Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Elway's Manning Audible


Things were looking so hopeful for Dolphins fans a week ago, with the prospect of Peyton Manning, already a part-time Miami resident, making sunny South Beach his full-time home as the local team's quarterback. How sweet life could have been in this scenario: endless sun, pina coladas, presumably better baseball on its way, and the world's greatest signal-caller kicking ass and taking names in the modern Orange Bowl - the Fergie Bowl.

Then a chilly air swept through, blustery and burly like the man blowing it. John Elway, the greatest signal-caller of an earlier era, rode up to the Free Agent Saloon as Denver's saviour, like he has so many times before, to talk the same shot-gun language as Peyton. He probably ordered a whiskey sour, threw a warm arm around the highly-coveted pilgrim, whispered a few sweet audibles, and Bam!, every other team in contention was staring at the rear-end of a one horse race. Yippee-ki-yay MF!

In many ways this isn't fair on Dolphins, Cardinals, or Titans fans, whose clubs have truly legitimate and logical reasons to offer Manning a roster spot. What, after all, is reasonable about Manning going to Denver? Because Elway is there? They had Orton and blew that. They have Tebow and are ruining that. Now, almost as if to alleviate the ramifications of those misjudgements, the Broncos seek Manning's services, and look more like landing him than any other NFL club.

What's best for the league, and for fans, is being lost here. Manning will take his sore neck to frosty Mile High and possibly jeopardize his production with challenging conditions and an inferior offense. Then, the other quarterback-lacking clubs will overpay sub-par QBs who'll notch pedestrian numbers and help their teams miss the playoffs. So instead of seeing one dynamite Manning-led outfit, with football's John Wayne at the helm for one last hurrah, we'll have four mediocre clubs with distraught fan bases, desperately and sadly hoping Brett Favre un-retires.

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