"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Peyton’s Place

Philadelphia Eagles v Denver Broncos

Last week over at Grantland, Charlie Pierce wrote a column about why Peyton Manning should retire:

Peyton Manning is 39 years old. Four years ago, he missed an entire season because of a neck injury that required multiple surgeries. (The football career of his older brother, Cooper, came to an end at the University of Mississippi because Cooper was shown to have a congenital narrowing of the spinal column.) He sometimes wears gloves when he plays, because the injuries to his neck have deprived him of the feeling in the fingertips of his right hand. That means whenever he goes out for ice cream with his kids, he can’t feel the cone. When he embraces them, the sensation doesn’t extend throughout his fingers. I don’t know how it affects his driving, and I don’t think I want to know. Try imagining what it’s like. You can’t, because you’re not Peyton Manning with his fingertips having gone dead four years ago.

And this is why I hate that drive against Baltimore so much. It’s because that drive is the classic brand of anesthetic for the football conscience. Up until then, Manning looked like a battered 39-year-old trying to play the hardest position in his sport, and not being in any way up to the job. His team looked as though it was completely unable to protect an aging quarterback with limited-to-no mobility. But, then, Manning summoned up the strength to lead that last drive, albeit one in which he handed the ball off a lot, and we had to hear about how he toughed it out, that rugged old man with the dead fingertips.

Also at ESPN, is Kevin Van Valkenburg’s bonus piece on Manning. 

[Photo Credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images]

Categories:  1: Featured  Football  Games We Play

Tags:  charlie pierce  peyton manning

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 RIYank   ~  Sep 28, 2015 12:07 pm

Wait, you mean athletes are human beings? The costs of winning sports contests might sometimes be too high???

Goddam Charlie Pierce. What is he thinking? Socialist.

2 bp1   ~  Sep 28, 2015 2:29 pm

Yeah, I dunno. Unless they go out suddenly w/ injury, this happens to all superstar athletes as they age. The skills decline, the injuries (both the serious ones and the nagging ones) accumulate, and what's left is a player who can't quite conjure the magic anymore. The question is then - what are the alternatives? We just saw this last year w/ Jeter (last few years, really).

It's pretty rare when a guy goes out on top - like Mo, or heck even Moose. Neither were physically at their prime obviously, but figured out a way to get the job done with what they had.

I'm a Peyton fan - have been for quite awhile. I think football is better when he's playing - and will go out of my way to watch his games. I like the way he approaches the game and he seems to make his teammates play at a higher level. I hope he can manage to figure out his Mussina style to get him through the season, and I hope he does so without additional significant injury.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 28, 2015 3:37 pm

2) I like rooting for him as well. He knows the risks. That doesn't mean watching him now is pleasurable.

4 rbj   ~  Sep 28, 2015 4:32 pm

[2] Was thinking of Moose as well.

5 Evil Empire   ~  Sep 29, 2015 1:38 pm

As a Bama fan I've loathed Peyton Me Manning ever since he was at UT -- and showed up the Tide by leading the band in Rocky Top at Legion field -- and I still do.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver