PAT LONGOBARDI — Sports Writer
During a season in which the defending champions, the Packers, were trying to go undefeated, Drew Brees was going for the single-season passing record, the Eagles were quickly falling apart at the seams, and everyone was following Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, there was yet another story.
In fact, even as Super Bowl XLVI between the Giants and Patriots came upon, there was another story bigger than even this game—Peyton Manning in, of all places, Indianapolis.
The difference in this example is that Manning’s story basically turned into a distraction from the actual game being played.
The Super Bowl was like an appetizer in Peyton’s house, even if it did include little brother Eli and rival Tom Brady, to the real main course after all of this coverage.
Manning has been one of the biggest question marks a sports fan will ever see.
Although one person does not make a team, this was a different situation.
The man under center was the reason the Colts fell to 2-14 in 2011.
Did this deserve the right to literally clean house and fire the head coach, vice chairman and the general manger?
Last year, Manning was still on top of his game and had just been defeated by the New York Jets in the Wild Card round. Then we hear his neck was hurt, causing three surgeries in a little more than a year and forcing him to miss the entire 2011 season.
Now, the Colts and owner Jim Irsay are looking to draft a quarterback and to possibly pull the plug on the guy that put the franchise on the map in Indianapolis before giving him his $28 million bonus in March.
They must think this is pretty good “Luck” to get another answer like they did with the No. 1 pick in Manning.
The rumors are that Andrew Luck from Stanford, along with the sudden emergence of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III from Baylor, are the favorites to be the overall No. 1 pick for Indianapolis in April’s NFL Draft.
This is what happens to a team going down the road of turmoil. Everybody knows your business, even during the biggest two weeks of the football year.
It is good to hear Manning is cleared by doctors to compete again, but the way this story has progressed should not have taken on so much attention during the playoffs and the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. If the Colts are serious about replacing Manning, then it should be like another Brett Favre situation with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. The top pick, whoever it is, might have to wait his turn to get a shot to play over one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.