colts’ fan has more Chins than a Shanghai phone book, and the average male Colts’ fan hasn’t seen his own junk in so long he couldn’t find it with an Earthquake Rescue Team and the sonar from “Hunt From Red October.” What the fuck are these people going to do? Sweat aggressively? Run over your toe with their Hoverround?
That’s only the first problem with this bullshit. Now for the hypocritical part.
The very same Colts franchise which is crying about unruly fans is the very same one who feeds them and gets them piss-drunk. That’s right…the Colts control all the concessions at Lucas Oil Field, which means you can forget about them ever getting rid of beer sales even though they are crying about alcohol creating part of their non-existent “unruly” fan problem. In other words, this is all a giant smoke-screen because the Colts will never give up the 100% profit share they get from beer sales.
So, why would the Colts a) cry about a problem that doetn’t exist and b) create something as patently stupid as a “fan conduct course?” Let’s see if you can figure that out as we walk through this.
As they were escorted out, they were given a letter outlining the Colts “fan conduct class.” It’s a four-hour online course which fans kicked out of a game must pay $75 to take and pass if they wish to attend future games at the stadium.
Larry Hall, Vice President of Ticket Operations and Guest Services for the Colts, explained, “We want everyone to have a good time, but never at someone else’s expense. So if someone uses foul language or excessive alcohol that would be against the fan code of conduct.
While Hall said this year it’s now an NFL best practice, the Colts were one of the original teams to adopt the rule. He said the course covers everything from alcohol abuse and stadium policies to stress management and communication skills.
“In the end it’s meant to be an educational process in which they come away with a better understanding of their behavior and how it affects others trying to enjoy the game,” Hall said.
Did you pick up on it yet? There’s a distinct reason why the Colts are doing this. If you don’t have it yet, try another few lines from the original article.
Fans attending the Colts camp in Anderson were surprised to hear about the course, but mostly supportive.
Carol Simpson said, “I think it’s really fair, to keep it safe and especially with families.”
Her husband Scott Simpson agreed. “The days of the 1960s and 1970s macho fan are over and football has really spread out its fan base.”
Janice Houghton added, “It sounds beneficial. When you have people that don’t use common sense and respond in suitable ways, they might need some help.”
If you haven’t’ figured it out by now, I’ll just tell you. The Bryan Stow incident scared the shit of out of every major-league sports owner, but not enough to where they did anything that would make a difference. Their need to “do something” while making sure to not touch the profits leads to shit like “sensitivity training.” This is the product of group-think between incompetent lawyers and brain-dead executives in an exercise that marries “The Emperor Is Naked” scenarios with classic “having cake and eating it too” mentality.
You can have all the “sensitivity training” you want and it won’t change anything. The best salesman in any company will always get away with grabbing the ass of any secretary he wants because he makes money. The same applies to stadium concessions. They are always going to sell beer because the money they make it too good even after paying off for the occasional incident. “Sensitivity training” is just a way of saying “Gee, we know we have a problem, and we are sure trying to solve it by doing just about anything but the one thing we know would stop the problem.”
I’m not enough of a Pollyanna to think the top salesman will ever get fired for a little game of “grab-ass,”, and I’m not naive enough to think stadium concessions will ever stop selling alcohol. But telling me that “sensitivity training” will solve these issues is like pissing on my foot and telling me it’s is raining. The problem is that this is yet another story that shows that this country has far too many people who think it only rains on their foot.
Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee. This was the first year we allowed nominations from the general public.
Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use. Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.
With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the 2012 Dubsy awards.
Raise your hand if you have a sibling. Keep your hand up if that sibling is in the same profession as you. Keep it up if you are one of the best at what you do, but your sibling is better. Now, keep that hand up if your sibling is a complete drama queen. If you are Eli Manning, right now your hand is still in the air. That upraised hand begs a question: Do you think after an entire Super Bowl week in which we’ve heard more about the Manning with the bad neck than the one who is actually playing in the game that Eli might be wondering what his life might be like if he hadn’t been named Manning?
That’s the question being asked by Andrew Sharp at SB Nation. It is a tremendous question, but without going all “It’s a Wonderful Life’” Sharp misses a bit on the answer. To fully understand this, let’s walk through his assertion.
As the playoffs have unfolded I’ve found myself rooting for the Giants, and a number of friends keep asking, “How can you root for Eli?” On the surface, he looks like a spoiled, spastic version of his big brother, part of a royal football family that just won’t go away. But to understand what makes Eli great, you have to look past his bloodlines.
