Friday, February 02, 2007



Peyton Manning this, Peyton Manning that. If the Colts win, it’s all Peyton. If the Colts lose, it’s all on somebody else.

Look, Manning is great for the game, seems like an ok guy, loves Johnny U (even tried to wear high tops to honor No. 19), is great in commercials (but does there have to be so many) and he’s one helluva quarterback. He works hard, studies, is an upstanding member of the community and for all intents and purposes, he’s an exemplary role model.

And to think there was an actual debate back during the 1998 NFL Draft as to who was better, Manning or Ryan Leaf!

But I am sick to death of Peyton Manning. Win or lose, he’s not going away.

If the Colts win (God forbid) there will be a man crush epidemic to include but certainly not limited to Chris Berman, Steve Young, Sean Salisbury, Phil Simms and Jim Nantz. We’ll have to hear about the Colts and Manning over and over and over.

If they lose (please God) we’ll hear about Manning’s place in history and how it will be defined by him not winning the big game. Have the Colts run their course or can they find a way to get back to the big show?

Blah, blah, blah, blah-blah!

At least Option 2 will give me a measure of satisfaction.

And if Option 2 takes shape, count on Manning blaming somebody else. Last year he threw his offensive line under the bus. This year, it was the rushing defense, the receivers, the offensive coordinator and the wind in the RCA Dome. Well ok, maybe not the later but you get the picture.

His whining during times of adversity is reminiscent of Dan Marino who was never wrong on the field and was often seen laying into his offensive mates.

At least he bought them Isotoners for Christmas.

Come Sunday I’ll be a big Bears fan. Oh you better believe it Kurt!

Besides, I think I like Rex Grossman better. He seems like a great kid. Very humble and his handling of the massive amounts of pressure and criticisms is really remarkable. I’ll trust Lovie Smith on this one. He seems to be a man that keeps his eye on the big picture despite the short-term chaos that has gripped him at times this season.

I’ll also trust in the players. While they might not be happy with Grossman’s performance, there haven’t been signs of a mutiny or any divisiveness in the locker room. They genuinely seem to like Grossman and they’ve supported him. With all that is at stake, that means something.

Many will say the pressure of the Super Bowl will eventually cause Grossman to crumble. I think he’s used to the pressure now and I think he’ll respond and perform decently.

But will it be enough?

I am hopeful for Option 2 above and some measurable satisfaction.

But at the end of the day, I think it will be a Rolling Stones song for me!



Anonymous said...

Peyton, Peyton, Peyton....maybe he will get his nose broken Sunday like Marcia, Marcia, Marcia....btw, is anyone already sick of whether Favre is coming back?

dhort said...

Very nicely put. After reading 2 weeks of obsessing, I was wondering if anyone remembered Manning's finger-pointing routines, such as the one you mentioned from only a year ago.

"I'm trying to be a good teammate here..." but it was entirely the O-line's fault.

Some good teammate. Grossman's a little goofy and Sling Blade-like, but at least he's a stand-up guy. Go Bears.

BigE said...

If Indy wins it will be back to back Baltimore killers. The only two teams I can't stand winning. If Indy wins will someone just shoot me, please.

Kurt said...

You are right. If he loses he will throw his teammates under the bus again. I am surprised that his teammates take it. I mean the got to the Super Bowl and won it despite of him. MVP? What a joke. Rhodes should have got it.

Kurt said...

You are right. If he loses he will throw his teammates under the bus again. I am surprised that his teammates take it. I mean the got to the Super Bowl and won it despite of him. MVP? What a joke. Rhodes should have got it.

Anonymous said...

"(even tried to wear high tops to honor No. 19)"

TL - c'mon he could have but apparently it didn't mean enough to do it and take the fine...Opie wanted permission...if he truly wanted to pay homage than he should have manned up and just did it-- like Redman

Tony Lombardi said...

He could have paid the fine and wore the hightops anyway...that's true. But you can't question his affinity for 19 nor his commitment to the game. And from what I've been told and what I've read, JU thought highly of 18 too.

Do you think if Manning was in Tom Brady's shoes today he would diss the Pro Bowl to play in the Pro-Am Tourney? How about Johnny U?

Tony Lombardi said...

And what a difference a couple of days feelings after watching the Colts win on Super Bowl XLI Sunday....

While it seems much, much longer, it has been 3 weeks since the Ravens fell to the Colts. The loss was something none of us anticipated – one many never even considered. It was as though beating the Colts was a foregone conclusion and as a result the loss morphed from shocking initially to extremely bitter.

For some the bitterness remains.

Leading into last night’s Super Bowl XLI, like so many others here in Baltimore, I dreaded the thought of Jimmy Irsay hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and the Indianapolis Colts being World Champions. The Colts as champions right on the heels of a Steelers' World Championship campaign seemed just a little too unfair.

As the clock ticked away while Rex Grossman completed his best impersonation of Kyle Boller on his worst day and it became increasingly apparent that the Colts would win, I wasn’t as uncomfortable or agitated as I thought I’d be. Was I ready to emphatically proclaim that I indeed was over it?

It wasn’t like I suddenly jumped into a phone booth and emerged as a Super Colts fan. But I must admit as the inevitable approached reality, the idea of a Colts Super Bowl win to my surprise did not bother me.

The true test I thought would be when Jim Nantz and Roger Goodell presented Irsay with that Lombardi. Then I would know for sure if I was experiencing a momentary lapse of reasoning or if this lack of emotion was the result of watching a boring Super Bowl.

It was neither.

When Irsay finally stepped up upon that stage to receive the most coveted of trophies (at least in this country) and my pulse was steady and there was no noticeable tension in my body language I knew that I had arrived. I am officially over it!

I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t sad – I felt nothing. Even had the Bears won, I don’t think that I would have felt any differently. During the game’s opening kick, I only managed a mild “alright” as Devin Hester crossed the goal line. Indifference and apathy gripped my emotional state, perhaps still a bit numbed from the disappointment of the Ravens’ playoff loss the Colts.

Besides, I reasoned, Peyton Manning in many ways the poster child of the NFL whose work ethic is matched only by his outstanding talent, deserved the chance to get that gorilla off his back. Tony Dungy, the consummate gentleman who redefines the meaning of class and dignity deserved to be called a champion.

And then there was Reggie Wayne who lost his brother and Gary Brackett who lost his parents and a brother within a span of 17 months. They too deserved to experience the thrill of the ultimate victory and in a small way curb the pain of their devastating losses.

Just last Friday in my blog, I wrote that I was sick to death of Peyton Manning. Yesterday, despite a non-Manning-like performance, I could only admire. After all that’s what winners do right? They win when they aren’t playing their best.

Manning is a winner. The Indianapolis Colts are winners. And I don’t even care.

I’m over it.