If everyday breakups went as smoothly as the press conference at Colts headquarters Wednesday, you'd see far fewer people staying in dysfunctional relationships merely to avoid the pain and anguish that comes with ending it.
Colts owner Jim Irsay and longtime quarterback/franchise icon Peyton Manning held a joint press conference on Wednesday morning that was the gold standard for how a football team and its star player should part ways when circumstances trump emotion.
In the severance of most relationships, it's always somebody's fault. The old saying goes "It's not you, it's me." In the case of the Colts and Manning, it wasn't "you," it wasn't "me," it just...well, it just was. And Wednesday's gathering reflected that.
If you missed the press conference, here is the video:
It was about as classy an exit as one could orchestrate, with Peyton getting equally choked up over having to say good-bye to equipment managers as he was teammates. Manning was human, despondent about closing out this chapter of his adulthood, and cautiously excited (and maybe a little nervous) about what the future holds for him.
One thing we know that it will hold is more football. Attention didn't have to turn to where Manning may take his next snaps because, frankly, it's already been there. Vegas has been taking action on where Peyton Manning will be come the start of the 2012 season since about the time his brother Eli was handed the keys to a new Corvette for winning the MVP of Super Bowl XLVI.
For what it's worth, Houstonians, the Texans are forecast as having a 4 percent chance at landing Manning, which is 4 percent too many if you believe Houston Chronicle beat writer John McClain (and in matters like this, I do). The Texans are committed to Matt Schaub, and frankly, with the bidding war that inevitably will take place for Manning's services, the price tag is going to become too rich for the cap-strapped Texans even if they did want in.
The good news for the Texans is that, unlike Mario Williams (for whom Jacksonville and Tennessee are legitimate landing spots), there is virtually no chance that Manning stays in the AFC South. Worst case, he winds up with a team on the Texans 2012 schedule like the Jets or Dolphins. So now Indianapolis moves on to the next era, and while they drown in their tears, Indy should be reminded that the football gods have been kind enough to deal them a Manning exit strategy that includes the next Peyton Manning coming in starting next season in Andrew Luck. In short, we don't feel sorry for you, Indy.
We close this story and the Peyton Manning Era with this cheeseball video from a Colts fan to the tune of the Eagles' "Desperado"....
...which doesn't even come close to topping "Tim Tebow's Fire":
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