Eli Manning has always been famous because of his family. First when he was playing high school football in New Orleans, then throughout college at Ole Miss, then through the NFL Draft process, and even during the first half of his career. Every step of the way.
“The two boys, Peyton and Eli, are as different as saucy shrimp Creole and a soothing mint julep. The whole family agrees about that. Olivia Peyton, their mother, says that Peyton was so organized at home, he bordered on compulsive. “He couldn’t relax until everything was perfect,” she said. “He’d be fluffing all the pillows on the sofa to make sure they were right.”
He may never become Peyton, but Eli is a legit quarterback.
This is the sort of backhanded praise that’s framed his entire career.
OK, there’s the premise right up front, the two brothers are different, but for some reason, Peyton is superior based only on his personality type. In his own second sentence, Sharp jumps right to Eli’s character and demeanor. The story goes for several more paragraphs until this commentary, and we have yet to get to anything remotely close about football.
It gets worse. Sharp lists a timeline of Eli v. Peyton anecdotes, and not one of them talks about performance on the field. In fact, let’s go through these dates and add some “What Ifs” of our own.
In 2001, the lead from a New York Times story on Eli at Ole Miss: “From the juke joints of the Delta to the feed stores of northern Mississippi, he is called Archie’s boy, a son of one of sports’ most famous Sons of the South. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., in Knoxville, Tenn., and in every other castle in the Southeastern Conference football kingdom, he is “Peyton’s brother.”
In 2003, from USA Today: “Like his father, Archie, and older brother, Peyton, before him, however, Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning appears to have fallen into the close-but-no-cigar family routine.”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life Moment:” It is important to remember that once Ole Miss knew they had a Manning coming in to play quarterback, it was a moment bigger than if Notre Dame found out Jesus McGod had just committed to come South Bend. The moment was so big Mississippi went out and got David Cutcliffe to be their head coach since he had been Peyton’s offensive coordinator at Tennessee.
In 2004, the day he was drafted: “It started in kindergarten. Eli Manning would join his classmates at recess, and they would already have a position picked out for him. Many of the children knew that Eli’s father, Archie, had played in the National Football League. Some knew Eli’s older brother Peyton, who was a neighborhood legend as a preteen. The decision was simple. Eli was playing quarterback again.”
In 2004, the day after he was drafted: “Can he be as good as Peyton Manning, the NFL’s co-MVP last season? … Did the Giants get another Peyton Manning or just a player with the same last name?”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life Moment:” Let’s not forget the Chargers and the Mannings have a checkered history with each other. Remember that it was Chargers who came up “snake eyes’ in 1998 on the whole Peyton vs. Ryan Leaf draft choice. Then it was Eli who made it clear he would not play for the Chargers if they used their #1 overall draft pick to select him.
In 2005, there was more backhanded praise from the New York Daily News: “Montana, Young, Aikman, Brady, Favre, Elway. … Nobody is saying Eli Manning is going to make that list. Or be an immortal. Nobody is even saying Manning is going to be his big brother. … But we have found out a lot about Eli Manning already.”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life Moment:” More proof that the name “Manning” carries serious weight in Mississippi. Eli’s footprints out of Oxford are hardly cold when head coach David Cutcliffe is essentially forced out in favor the “Cajun Mastodon” also known as Ed Orgeron.
In 2008, after Eli pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, it was another excuse to highlight the Mannings. As the Washington Post wrote: “When the New York Giants beat the Patriots in a stunning Super Bowl upset Sunday night, they did more than merely keep New England from completing an unbeaten season … The Giants also gave a second straight Super Bowl triumph to the Manning quarterbacks, as Eli reached the pinnacle a year after his older brother, Peyton.”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life Moment:” How many people think if it hadn’t been about the “Manning” connection, this story in 2008 would have been all about “Eli Whoever cock-blocks Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of our generation.”
See, not only is Sharp ignoring the on-the-field stuff, he also ignoring that since Eli won a Super Bowl, the Manning family became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NFL’s publicity monster. The whole family is in on the deal; this is why there’s a brother who shows up in photos who has never taken a snap in the NFL. Cooper is the Manning’s equivalent of Fredo Corleone; if they were a political family he’d be Billy Carter or Roger Clinton.
Instead, Sharp inadvertently starts to paint the picture some of us have suspected for a while; that Peyton is a narcissistic, anal-retentive dickhead.
