Tebow Can’t Throw


Peyton Manning to leave Colts – Who’s decision was it?

peyton manningIt’s over. The announcement just hit the wires, we have seen Peyton Manning in the blue and white Indianapolis Colts colors for the last time. Sources say the Colts have released Peyton with a full announcement to come in the next couple of days.

This announcement is hot on the heels of a video that surfaced showing Peyton throwing at Duke University and looking like the Peyton of old. The early commentators are leaning toward this being a decision the Colts made. While yes, they could have paid Peyton’s $28 million bonus and forced him to stay, I’m wondering if the decision wasn’t just about the money.

When Peyton joined the Colts in 1998 they were a team in disarray. The Colts had the number one draft pick for a reason and they continued to struggle under Coach Jim Mora Sr. of “Playoffs?! Don’t talk to me about playoffs!!” fame. In spite of having one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game at the helm, Mora was fired in 2001.

Now, 14 years after that fateful 1998 season the Colts are in much the same situation. Jim Irsay has cleaned house, hired an inexperienced GM, a rookie head coach, plans on drafting the number one quarterback, Andrew Luck, and may not re-sign some of his skill players (Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, etc..) This may be a great long term strategy for the Colts organization, but short term Peyton would probably be a very highly paid QB coach for Luck, which isn’t what Peyton wants to do. Peyton wants to play the game. Maybe, just maybe, this isn’t so much the Colts releasing Peyton as it is Peyton taking one more shot at a championship. Maybe Peyton thinks he can bring Reggie with him and sign with a more mature team with a more mature coach. Maybe the Jets, or with John Harbaugh out in San Francisco. Maybe he goes to Washington and gets a spot on Shanahan’s roster, or maybe down to Houston and works with Kubiak.

I will be surprised if we see Peyton in Miami or Denver or Jacksonville or Kansas City. Those teams could all use his talent (Sorry Tebow), but they either don’t have the personnel or don’t have the coaching to make a serious run at the Lombardi Trophy next year. No matter where he goes, I know that I will be purchasing a new team’s logo next year and get crap from my friends for being a fair weather fan. Thanks a lot Peyton.

Is Irsay trying to force Peyton out with contract threats?

IMG_9573It’s been all the buzz. Will Peyton Manning be back with the Colts next year? Will the Colts pay his $28 Million bonus with his injury? Will the Colts draft Andrew Luck and trade Peyton?

I am a big Peyton fan and I’ve kept quiet about this until now. Most of what’s been stirring around has been rumour and conjecture to this point, but that changed yesterday when Colts owner Jim Irsay made this comment

“We can make it work if he wants to be here,” Irsay said. “We’d be excited to have him back and finish his career with us.

“I want him to be able to make the choice. We would love to have him back here if he can get healthy and we can look at doing a contract that reflects the uncertainty of the . . . healing process with the regeneration of the nerve.”

This comes from a guy who a year ago wanted to make Peyton the highest paid player in the NFL. In fact, last July Peyton rejected a 5 year $100 million deal for a 5 year $90 million deal, allegedly because he wanted to keep a team around him.

“While I appreciate Jim Irsay offering to make me the highest-paid player,” Manning told The Indianapolis Star, “I told him I’d rather he save that money and keep whoever it is … (running back) Joe Adda, (left tackle) Charlie Johnson… whoever that may be. I’m willing to take less than they’ve offered if they are going to take that money to keep players we need to keep and go get other players. All I want is for them to have the cap and the cash to keep the players they want to keep and to sign other players.”

Now, 8 months later, Jim Irsay is trying to put Peyton’s future on him. Seems a little cowardly to me. Honestly, I think Irsay owes Manning a big payday. Yes, the NFL is a business, and not a charity, but Manning has taken a backwater NFL team that had been lackluster for over 20 years and put them on the map. Remember, in 1996 they won 3 times in 1997 to draft Manning. In the last 14 years the have been one of the elite teams in the league with a Super Bowl victory and a shiny new $720 million stadium that hosted the 2012 Super Bowl. The Colts and the city of Indianapolis owe Peyton a lot.

