From the "Talk Too Much studios," let's go.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning lifts the Vince Lombardi Trophy beside coach Tony Dungy following the Super Bowl XLI football game against the Chicago Bears at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
Good Manning easier to find
We knew it was coming, but that does not make it easier to take.
We knew it was coming, but it still hurts to see Hall-of-Famers dismissed.
We knew it was coming, but the drawn out silence that fanned the tiniest glimmers of hope ended and crushed them silently.
We knew the Colts were going to release Peyton Manning, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.
It stinks, of course. Manning spent 14 years in Indy, turning a broken franchise into one of the NFL's perennial favorites. He became a football "Rain Man" (and "He's an excellent driver,") and staked his claim as one of the five best quarterbacks ever. He quite possibly ranks with Michael Jordan as the only athlete in today's sports realm that could be elected Governor in two states, and we think Manning could be elected to office in three (Indiana, Tennessee and Louisiana). He is an icon, and in a good way, in a sports world starving for them.
And now he's out of work (granted, there are far worse things than being a 36-year-old with no job and a nine-figure bank account, but still). There still is empathy, though if for no other reason than this was not how we wanted the story to end.
But, because of the nature of the salary-capped NFL, it's impossible to blame Colts for the move. (We can blame them for all the behind closed doors shenanigans and the lack of honesty and direct talk, but cutting Manning was the only move. You can't mortgage your future and a huge portion of your franchise's salary cap with a $28 million bonus to a 36-year-old quarterback with an unknown future who missed last year because he had at least four neck surgeries.)
It stinks for everyone involved (even Andrew Luck, who now has to come in with the stink of this hanging over him).
But as Hyman Roth says, this is the business they've chosen.
Harvard players look on from the bench during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Fordham on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in New York. Fordham defeated Harvard 60-54. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
As we look around for teams that are in similar bubble boats as your UT Vols, we must pause and lift a glass of aged-scotch to the Crimson of Harvard who won the Ivy League title — and the league's NCAA tournament bid — when Penn lost Tuesday. With the rise of alum Jeremy Lin and now its first NCAA tournament trip since the Eisenhower administration — read that again, and know that when the Crimson last went Dancing, there were eight teams in the tournament, now there are 68 — Harvard hoops is at all-time high. Bully for you old chap.
As for the Vols, here is today's guide of three Big East tournament games to keep an eye on and how it affects UT's flickering tournament chances (times are approximate since tournament games always run long):
— South Florida vs. Villanova (9 p.m., ESPN): You know how highly the 5-at-10 views Joe Lunardi (the ESPN bracket expert ranks right behind draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., and we all KNOW how the 5-at-10 feels about the draft). Well, Lunardi currently has UT ranked 70th (including automatic bids) which means the Vols are two spots out of the tournament. One of the at-large teams in front of UT is South Florida. A South Florida loss likely would drop the Bulls from the land of the somewhat safe and move UT one step closer.
— Seton Hall vs. Lousiville (7 p.m., ESPN): This one is big. Seton Hall could all-but-stamp its ticket with an upset over the Cardinals, who are surely in whether they lose tonight or win the Big East tournament. Seton Hall, according to Lunardi, is just three spots ahead of UT in the at-large pecking order.
— UConn vs. West Virginia (noon, ESPN): Each of these teams is ranked ahead of UT, according to Lunardi, and this for all intents and purposes is an NCAA tournament game — win and you're in, lose and there will be a lot of sleepless nights between now and Sunday. UT fans actually need UConn here, after all the Vols beat the Huskies earlier this year, and if the Huskies are in, don't the Vols belong, too?
Heavyweight contender Mike Tyson flexes his muscles in Las Vegas, Friday, Sept. 5,. 1986 as he weighs in for a Saturday bout with Alfonzo Ratliff. Tyson is from New York, Ratliff from Chicago. Tyson weighed 221¼, with Ratliff at 201. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Iron Mike Sinatra?
Mike Tyson has been booked to do a one-man show in Las Vegas. Read that again, now pick your glasses up and take three deep breaths.
Yes, Mike Tyson — face tattoo and all — will be doing a one-man show in Vegas, and promoters expect it to sell-out the 740-seat theater at $100-plus a pop.
Is this a guy making the most of his second chance or the Elephant Man in the 21st Century?
Apparently, it will be a multi-media presentation of Tyson's life, which is definitely intriguing.
But please, Mike, for the love of ear drums everywhere, let's not bust into show tunes, huh? (As the boys in "Coming to America" say about good ole Randy Watson, "That boy is good"... "Yeah good and terrible.")
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss (84) hands the football to a fan along the sidelines after catching a 49-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Randall Cunningham during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 22, 1998, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)
This and that
— As this NFL bounty stuff continues to swirl, the Twitter-verse on Tuesday offered some of the possible clauses: If a player took out a Tom Brady or an Aaron Rodgers, you got a bonus; knock out a Mark Sanchez or a Rex Grossman and you got fined.
— Randy Moss reportedly looked good during his workout with the Saints on Tuesday. Face it gang, you can be the world's biggest prima dona and if you can run a sub-4.4 and get open, there is someone who is willing to give you a chance. Wide receivers are like obnoxious hot girls — no matter how bad they act, there's some one out there that's willing to put up with their act. And more times than not, it ends up blowing up in the team's/dude's face.
— Alabama will hold spring football practice without running back Eddie Lacy and offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, Tide coach Nick Saban announced Tuesday. Alabama is loaded across the offensive line — seriously, it may be the nation's best group of O-Linemen — but Lacy, Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart and T.J. Yeldon are the leaders to replace NFL-bound stud Trent Richardson.
Quarterback Peyton Manning, of Tennissee, holds holds up an Indianapolis Colts jersey as he is flanked by Colts owner Jim Irsay, left, and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue Saturday, April 18, 1998, in New York after being chosen by the Colts as the No. 1 pick in the in draft Saturday. (AP Photo/Adam Nadel)
Let's go old-school. ("We're... We're going streaking! We're going up the quad and to the gymnasium... Honey, you think the KFC is still open?") That's right, a throw-back "fill in the blank" question.
Finish this sentence: Peyton Manning will be...
It can be where he'll be next, as in "Peyton Manning will be a Houston Texan next year and the Texans will be Super Bowl favorites."
It can be where he'll be in five years, as in "Peyton Manning will be a great commentator on the NFL Network in less than two years."
It can be how he's remembered, as in "Peyton Manning will be viewed no worse than the third-best quarterback of all time."
Or if you're Spy or Jefe or some of the other folk that believe Manning is very good and still overrated, it can be, "Peyton Manning will be forever remembered as McEnroe to Brady's Borg or Staubach to Brady's Bradshaw. He's a great player, but c'mon, he won one Super Bowl and that was against Rex Grossman."
Discuss — and release the hounds.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...