Peyton was very much on Eli’s mind yesterday after the Giants arrived in Indianapolis for a week of preparation for Sunday’s game. He thanked him for all his support over the years. And he even brought us back into their childhood in New Orleans, when Peyton occasionally would beat up on his younger brother.
“He’d pin me down and take his knuckles and knock on my chest and make me name the 12 schools in the SEC,” Eli said. “I was 6 or 7 at the time, and I didn’t know them, so I quickly learned them. It was a great learning technique, but I don’t suggest anyone duplicate that or try that out.”
There was more.
“Once I figured those [SEC schools] out, we moved on to all 28 NFL teams, so I had to get my studying done for that,” he said. “The one I never got was naming 10 brands of cigarettes. When he really wanted to torture me and I knew I had no shot of getting it, that’s when I started screaming for my mom or dad to save me.”
None of this is surprising. The Manning family has all the mystique to football fans that Camelot does for political nerds and Vanity Fair readers. In either case we’re talking about surreal levels of fortune and success, and just enough mystery to keep everyone fascinated for years. It’s nobody’s fault that Eli’s seen as a Manning first.
Again, what happens to this all if he’s Eli Smith? There’s a ton of writers out there who might actually have to develop real story lines on this guy; the low-hanging fruit of the “Kennedys of the NFL” drops like the leaves on Martha’s Vineyard in October. If Eli was just another gun-slinger who graduated the college ranks to a starring role on the main stage of the NFL, the stories about him would be more about football than family.
If Eli weren’t a Manning, he would have a bit of the same problem Tim Tebow has. In this “fantasy football” world the NFL has become, you can’t simply be a winning quarterback, you have to look like one. Sharp runs his finger around the edge of this problem.
It’s impossible to look at Eli without seeing shades of his big brother, and next to his big brother, it’s impossible not to see where Eli comes up short. Peyton’s taller, stronger, more accurate, more commanding, and more consistent. Peyton personifies the word “elite”. With Eli, the first question’s always been “Is he as good as his brother?” and any objective measure says no. That alone makes it hard to take him seriously. Next to Peyton Manning’s Brad Pitt, Eli seems more like Owen Wilson.
But if Eli wasn’t named Manning, he wouldn’t have spent his whole life being compared to Peyton, and instead of looking down on his goofy style, we’d celebrate his ability to win that way. Instead of some off-brand version of his big brother, Eli would be a whole different commodity.
And he IS a whole different commodity. That’s what we’ve started to see throughout the NFL Playoffs. If he wins Sunday, we’ll have no other choice but to appreciate him apart from his brother. Next to someone like Peyton or Tom Brady or Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, Eli’s nowhere near as perfect or consistent, but he’s every bit as deadly–the guy who can look truly horrible against the Redskins in Week 15, then turn around a month later and beat the best team in the NFL on the road.
This is the problem with framing Eli next to his brother, or even Tom Brady. It distracts us from what makes Eli Manning so much fun: He isn’t just elite, he’s unique.
There’s no doubting that Tim Tebow is unique. There’s no doubting Peyton Manning is unique. The only thing that casts a shadow on Eli’s unique nature is the fact he’s sharing a surname with another NFL quarterback. If Eli Manning weren’t constantly being compared to his older brother, he might just be a favorite son of the NFL. After all, people love it when “regular” guys succeed; Eli is the “elite” quarterback who is actually fun to watch, and isn’t afraid to show his “regular guy” status. He doesn’t hide his pathological obsession with pranks, his “mama’s boy complex,” or that stupid grin he always seems to have glued to his face. America loves a the “win at all costs” guy, but they also love a winner who has a certain amount of humanity; Eli would be that guy if he were Eli Smith rather than Eli Manning.
If you aren’t familiar, Ali-Favre Syndrome is a diagnosis common amongst aging athletes who lose their ability to tell when it is time to retire. Named for its two most famous examples, Muhammad Ali and Brett Favre, the name needs to be updated today with the news that Peyton Manning does not intend to retire.
Tom Condon, the agent for Peyton Manning, talked with NFL Network about the flurry of news reports we’ve seen this week regarding the current Indianapolis Colts quarterback. On Thursday, ESPN reported that Manning had received clearance to play, which Condon confirmed saying his client was “structurally sound.”