Sure, it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who has made $174 million in his career (plus endorsements which are probably more than his NFL contracts). It’s also hard to feel sorry for an NFL owner. Honestly, I think Peyton will want to pay, so if Irsay wants to renegotiate his contract to keep him on to work with Andrew Luck, then Peyton will likely go look for options elsewhere. If Irsay wants to pay him starting QB money in the hopes he gets better, Peyton will probably stick around. Either way, I hope Irsay treats him with respect and is a man about making his decision.

Roger Goodell to end Pro Bowl?

It’s Super Bowl Sunday. Two of the greatest teams in the league are ready to face off and what is Roger Goodell talking about? How players played in the pro bowl???

During a conversation with ESPN Radio yesterday Goodell made these comments about the Pro Bowl

“I really didn’t think that was the kind of football that we want demonstrating to our fans,” Goodell said. “The fans were actively booing in the stands. They didn’t like what they were seeing.”

For the last couple of years it’s become obvious that Goodell really wants the Pro Bowl to turn a profit. Since 1980 the Pro Bowl was held in Honolulu at the Aloha Stadium on the week after the Super Bowl. For 30 years it was basically a paid vacation for the best players in the league. In a quest to line the NFL coffers even more, the league (Goodell) has decided to tinker with the game. The first change was to move the game to the week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, this means that many of the best players, those on the Super Bowl teams, won’t participate. The other move was to play the game in Miami who was hosting the 2010 Super Bowl. Moving the game must not have panned out because in 2011 it was back in Hawaii.

The bottom line here is nobody cares. No serious fan even wants to watch the Pro Bowl. It’s at the end of a 6 month season where anyone who is a big fan has likely watched hundreds if not thousands of hours of football. By this time everyone is looking forward to getting acquainted with their wives and children again.

Goodell’s mantra has been player safety for the last couple years. He’s handed down fines liberally and changed the rules to protect players. Now he is making threats to try and increase the competitiveness of a game that is absolutely meaningless, increasing the chances of a player getting injured.

The league can’t get rid of the game, it would just be wrong. The big thing about the Pro Bowl isn’t the game itself, it’s getting selected. If you eliminate that are you going to go to some other ‘all star’ program? Are we going to lose the prestige of having a player that’s been to the Pro Bowl multiple times? Is that recognition going to go away? The NFL makes good money, and its below average credit score I’m sure the ticket prices for the 50,000 people that actually watch the Pro Bowl more than offsets the cost of flying the players out and having the game. These guys give their whole lives to the sport, just let them have a weekend in Hawaii where they don’t get hurt and stop making so much noise about it. Stop trying to squeeze an extra nickel out of every event the NFL has, it’s petty and makes the league seem greedy. And most of all, stop expecting any of us to watch more meaningless games.

Is Tebowmania here to stay?

While growing up in Colorado in the 1980s and 1990s, I heard my fair share about a man named John Elway. Whether I liked it or not, I couldn’t turn on the television set or open up a newspaper without having this household name mentioned, especially each year between the months of September and December. What were John Elway and the Broncos going to accomplish, or not accomplish this week? How can they improve their defense/offense? Do they have a shot at the playoffs? Lastly, and most importantly, were they going to win the Super Bowl this time around?

I was born in Denver in the summer of 1977. By the time I was six years old, John Elway had signed on to be the Bronco’s new quarterback. This is also around the time when my earliest memories were starting to form. So for years upon years, fifteen to be exact, this Colorado Native has seen more number seven jerseys than she can possibly count. The Orange Crush was everywhere I looked; there was no escaping it. The old Mile High Stadium sat proudly off to the west of interstate 25, and Coloradoans were hooked on Elway and their orange and blue.

Unfortunately, as a child and teenager, I had absolutely no interest in anything that had to do with sports –especially football. I loathed Sunday afternoons around my house. Once we got home from a two-hour church service, my dad (a transplant from the state of Pennsylvania and huge Bronco fan) would flip on the only television my family owned. For the next three hours he monopolized the family room with total Bronco mania.

I would occupy those three hours in any possible way that I could, mostly just to get away from all the noise. That usually meant hopping on my bicycle and riding over to a friend’s house, or in my later teen years, taking off in my car and going anywhere else. By the time Elway retired in May of 1999, I was 22 years old and a journalism student at Colorado State University. Once again, my attentions were anywhere but football.

