It’s Peyton’s Choice

Peyton Manning is a man. He can make his own decisions and no one else should be telling him otherwise. As much everyone thinks they know what is best for Peyton Manning, they don’t.

Manning is coming off reportedly 4 separate neck surgeries in the past 2 years according to Don Banks of According to his birth certificate, Peyton will be 36 by the time the 2012 NFL season rolls around. He has played 13 seasons in the NFL according to his stats page on

A lot of people talk about legacy. Brett Favre apparently had his tarnished.

Apparently, Peyton Manning could end up doing the same thing.


Peyton Manning can do what he wants.

The tarnishing of the infamous legacy is one of the most absurd concepts in professional sports. People illogically believe that it is in duty to protect an athlete’s so-called legacy. There is this idea that one should stop playing before the inevitable decline of father time or injuries take their toll on that person, making them unable to perform close to the level that fans are used to. Rumour has it that continuing to play past this point of substantial decline or even just the possibility of playing past that point is grounds for tarnishing of the legacy.

For some reason, it is engrained in sports culture that what you do late in your career can take away from the things that happened in the prime of your career. The thing is, this George Costanza idea of going out on a high note really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Last time I checked, you can’t erase what’s written in the history books. That stuff is down in permanent marker, you know, the TO kind of sharpie. But more importantly, the decision of whether or not to keep playing really shouldn’t come down to legacy at all.

Brett Favre still wanted to play. Peyton Manning wants to as well.

Who are we to try and tell these guys what to do? This isn’t our life. We aren’t their mothers.

They should be able to play as long as they want. If there is someone out there that is willing to pay them money to play the game that they love, then by all means they can choose to carry on with their careers. If playing is what the heart desires, the barrier stopping that from happening should be a Donovan McNabb situation. McNabb isn’t close to the level of Manning or Favre, but there came a time this past year when no was willing to pay McNabb to play football. Hey buddy, now it’s time to retire.

As weird as it was for fans to see Johnny Unitas in a Chargers uniform or Warren Moon in a Chiefs uniform, the far from fairy-tale endings to their careers have done next to nothing to skew the way they have been remembered.

Of course, not that it matters anyways.

Michael Jordan said that he wanted to go out on his own terms. He did that when he tried his hand at professional baseball. He did that when he played 2 seasons for the Washington Wizards. Michael Jordan did what he wanted to and has probably left the game happier because of it.

Regret is one of the worst feelings in life. I’m young. At 20 years old, I almost certainly don’t understand what real regret is. Nevertheless, it can’t be easy for a professional athlete to live the next 50 years of his life and know that he had more to give to the game. To walk away from the only identity and livelihood you have ever known is undoubtedly a scary thing. It’s scarier to think about when you know that there’s more left in the tank.

Brett Favre became one of the most repulsive athletes for his multiple pseudo-retirements. However, when you reflect back to his magical season at the age of 40 in Minnesota, you can’t help but think it was all worth it. Again, what I think doesn’t really matter. It’s what Brett thinks. I bet he would be the first to tell you that having one of the most improbable, unpredictable and captivating seasons in sports history made it all worth it.

If he had listened to what everyone was saying, we would never have seen what Brett Favre had in store for us that season.

Peyton Manning is barely a year removed from being on top of the NFL mountain. If he wishes to return to the NFL, most likely not in a Colts uniform, then he should do so. If not, he can walk away from the game as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

He has to do it on his terms though.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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8 Responses to It’s Peyton’s Choice

  1. Gil Arc says:

    Thanks for the comment on our post.

    Anything other than a Colts uniform on Peyton Manning is odd i’m sure we can all agree on that. What I feel though is why risk further injury? The guy has had 4 operations on his neck. I feel he has nothing left to prove. But maybe he feels he does.

    Like you say though, he can do what he wants.

  2. It is going to get real interesting come the the new few weeks. If I were Peyton, I would go to where the most direct path to the Super Bowl is,,,, Drum roll….. San Fran. Alex Smith is a free agent and let’s face it they won 13 games this year but he is still Alex Smith. If not there then Arizona but there are the obvious issues with ownership there. We all know the Manning family pretty much dictates where Eli and Peyton go, i.e. Archie orchestrating Eli’s move to the NY Ginats instead of San Diego.

  3. Thank you! Most of the media is making it seem like the Colts have all the say in this. They owe everything to Manning, though. He gave then a new stadium, a Super Bowl win and made the Colts relevant again. He deserves to make this choice, and, if he doesn’t, then that just wrong.

  4. klownboy says:

    Nice post my man! It would be nice to see Peyton go out on his own terms, but I think his hand will be forced by Jim Irsay himself. Peyton’s pride will lead him to another team (Miami or Washington, come on down). I just think Peyton has nothing else to prove…

  5. I agree that there is no such thing as tainting your legacy. Did Jordan taint his? NO! Did Montana taint his? NO! Where Favre gets the flak is not for playing with other teams to end his career. It’s the back and forth I’m retiring I’m not retiring nonsense. That’s where he got all the bad attention nothing to do with how long he played or where. If he had handled it differently nobody would have said a word. I also agree on Manning that nobody should tell him when to retire. In his case though this is a neck injury that is very serious. In this case Peyton may need to be protected from himself. It wouldn’t be the first time that an athlete maybe makes a bad choice when it comes to his health due to his desire to play.

  6. tophatal says:


    It’s Irsay’s choice now , as to whether or not to pay Manning the $28 million due on the 8th March and not the other way around ! The impasse between the two sides isn’t as cordial as they’re making out to be ………… far too much has gone on behind the scenes to assure me that Manning is entirely happy with the present situation ! But for now everyone is putting a brave face on the situation in the hope that things will inevitably sort itself out .

  7. Fortunately, his stature in the league will afford him the ability to go out on his own terms. And personally, I don’t think Manning’s legacy will ultimately be tarnished, unless he pulls a Big Ben restroom incident.

    Nah, that’s not in him.

    All I’m saying is the final chapters of Manning’s career haven’t been written. And lots can happen until they are.

  8. Yeah if he wants to play let him play. I am not sure if the Colt’s will give him 28 million but he can find another place to play. Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, etc..lots of great players play elsewhere but everybody remembers where they played their best at.

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