Friday, July 8, 2011
Peyton Manning: The Smartest Man in Football
I feel sorry for all those kids participating in this year’s Manning Passing Academy, they unwittingly have become pawns in the NFL labor standoff thanks to the smartest man in football: Peyton Manning. If you’ve watched Manning over the years, you know that no one is more adept at reading defenses and adjusting on the fly than he is; he has total freedom, essentially he’s an extra coach on the field. This week, however, he’s shown that he can play the public relations game with the best of them as well. For the first time in 16 years he is not physically participating in the academy he puts on with his father Archie and brother Eli. The reason he is not participating is because he is in “cautious mode” while rehabbing from offseason surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck. He is being “cautious” because per the rules of the lockout he cannot have contact with the team’s therapist Erin Barill, who has overseen Manning’s rehabilitation from two other surgeries. Take that Jim Irsay. Your golden goose is on record saying he’s not feeling too good about his injury, and if you read the undertones he’s saying if you want to keep me happy you better get in there with your buddies in the owner’s boxes and solve this thing or we could be in trouble. He’s sending a message for all the other player’s out there who are paying for their own surgeries and rehabbing on their own that if you want your money’s worth out of your investments then maybe you should try and get this fixed. It’s a subtle message, unlike ones sent out by players by Antonio Cromartie and others via Twitter and the like but a much more impactful one, but what would you expect from a guy with the pedigree Manning has? When it comes to the game on and off the field, Peyton Manning is once again proving that he is the best of the best.