It’s Tebow Time in Colorado

So why is this self professed football “avoider” writing about a subject she obviously knows little about? Well, it all has to do with a guy named Tim Tebow. Being that I am still living in Colorado to this very day, I am finding that once again I can’t turn on the local news stations, open a local newspaper, or even look at my Facebook wall without hearing about the “Mile High Messiah”.

The various stories usually consist mostly of Tebow’s religious s on the field, coined as “Tebowing.” Then the debate begins over his ability to run and throw the ball, but the life span of all of this Tebowmania really depends on, once again, hearing more about Elway. Especially now that Elway has been named the executive vice president of the football operations for the Denver Broncos. Will Elway name Tebow as the new starting quarterback for the next season? More importantly, will Elway make Tebow our new franchise quarterback? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

All things aside, it is very apparent to me that Tebow, like Elway, has officially become a new household name, not only in Colorado, but also across the nation. He has reached the platform of fame, and from what I hear he already sells more of his number fifteen jerseys than any other rookie out there.

Andrew Hall, a dentist who practices in Colorado Springs, is a huge Tebow fan, and his connection to Tebow stems back to his dental school days at the University of Florida. “I’ve followed him from when he was recruited out of Nease High School” said Hall. “When I was finishing up dental school, he was just finishing up high school. We knew who he was in the state of Florida, and we knew his recruitment very well. It was either Alabama or Florida.”

According to Hall, Tebow was already a rock star the day he showed up at UF, so when he came to the NFL, it was sort of the same thing. “He just has that magnetic personality and there’s just something about him that people are intrigued by.” Hall said. “People either love him or hate him, but I think by far you’ll find that people really love him.”

With all the buzz over this 24-year-old football star, it is clear to me that Tebowmania in Colorado is here to stay, and I should just get used to it, well at least for the next month or two. The Denver Broncos play the Patriots this Sunday. Maybe I’ll watch and see what all the hype is about, and maybe this Tebow guy can turn this football “avoider” into a fan.

Barry Sanders and Barry Sanders Jr. – Like father like son

Barry Sanders is the most dynamic running back I ever saw play the game. In fact I’m still angry with Bobby Ross and the Detroit Lions management for making him retire before he broke all the records – now we have to see Emmitt Smith’s smug face and Dallas star every time someone talks about an ‘all-time leading rusher’.

One of the favorite things about Barry that my friend John and I used to talk about was his father’s attitude. Barry’s dad, William Sanders was opinionated about his son’s tallent.

“I’m so proud of Barry, but I’m also a realist,” William said. “I watched Jim Brown play for the Cleveland Browns and he was the best I have ever seen. Playing football back then was harder.”

Barry is great, but he’s no Jim Brown…

Well, it looks like the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. Barry Sanders Jr. is a talented running back himself currently being courted by a variety of schools. I found a few comments in this article amusing

The elder Sanders lives in Michigan – he has three sons there – but he owns a car dealership in Stillwater, Okla., and visits Oklahoma to see Sanders Jr.

“We’re pretty close, but I wouldn’t say we talk on the phone a lot,” Sanders Jr. said. “Probably a couple times a month.”

The father-son duo has taken recruiting trips together to Alabama and Florida State, but they rarely talk football.

“We talk about current events, family, traveling,” Sanders Jr. said.

Sanders will take in a few of his son’s games this fall and even though he’s quiet about the topic, his son knows he’s looking forward to watching him in the future.

“Some of his closest friends have said how excited he is,” Sanders Jr. said.

So Barry Sanders Jr. has to learn from his Dad’s friends how excited his Dad is to see him play. Hope he makes the pros so Barry can tell everyone how his son is good, but he’s no LaDainian Tomlinson.

NFL Thinks Rookies Make Too Much Money

Part of the ongoing contract negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Associations is a discussion about NFL rookies making too much money. The owners think the pay rate for rookies is out of whack, they spent $50 Million in guaranteed money on unproven rookies. Now, in typical heavy handed Roger Goodell style, the league has posted an article ‘proving’ rookies are overpaid because of their under representation in the Pro Bowl.