I’m no doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV, but I happen to be the proud owner of a neck, and I’m pretty sure that before I’m going to face on-rushing 300-pound defensive I want to hear something a bit more encouraging than “structurally sound.” The 35W Bridge was “structurally sound;” I would really like to hear something more along the lines of “your neck won’t snap like kindling and we won’t be wheeling you around for the next 40 years.”
Also "structurally sound."
Wait…it gets better.
He did, however, point out that Manning is still waiting on the nerves to regenerate in his arm so, while technically healthy enough to play, he’s really not game-ready. So we’re pretty much in the same place we were before the ESPN report.
Now, unless I’m mistaken, “pretty much in the same place” means “Manning hasn’t seen the field in over a year, we’re on our third surgery to fix the problem, and if the Colts’ season started today, their options behind center are Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky.” To me, that means the key in that whole sentence is “he’s really not game-ready.” That could mean anything from “Manning’s just a little rusty; a couple of practices and he’s good to go” to “This guy couldn’t hit water with a football if he threw it off a fucking boat.”
Pay attention to the deliberate vagueries in the following paragraph.
Condon also confirmed that Manning wants to continue playing and plans to continue playing. This comes in despite of several reports recently that retirement is an option for Manning. The Colts quarterback said similar things publicly in an interview with ESPN.
Notice how the verbs are soft; “wants to” or “plans to” instead of definites like “will continue playing” or “commits to returning.” It’s no accident the word “retirement” comes right after those soft verbs.
Now, for the kicker.
Condon said Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay remained close, despite communicating through the media lately, but all signs continue to point toward the Colts releasing Manning sometime before his large roster bonus is due on March 8.
This is all a chess game between Irsay and Manning. The whole reason Irsay gave Manning that ridiculous contract last year was because he doesn’t want to be the guy who tells Colts Nation the Manning era is over. As it stands now, Irsay wants Manning to be that guy by simply retiring. Manning can’t bring himself to believe that for what is probably the first time in his athletic career, he is the odd man out.
The bottom line is just as simple. Even if Manning can play, and even if he ends his career in a uniform other than that of a Colt, he’s never going to be the Peyton Manning of five years ago ever again. We’ve seen to many great athletes become sad figures by hanging on to the dream just a bit too long, and that list does not need a new addition.
I’m Peyton Manning’s neck. I’m creating all kinds of mayhem, and nobody can figure out how. Thanks to me, there’s a team of doctors arguing over whether Peyton’s career is or is not over, and thanks to that, I’ve got the entire sporting world having that same pointless discussion.
Face it, I have so much power just from tweaking one little neck bone. I started the sequence of events that led to Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky being starting quarterbacks in the NFL. I’ve got a multi-millionaire so wrapped around his own axle that he can’t go six days without pissing down his own leg on Twitter. I’ve got all of you so worked up that you’re missing really important stuff.
Let’s go back to that millionaire thing for a minute. I’ve got Jim Irsay so ass-backward that he’s really backed himself into a corner. First of all, I got him to give Peyton a $90 million contract after the first neck surgery without having Peyton get a physical exam of me. All because Irsay doesn’t want to be the guy who has to tell Colts fans the Manning era is over. Then, he got a cut-rate insurance policy in Kerry Collins, and when that didn’t pay off, he went to Curtis Painter, which is the equivalent of that insurance only people with 3 DUIs can get.
Now, let’s get back to you, the fans. Thanks to all the mayhem I’ve created, you’ve totally forgotten Peyton is on the downswing of his career even without the neck problem. You’ve totally forgotten that even if Peyton had played for the Colts this past season, there were so many other problems with that team they would never have won six games. More importantly, you’ve missed the fact that much like it is time for Peyton and the Colts to part ways, it that same time for me and Peyton.
Seriously, I’m not spending the rest of my life holding up that misshapen fetus-head. There’s a big future in this “Mayhem” racket selling insurance, and I’m not about to hang around for more crushing blows, failed comebacks, and general misery when I can make some serious cash scaring middle-class America.
Don’t be Jim Irsay. Buy good insurance and be protected from mayhem like Curtis Painter.
1) Andy Reid and Rex Ryan are just photo-negatives of each other
Andy Reid is quiet and studious. Rex Ryan is loud and brash. And they’ve both lost their locker rooms.
It doesn’t matter where the shit-talking came from, there was far too much of it. While the media didn’t do Reid and the Eagles any favors with that “Dream Team” bullshit, they fell victim to believing it largely because Reid failed to keep the Eagles grounded in reality.
