While the recent news regarding Peyton Manning’s status heading into this season is alarming, the notion that the Colts quarterback might miss any time as a result still seems a little silly at this point.
This is Peyton Manning we’re talking about after all, a guy who’s started every single game of his entire 13-year career (227 and counting), and who already overcame a very similar situation in 2008 and wound up winning a record-tying third NFL MVP Award in the process.
Hasn’t this guy earned himself the benefit of a doubt?
Even if the injury really is serious enough to sideline Manning, until we hear it from the quarterback’s own lips in his own southern drawl, no one has any reason to expect him not to be there in Houston come September 11.
In fact, Manning has actually given us every reason to expect the very opposite.
Peyton Manning’s illustrious career has been defined by routine, you see, and chief among the items on his weekly itinerary is simply showing up. Manning’s brutally repetitive schedule definitely doesn’t end there, not by a long shot, but were it not for the quarterback’s presumed perfect attendance, the rest doesn’t really matter.
Luckily for Colts fans, Manning hasn’t had a sick day for over a decade, however, so the rest does indeed matter, and it’s mainly with respect to that very routine that the star’s legacy has so far been carved.
Most great quarterbacks are remembered for how they play the game, Peyton is best known for how he studies it. While the Pacman Joneses of the world are out shooting up night clubs and fathering unwanted children, Peyton is holed up in some Bat Cave somewhere poring through reels of game film, or so we’re led to believe. That’s what gives him his advantage, his aura, not that he’s necessarily a better athlete than his competition, but that he’s better prepared. Elway was the tough guy. Montana was the cool guy. Favre will probably go down as the fun one.
Love him or hate him, but he’s the nerd. It’s not a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact, but it does make him unique among his peers, and it also makes his laughably predictable antics all the more amusing.
Here’s a small sample of what you can usually expect from #18 week in and week out, rain, snow, or shine, and what you should still be expecting to see from the quarterback this season until he tells you otherwise.