Money players: Pro Bowl selections average 6.8 years of experience, 83% have 4+ years of experience

The league has a point, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. The Pro Bowl is largely a popularity contest. A 1/3 of the voting is done by the fans, and if you aren’t an unbelievable standout like Ndamukong Suh or play for a high profile team like the Patriot’s Devin McCourty you are going to have a hard time getting the nod. Several players, like Ed Reed and Antonio Gates, who missed more than 1/3 of the season were selected over less popular athletes. The Pro Bowl is by no means a scientific process, it’s not supposed to be. If that were the case we could do away with the voting altogether and just print out a roster based on the stats.

The NFL is a dangerous career. Most drafted football players have contributed a huge amount of their life in training and competition to achieve their high draft status. If they are drafted by a poor team they may be injured and never be able to collect on a big contract. The NFL needs to watch it’s stance here. If there is a salary cap on rookies, and it’s too low, you may see a fall off on the talent entering the draft. I know personally if I was going to take the chance of stepping on a field with a team of pro players, knowing that I could be permanently injured at any time, I would want a LOT of guaranteed money.

Sanchez bad attitude earns fines

Mark Sanchez has made it his goal this season to eliminate the bad body language that was so prevalent during his rookie campaign

Mark Sanchez’s(notes) negative body language is going to cost him some money. New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer announced Thursday that the team would be issuing light fines to the quarterback every time he slumped his shoulders, put down his head or trudged off the field during practice.

So cool that this was Sanchez’s idea.

Nolan leaves Broncos and other NFL news

Just when you thought Josh McDaniels couldn’t screw anything else up before the season was over, we get another blow. Mike Nolan, one of the premier talented Defensive Coordinators in the NFL, is leaving the Broncos. His only comment? “I can’t say anything other than Josh and I mutually agreed to part ways.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Broncos are discussing former Patriots Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees. Great, another New England stooge. Stand by to hear about trades of Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler and anyone else on the team with any talent.

In some good news, with the defeat of the Chargers by the Cinderella New York Jets yesterday, there are now no teams I don’t like still alive in the playoffs. Regardless of who wins over the next few weeks, history will be made. Either Manning will win another championship, Favre will win a championship at 40 years old, Brees will take the Saints to their first Super Bowl EVER, or rookie QB Mark Sanchez will lead a #5 Seed Jets team to a win. All of these scenarios are very exciting.

Finally, in the funniest event of the weekend, Cowboys linebacker Keith Brookings whined that a last minute score by the Vikings was ‘classless’ and they were just running up the score. Yep, nothing more classy than complaining and crying about poor sportsmanship after a humiliating showing in a game, of course this is Jerry Jones’ Cowboys. Nothing screams class more than an 11,000 square foot TV.

Am I a “Fairweather Fan”?

Today I”m rooting for Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns? Why? One simple reason… they are playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

I”m a CU Buffs Football fan at heart. I have been since my college days back in the early 90”s when one of my good friends played in the Marching Band there. These were the heady days of Bill McCartney, Eric Bienemy and Kordell Stewart. CU was a National Championship contender and consistently competitive. Their nemisis at the time were the Cornhuskers, so along with my love for the Buffaloes, my hatred for Big Red grew.

These days CU is a shadow of it”s former glory. After Rick Neuheisel, Gary Barnett and now Dan Hawkins the program has continually spiraled downward. Nebraska also has struggled since Coach Osborne left, but they have lately seen a resurgence and are now playing for the Big 12 Conference Championship against Texas. While cheering for CU is tough, cheering against Nebraska is once again fun.

I”ve related all this to ask one simple question. Does this make me a “Fairweather Fan”? Why is it that any time we split our loyalties between one or more team we are accused of being wishy-washy? Where is the rule that says we are only allowed to follow one team based on either our physical proximity to their home field, or based on some arbitrary decision we made as a child?

These accusations seem exceedingly onerous when there is no loyalty from the team to the fans. CU regents just renewed Hawkins contract even though he is easily the worst coach the school has had in 20 years. If we move the discussion to professional sports, modern teams change players and coaches on an annual basis. Not even ownership and location is as consistent as it once was, yet our character is questioned if we adjust our loyalty from time to time.

Give me your thoughts, am I a bad person for jumping on the Longhorn bandwagon, or is cheering for a winner OK once in a while?