Jumping on the bandwagon

Peyton Manning is in a slump. This season proves that Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning. Curtis Painter should play and the Colts need to start looking for Peyton Manning's replacement. The Man is getting old and it shows. Peyton Manning's glory days are over and he is on the decline. The NFL has figured him out. Can't use the injuries as an excuse because every team is dealing with injuries. Can't use the o-line or lack of talent as an excuse either, because look at Tom Brady and Philip Rivers. They are working with a bunch of no-name rookies and not crashing and burning like good ol' choker Peyton Manning. And speaking of choking, that's about the only thing we can count on Peyton Manning to do well.

I'm usually content with just posting videos of Peyton Manning and the Colts, but this time, give me a second to say...

Shut.  The.  Fuck.  Up.

Seriously. What is wrong with everyone? This Peyton Manning hate is just unbelievable. Sure, you can dislike the guy all you want and it's more than fair to say that he hasn't been playing well, but to let a few bad games and a three-game losing streak riddled with unfortunate picks ruin the solid greatness that is this Colts quarterback is like trying to make sense of getting your nuts kicked down your throat (props to those who get this reference). Think about that for a second. That's some messed up shit right there, right?

I know. Pats fans are loving it. The Bolts think we're Dolts. All the Manning haters are feeling warm and fuzzy inside because the moment has come when they can shout in our faces, "I told you so!" Like Eli, Peyton Manning is the most overrated quarterback ever! And make no mistake that the media is loving it. Finally, they have something juicy to write about. And it's a nice, juicy fat cow too, not some new age funky tofu turkey on crack. There's just no good news like bad news.

Yes, the day will come when Manning will start to lose his touch. It happens to everyone and even blind devotion and pure loyalty cannot deny this fact. Manning will one day decline, no doubt about it. But so will Brady. And Brees. And Rivers. And when it happens to Manning, I will probably go through the five stages of grief, but just because something is inevitable, doesn't mean it's imminent. And just because something is inevitable, it doesn't make all the things before it somehow not mean anything anymore.

Everyone is freaking out like it's 11:59pm on December 31, 2011. But seriously, calm down before you punch a baby. Peyton Manning is still the Peyton Manning. He's mostly good and rarely bad and it just so happens that when you're already great, being just great isn't as memorable as the times when you haven't been great. It kind of reminds me of giving Christmas presents to girlfriends. You continually give her good gifts and always try to top what you gave her last year, but what's the present she remembers the most? No, not the diamond studs, but the year you got her a golf club membership. Who doesn't like golf?! But that story's for another time...

For more than a decade, Peyton Manning has been the central cog of the Colts organization. He's the heart that keeps the blood and life force pumping throughout the franchise. You can argue that without the other organs, the heart would die, but without the heart, the organs don't even stand a chance (and we all know Painter is no pacemaker). It's only natural for there to be tune ups here and there. Look at our economy, look at life: what goes up must come back down in order to go back up again. Let me reiterate, in order to go back up again.

So cut the Man some slack.


Because he's earned it.

You know it, I know it, even Belichick's missing shirt sleeves know it.

You don't see Peyton trying to spread the blame when he knows it's his fault. You never hear him claim a win as his own, when everyone knows that without Number 18, the Colts wouldn't even have a chance. He doesn't march onto the field wearing a little cheat sheet on his wrist. And for those of you who think he's a wimp, which one of you can honestly say that you will keep playing in a game with a broken jaw?

There's only so much he can do. Especially when he has little time to throw the ball, mostly inexperienced receivers, no run game to keep the defense honest, and a defense that only shows up in the red zone if it even shows up at all. On top of that, he carries the weight of the organization all by himself. That's got to cause some cracks here and there. What he has done with what he's been given is amazing and I doubt any other person in his position would be able to accomplish all the same things.

Manning is just one person and he can't do it all. He needs help, from himself, from his team, and from his fans. He's going through a rough patch right now, but give greatness credit where credit is due. To discount long-term gains on short-term losses just doesn't make any sense.