With the Jets, all the shit-talking came from the Jets themselves. The word is starting to get out that Rex Ryan is all talk that he can’t back up. With all the crap that team spewed about how they were the team to beat, they ended up in the same place as the Eagles: 8-8 and playing golf in January.
Even if you don’t think their respective team quit on them, they certainly had pain-in-the ass wide receivers who did. Some people say Santonio Holmes may have quit on his team late in the last game against the Dolphins. Those people clearly haven’t been watching Jets football; Holmes has been a non-factor for quite some time. In Philadelphia, the obvious problem child was DeSean Jackson, or as I like to call him “Punk Bitch Vagina Face.”
This is what happens when you can't back up your smack-talk.
2) Defense apparently is now illegal
Consider the following: this season saw 2 quarterback s with 5,000 passing yards, 8 more with over 4,000 (including rookie Cam Newton), and 7 more mediocre-to-shitty ones with over 3,000 (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Sanchez, Michael Vick, Rex Grossman, Alex Smith, and Tarvaris Jackson – and that doesn’t include the 3K season posted by rookie Andy Dalton).
3) Bill Polian somehow went blind
The former vice chairman of the Indianapolis Colts, the man who built that franchise around Peyton Manning, apparently didn’t see the infrastructure collapsing. He thinks the reason he got fired was for not having a back-up for Peyton Manning.
Bill, the reason you got fired was because the team got old, can’t run, and can’t play defense. Manning didn’t affect any of that. Since football is the ultimate team sport, there is no way team should be so defined by a single player that it literally melts away the second that player is missing.
4) The NFL has some franchises that are in trouble
Stop and think about this: Where would the franchises in Jacksonville, Buffalo, Minnesota, New Orleans, San Diego and St. Louis be if the NFL did not do revenue-sharing? Discuss amongst yourselves.
5) The “Dream Team” moniker is a kiss of death
What do you do with a season that started with such promise, delivered none of it, but yet ended on a positive note? In Philadelphia, the standard operating procedure is “find someone to blame.”
Blaming Andy Reid is easy. The irony is that the same media which points a collective finger at the coach used that same finger to type all the bullshit hype that destroyed this team.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ascribing the bullshit season the Eagles had exclusively on the crap the media spewed, but they own a part of it. Inasmuch as the team owns not meeting expectations, it was the media who set those unrealistic expectations in the first place.
Once the label “Dream Team” was hung around the organization, they were dead.
Rumors have been circulating for a while now about the future of future NFL Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning. We all know the situation; his neck has been surgically rebuilt twice, and there are serious concerns as to whether he can ever or even should play football again. Coupled with the fact the Colts have collapsed so completely they seem to be a lock for the first pick in April’s NFL draft, a pick certainly to be shackled to Andrew Luck, the most-coveted college quarterback since John Elway, Manning finds his future to be very uncertain.
Today, our guest columnists will debate the future of the four-time NFL MVP. Mr. McGrath will be taking the “Manning must go” position, while Mr. Aykroyd will be taking the “Peyton should stay” position.
Editor’s Note:Mr. McGrath has long and storied history in the management of professional sports franchises, most notably as the general manager of the Charlestown Chiefs of the now-defunct Federal League. Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that Mr. McGrath’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else whose house you might want to burn to the ground.
Manning Must Go
It is time to face the facts. Stick a fork in Peyton Manning; he is done. I know nobody in Indiana wants to hear that, but it is a hard dose of truth Colts fans need to accept.
Even if Manning proves able to play at a high level again, even if doctors clear him for the skeletal re-arrangement playing in the NFL promises, there’s no guarantee that Manning isn’t one shot to that surgically-rebuilt neck away from being a potted plant Colts’ fans visit at the home twice a week to water.
If that weren’t enough, look at what sort of team he’d be leading. If you think this team is 0-11 simply because of the absence of Manning, you likely can’t read the top line of the eye chart.
The the best adjectives for the defense are “old” and “bad.” Granted, the Colt offense has never really been a factor, but now that the offense has completely fallen apart means this team is due for a complete overhaul.
The offensive line is shaky enough to be considered a rival to the San Andreas fault, and it isn’t going to bet any better with Jeff Saturday and Ryan Diem likely to be gone. As far as the receiving corps is concerned, Reggie Wayne is likely leaving for his last decent contract elsewhere, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark are now too injury-prone to make a significant difference, and Pierre Garçon may be the most over-rated wide-out in all of the NFL. If that weren’t enough, the Colts have no realistic running game to fall back on.
