Manning looks like he might be up to something here, doesn't he?
So I write this article in part to poke fun at "nouveau riche" Colts fans, and in part to imagine how it would go down if Peyton Manning actually did take his talents to Oakland, an admittedly unlikely scenario.
So with that disclaimer out of the way, let's toss some things around. Let's assume Manning will be healthy and not a shell of his former self, and let's have some fun with this.
So it's Monday. The Raiders are set to announce Dennis Allen as their new head coach. Allen steps up to the podium and is asked the standard questions of a new coach. What's his vision? What's his philosophy? And so on.
The talk then turns to whom Allen will bring in as assistant coaches and Allen drops this bombshell. Jim Caldwell will be the new offensive coordinator for the Raiders. Hmm... Allen goes on to say that Caldwell's experience will be an asset to a young team moving forward. No talk of Peyton Manning, not just yet.
Fast forward to March. Manning, as expected, is released by the Colts. Another personnel decision is made, this time in Oakland. Reggie McKenzie releases Carson Palmer. McKenzie says he understands what the Raiders gave up for Palmer, but in order to move away from Hue Jackson and to make this truly his team, the Raiders must move away from Palmer.
Raiders fans are shocked. Colts fans fans are mourning the loss of their hero, while secretly making plans to order their Andrew Luck jerseys. Jason Campbell signs with the Seahawks. Are the Raiders ready to launch the Terrelle Pryor era?
Now comes NFL Draft day. McKenzie, Allen, Caldwell and new defensive coordinator Darren Sharper (I know he's never coached, just go with it!) seem pretty happy considering the Raiders don't have any picks. Allen is interviewed, he's confident the Raiders will be much improved in 2012.
Meanwhile, it's been reported that Stephen Ross has been flying Manning around in the Goodyear Blimp having previously failed on "wine and dine tours" with private jets and helicopters. Ross is pulling out all the stops.
The Dolphins have a press conference scheduled for the next day. It's assumed they will announce the signing of Manning to become the Dolphins' first real QB since Dan Marino. Meanwhile in Indy, Andrew Luck slips coming off the plane and tears an ACL. Colts fans are mortified.
It's press conference time in Miami and what's about to go down would make Vince McMahon cackle with joy. As Stephen Ross takes the podium, suddenly the lights go out. The intro to "The Autumn Wind" is now blaring throughout the building as another Ross (Jim) is now yelling into a microphone.
Jim Ross is going crazy, yelling, "Oh no, it can't be, that's, that's, that's the RAIDERS MUSIC!!!"
The lights come back on and in strolls Manning. He's wearing a black beard à la Hollywood Hogan, and he's wearing all black. The ultimate hero is about to turn heel!
Would Raider Naiton embrace Peyton Manning?
"Cut the music!" yells Manning as he steps to the podium. He then lights into Jim Irsay. He talks about how he carried a sorry franchise on his back for so many years. He talks about how he made the team and city relevant. He talks about loyalty, and a lack of it. Manning is livid. The crowd of reporters is stunned.
Stephen Ross says, "What about the Dolphins, Peyton?"
Manning just laughs. An evil, evil laugh. He says, "I used you, Stephen! Just like Fisher and Harbaugh did! You're a joke!"
Meanwhile, Reggie McKenzie and Jim Caldwell have appeared out of nowhere. McKenzie hands Manning a No. 18 Raiders jersey! The crowd is booing as Manning holds it to the sky! Manning announces he'll be playing quarterback for the Oakland Raiders! He kicks over the podium and leaves the stage as once again "The Autumn Wind" blares from the speakers!
Could any of this happen? I doubt it, but it sure would be fun!