Allow me to counter some of the recent rumblings:
  1. Peyton Manning is in a slump. - Yup, it appears so. But don't cut your thumb off just yet. Ups and downs are normal. And as abnormally large his forehead is and as abnormally stellar his football skills are, last time I heard, Peyton Manning is still a homo sapien. It's just a slump. It happens and it really sucks, but it happens. Manning might not be mentally there, he could be stressed out, who knows. All we know is that he isn't playing at a level we all know he is capable of playing at and in a way, that's the best kind of proof that he's awesome at what he does. Manning never gives up and the best way to dig yourself out of a rut is to just keep digging. We all know that we can count on Manning to do just that.
  2. Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning. - Tom Brady is an awesome quarterback, but I'll let Nate Dunlevy at 18to88 utterly refute this claim
  3. Curtis Painter should play and the Colts need to start looking for Peyton Manning's replacement. - Is death not an option or something? If Manning was hobbling on one leg, he'd still get picked over a healthy Curtis Painter. Sorry Painter, I'm a big Colts fan, but you've just got to step it up and lord knows you've got the biggest shoes to fill. If the Colts think things are bad right now with Manning not playing at 100%, then they definitely must be scarfing down some special brownies to even slightly consider that Curtis Painter could be the one to turn things around.
  4. Manning is getting old and it shows. - Who would call any other 34 year old, old just for being 34 years old? If anything, Manning is like fine wine, getting better as he ages. He won two MVP awards from the last two years, when he was 33 and 34. He may not be spot on this year, but an off season, pre-season, and half a regular season didn't turn him into a doddering old fool. A short term blip does not predict a long-term downward spiral. If this were true, I would be making tons of money on the stock market. And unfortunately, I am not.
  5. Peyton Manning's glory days are over and he is on the decline. The NFL has figured him out. - There are only so many confident plays you can run with people who are not as familiar with the playbook, so it's easy for opposing teams (who definitely study tape) to focus their attention on counterattacks. With backups of backups and practice squad upgrades playing on the Colts team, there's only so much they can get down in the limited amount of time they have. You see Manning and the Colts huddling more than ever, when his signature no-huddle offense definitely gave them an edge. What has the NFL figured out? That the Colts can't run the ball or stop the run. But honestly, it doesn't take an "expert analyst" to "figure" this out. What football fan hasn't known about that little tidbit for years now? The NFL has figured out that to move the ball, Peyton Manning is probably going to throw because, let's face it, how else will the ball make it down the field? But to say that the NFL has figured out Peyton Manning is a bold claim. Under certain circumstances, the light has shined in a way to reveal some shallow rocks, but you can never be sure of what's hiding in the deep end.    
  6. Can't use injuries as an excuse because every team has injuries. - Getting injured is in the job description for football players. Injuries are not the reason for Manning's recent poor play and even he knows it himself. Manning didn't throw a pick because Collie has a concussion. Manning didn't throw a pick because Bobzilla tore his biceps. But you can't honestly say that the injuries have had no repercussions. Every team has suffered injuries, but when the majority of your offense is a second stringer, third stringer, or worse, it just makes tough games even tougher. Yea, Manning still has Wayne, his number one wide receiver, but Wayne is almost always double covered. Injuries are not an excuse, but they aren't also without impact. 
  7. Can't use the o-line or lack of talent as an excuse, because look at Tom Brady and Philip Rivers. They are working with a bunch of no-name rookies and not crashing and burning like good ol' choker Peyton Manning. - Wasn't Manning working with a bunch of rookies last year? And look at what Manning and the team managed to do then. This season, not only is Manning working with rookies, he's working with rookies that wouldn't have even made the team. Players are backups for backups for backups and people who have been snatched from the practice squad because there simply is no one else. Brady and Rivers may also be playing with rookies, but those rookies are rookies who made the start and who weren't kept on the practice squad or cut from the team for a reason.
  8. And speaking of choking, that's about the only thing we can count on Peyton Manning to do well. - How convenient to only remember the bad things and forget about all the good things he has done. It's like this with regular news too. We forget about all the good things going on in society and tend to only remember the stories about murders, crimes, and wars. But look at all the late fourth quarter comebacks Manning has made in his career. The Colts have won games purely on his leadership and his will to win them. In some of the recent games, if the defense was a little better, if someone didn't drop a ball, if a flag wasn't thrown and the Colts won those close games, none of this "oh run for the hills!" Peyton Manning slump talk would exist. He tried to make things happen and kind of shot himself in the foot in the process, and kept going, but it just didn't work out. And you can't count on Manning to choke if he brings games back from the brink of death for all the times he's done it.
Finally, to those calling for the Colts to give up to get a better draft position next year, please go and grow a pair. We play to win. Simple as that. Any other fan saying otherwise is not a true fan at all. No one thought the Giants would beat the Patriots, but they got hot and did just that. We might not look like winners right now, but the fact is, you never know what's going to happen so you will always have a chance to win. Manning only has so many more seasons left in his career and you want him to just give up because we're a little banged up and he's frustrated?

No doubt lots of things have to be addressed in the off season, but staying in the fight is the only option. The only way Manning and the Colts can lose is if they stop trying and we all know that is something Manning will never stop doing. So have a little faith and have a lot of heart. Our blood runs blue and we're in it for the Big One.


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