In other words, it is time to start over in Indianapolis. Much like you have to knock down some walls when you remodel, the pillar known as Peyton Manning needs to come out of the Colts’ house.
Cutting Manning loose frees up money for such a remodeling project. If Manning’s contracts is jettisoned before June 1, 2012, the Colts save against the salary cap, losing close to $90 million in future commitments for Manning’s haeavily back-end loaded deal, owing only $3.4 million in salary and a $3 million roster bonus in 2012. The rest of that money can go into the piggy back the Colts need for winning the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes.
The bottom line: Peyton Manning is the past, not the future.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Aykroyd was the station manager for the news division of Saturday Night Live, particularly it’s Point/Counterpoint segment in which both sides of a current story were debated. This is exactly the role Mr. Aykroyd will play for us here at Dubsism. Again, Mr. Aykroyd’s’s views are those of the fictional newsman he portrayed, not those of the actual Dan Aykroyd (if he is even still alive), do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else you might be thinking of suing.
Peyton Should Stay
Joe, you ignorant slut. When you said “Suck for Luck,” I thought you said “suck for a buck.” That would make more sense since you seem to be willing to swallow more than just words that get put in your mouth.
I think we can safely assume that the Colts and Manning know a lot more about this situation then they are telling us. There’s a reason why the Colts have refused to place him on season-ending Injured Reserve, and there’s a reason we keep hearing about a December return. Today’s check-up for Manning might just mean thye comeback is on; after all, tomorrow is December 1st.
Manning represents hope; Colts fans believe Peyton gives them a chance to return to the winning ways. Who are you to take that away from them?
Who makes a better mentor for the young Luck than the veteran Manning? Don’t give that twaddle about money; there’s ways to get around salary cap issues.
You speak of bottom lines, but you miss the obvious one. If Manning proves to be healthy, given the current state of NFL quarterbacks, he has value that you seem to ignore.
If this injury does in fact prove to be the end for the four-time MVP, then so be it. But there is no way arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game should be forced out based on the whim of some dried-out old boozebag of a general manager.
With such a full weekend of college and NFL action, let’s just cut to the chase…
1) We still don’t know if Notre Dame is any good
Every year, Notre Dame gets over-rated, and every year, they prove that by the time they get to Purdue. This year, they’ve done nothing but send a mixed message; lost to South Florida and Michigan, and now have won three straight. but honestly, those wins are over mediocre Michigan State and Pittsburgh, and most recently against West Lafayette Junior High Purdue. It doesn’t get any better since the Irish start their usual parade of service academies with Air Force this week.
2) Speaking of Purdue…
Yeah, I know Giant Drum A&M gets picked on every once in a while here, but they might get more respect if they quit doing things like this.
3) As long as we are in Indiana…
Memorial services for any hope of the Colts having a watchable season will be held Thursday at noon at Lucas Oil Field. When the most glowing reviews of Colts quarterback Curtis Painter are “not completely horrible,” it’s going to be a long season in Indianapolis.
4) The Detroit Lions – The Anti-Colts
Let’s face facts, this team has more upside that in all its previous 50 years combined. The Lions boast an emerging star at quarterback, a dominant weapon in Calvin Johnson, and a defense that is vastly improved, which is why they are the first team in NFL history to make two straight comebacks from 20+ points behind.
5) When is a fumble not a fumble, part III
First, there was the Rob Lytle “fumble” in the 1977 AFC Championship Game, then there was the infamous Tom Brady “Tuck” rule from 2001, now there’s Victor Cruz fiasco this past weekend. Now I know why there is no coincidence between why Ed Hochuli is the best referee in the NFL and he just so happens to be an attorney; you need a law degree to even understand half the rules in the NFL anymore. Note to the Rules Committee…it is time to start simplifying.
6) Illinois – Your Cup-Check University
If picture is worth a thousand words, you would think an animated GIF would be worth more, yet this one is only worth two…
7) As The Romo Turns
With all the ups and downs, one would think you would find the “Romo-Coaster” at Six Flags over Texas rather than Cowboys Stadium. Week 1, he’s a choke-artist. Weeks 2 and 3, he showed “a rare brand of guts and leadership.” Now, he sucks again. Even ESPN doens’t know what to do with him.
There’s the “pro” side, as evidenced by Eric Mangini.
“But ex-Jets coach Eric Mangini said a couple of Romo’s picks against the Lions were not his fault. The gutsy Romo has also led the Cowboys to two victories this season despite playing with injured ribs.”
“Really, you saw the best of Tony Romo in a brilliant first half as he pushed Dallas to a 20-3 lead that swelled to 27-3 after the Cowboys took the second-half kickoff and drove for a touchdown. Then we witnessed the worst of Romo. He threw three second-half interceptions — two were absolutely awful decisions — providing the catalyst for Detroit’s comeback.”
After all the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth, NBC’s Bob Costas probably has the best observation…
“Here’s a guy who see-saws between hero’s laurels and goat horns, seemingly game to game. And today, it was half to half. Romo had three TD throws in the first 33 minutes against the undefeated Lions, but then, three picks – two of them returned for touchdowns,” said Costas.”This has been the pattern of Romo’s season, and, as it’s shaping up, his career. At any moment he is apt to rescue his team with feats of daring do, often showing the presence of mind to improvise his way out of one crisis after another. And then, the next week, or maybe the next moment, he’ll turn in a performance or make a decision that sends Cowboys fans to the ledge.”
After all, good Romo or bad Romo doesn’t matter…Cowboys’ fans ripping their collective hair out is what’s important.
8 ) By The Way, Romo’s Not The Only Thing Wrong in Dallas
Remember that crap Rob Ryan was spouting about how Detroit’s Calvin Johnson would “be the third’ best receiver on the team” if he played for the Cowboys. Who else took comfort in watching Johnson pack that bilge firmly in Ryan’s “Head and Shoulders commercial wannabe ass? Did anybody else notice the part where Ryan’ s “vaunted” defense had 12 guys on the field and STILL didn’t double-cover Calvin Johnson?
What has two thumbs, Lynyrd Skynyrd-hair, and a football in his ass from Calvin Johnson? THIS GUY!!!
9) As long as we are in Dallas…
Remember last year when Jason Garrett became the poster-child for uptight, straight-laced white guys everywhere when he was the guy who saved the Cowboys? Remember how this was all supposedly due to Garrett’s being a “disciplinarian?”
So, can somebody explain to me why this Cowboy team looks as undisciplined as ever? Seriously, this team can’t even manage it’s own snap count, half the roster looks like they don’t even know the playbook, and nobody is calling out Howdy Doody Jason Garrett, the supposed Princeton Prince of Discipline.
Forget Jason Garrett...It was Mrs. Garrett who knew how to keep the girls in line.
10) Oh, and before I forget about the other Ryan brother…
Rex, you are one of my favorite guys in all of sports, but…
It’s “put up or shut up” time. I’ve watched your teams gag two straight AFC Championship games, and now your team is looking suspiciously over-rated. Start winning games you are supposed to win so I don’t have to start bashing you.
11) Speaking of “Time To Prove My Love” – The All-Pennsylvania Edition
The Eagles have managed in four short game to go from “The Dream Team” to “The Nightmare Team.” Two reasons – the hardest hit the offensive line has made all season was on their own quarterback, and in the immortal words of Jets’ linebacker Bart Scott, the defense “couldn’t stop a nosebleed.”
But the award for the worst offense in the Keystone State goes to Penn State. Don’t get me wrong, as a Nittany Lion fan, I’ve seen some Joe Paterno offenses that literally dated from the Paleozoic era, but this is the worst I’ve seen under the Galen Hall/Offensive Coordinator regime. With all due respect, GET RID OF THAT GODDAMN TWO QUARTERBACK SYSTEM!!!! I get they both suck, but pick one, shoot the other in the head and let’s move on.
12) Cam Newton Is Now A Poster Child
There’s new mentality in the football world…throwing the football is Nirvana, outcomes be damned. Cam Newton exemplifies this. The world is singing his praises as a young quarterback because in four games he has nearly 1,400 passing yard and 5 touchdowns.
But he also has 5 interceptions and more importantly, only one win as a starting quarterback. This makes him a stud in fantasy football, but not so much in the real game. But, for some reason, we let the fantasy mentality rule the day.
If you doubt that, look at it this way. This past weekend saw 11 quarterbacks post 300 passing yards, but only 4 of them won their games. In contrast, the running game (which has been relegated to the NFL scrap heap) saw 8 running backs rack up 100 rushing yards , and 5 of them played on winning teams.
13) The Dubsism Simplified College Football Top 25